Authored by Chaitanya Gogineni
Amidst the socio-economic disruption caused by COVID-19, technology will play a vital role in reshaping consumer, business and even government behavior. This technology-powered transformation will result in new business models designed for an increasingly ‘contact-less’ society.
This profound shift is set to be extremely challenging, especially as it is at odds with centuries of human evolution into a globally connected collective.
An optimistic future
As history has shown, every crisis presents an opportunity to emerge stronger. A whole range of technologies can now power an exciting new set of capabilities. These technological innovations can be distilled into three key themes to help identify future opportunities.
Consumerism - the future of customer engagement
Technology has turbo-charged customer management capabilities resulting in the creation of entirely new business models across multiple areas such as e-commerce, ridesharing, over-the-top (OTT) media, fintech, ed-tech and hospitality. The pandemic is expected to give a fillip to such technologies.
Industrialization – the future of work
Apart from a significant shift in consumer preferences, businesses are also battling multiple challenges due to fewer employees physically available at workplaces, social distancing, sanitization requirements, and supply chain vulnerabilities. Automation is, therefore, likely to see accelerated adoption.
Governance – the future of the welfare
The crisis has overwhelmed governments across geographies, especially with respect to public safety and healthcare systems. This has led to a growing interest in innovative technologies that can help governments manage the needs of pandemics. These technologies can transform a range of government activities across education, benefits transfer, public safety and healthcare by improving access while controlling costs.
AI has emerged as our most potent weapon against this pandemic.
The future is typically defined not by incremental innovation but by tough decisions taken during a time of crisis.
An opportune moment
Technology-powered business models have demonstrated superior performance and a sustainable competitive advantage. It is time for companies to develop a vision for the future with technology and digital capabilities at the heart of their competitive strategy.
This would require careful planning as there are serious long-term consequences to getting it wrong. Furthermore, digital transformation needs to be accelerated through agile techniques. The time to act is now.
Chaitanya Gogineni is Partner, Management Consulting—Technology, Media and Telecom, KPMG in India. Views are personal
First Published: IST