In 2020, a global shutdown of economies revealed how fragile and unprepared developed and developing nations are when faced with a worldwide crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed some economies to the brink of collapse, with some G7 countries experiencing a GDP loss of -7.8 per cent and -12.8 per cent as revealed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As the global shutdowns continued throughout most of the first and second quarter of 2020, more than 225 million full-time jobs were lost, an 8.8 per cent decrease compared to the fourth quarter figures of 2019.
While many nations have fully reopened after successful vaccination rollout campaigns, businesses in all sectors are re-orientating themselves to adapt to the post-pandemic digital world. Since the start of the pandemic, and the rapid rise of remote working, digital infrastructure and development have highlighted the importance of Information Technology in workspace planning, while at the same time promoting more digital up-skilling initiatives for remote workers. Here’s a brief overview of how businesses are and should consider to re-orientate themselves for the post-pandemic world of digitalization.
Accelerating digital initiatives in business
The pandemic pushed businesses and top executives to rethink how they can make use of digital technology to remain financially sustainable. An IBM Institute for Business Value report from 2020, revealed that 59 per cent of surveyed businesses declared they are looking to upscale and accelerate the use and adoption of digital initiatives.
The digitalization of services, such as online shopping, business formation services, telehealth, and dentistry among others have become more accessible to a wider audience of consumers in all corners of the world. Simple services, such as business formation are creating an equal opportunity playing field for entrepreneurs and young business owners. An example of this is LegalZoom who provides online and remote assistance to entrepreneurs looking to form a new business in their desired state. More about LegalZoom can be discovered on this website.
Bringing in new ways in which top executives can accelerate digital initiatives are pushing the boundaries on the capabilities of tech and the use of Artificial Intelligence.
Business in the digital economy
Developing nations are rapidly bringing change to how business can be conducted, using the benefits offered by the digital economy. In Africa, digital multinational companies, spanning across the continent, have since the start of the pandemic made digital software and services more accessible and user-friendly.
The South African-based mobile service provider, MTN has broadened its service offering to become a financial service platform, using its influence to offer customers more than one service via its channels. MTN is one of many companies that have changed the way they can use their influence and infrastructure to offer clients more services throughout the height of the pandemic. The digital economy is increasingly evolving, and creating more opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.
Changed consumer habits
In just the last two years (2020-2021), there has been a 65 per cent increase in tech-driven initiative funding from companies.
While a global health crisis has driven billions of people to restructure personal lifestyles, businesses initially thought of new ways how they can adapt to these changed consumer habits. Consumer demands for certain goods and services have heavily fluctuated throughout the pandemic, but new systems such as online food ordering apps, AI-based customer service tools, and chatbots among others are now helping to better assist with increased demand.
These digital tools are also allowing executives to create analytical data on consumer needs, and how trends are changing. Using these digital tools, companies can now generate more accurate data to better understand changing needs and adapt accordingly.
Depending on the service or goods offered by each, the digital economy has completely transformed what the future of business will look like. While amid a global pandemic, acceleration of digital tools for businesses is now becoming more commonplace, as the need to adapt to an ever-changing economy and market are pushing companies to be more resilient, and modernize traditional business models. Technology is allowing companies to build a strategy that will see them lead consumers into the future of the digital economy.