How Business and Technology are Affected by Pandemic-induced Trends

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By now, it is no longer news when we hear that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will forever change the way we do business. According to Forrester (NASDAQ: FORR), there will be five major shifts that business and technology will make because of the global impact of COVID-19.

On top of the updated pandemic management protocols (PMPs) and healthcare practices, Forrester outlines the short, medium, and long-term effects of these pandemic-induced trends in business and tech.

Regardless of the type of product or services you’re offering, whether you run a company of roof installers or own a drug store, the following will determine the way you do business from here on.

Customer expectations are influenced by safety and convenience.

In business, customer experience is still one of the top factors each establishment and company should consider.

Short-term: Customers’ dependence on digital solutions vary by region. For instance, 60% of Chinese adults are transitioning to online shopping while 35% of US and UK adults still prefer in-store shopping.

Medium-term: Lack of in-person interaction and financial strain will influence the way a person spends.

Long-term: Consumers will gravitate to brands that offer them the most control over their purchase and experience.

Businesses creating hybrid experiences by taking advantage of digital engagements.

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Short-term: As the COVID-19 protocols are enforced, value-based customers will continue to question brands’ ethics based on how customer experience is compromised. That being said, a new blend of emotion and insights will be incorporated into business practices.

Medium-term: Because of how engagement will be limited, the focus of businesses will now be shifted to overall outcomes and no longer just products.

Long-term: Trust and identity will be the new currency as digital becomes the basic commodity. Businesses will focus on convincing customers to buy into the sharing of more personal data (biometric or behavioral) so that their needs are anticipated and met.

Governments and firms utilizing what was once deemed impossible in the workplace.

Short-term: Companies and firms will build engaged workforces by combining humans and technology (automation or artificial intelligence).

Medium-term: Firms will shed more than one-fourth of their office-spaces in favor of remote working arrangements.

Long-term: As work continues to get redistributed, more and more office spaces will be emptied and repurposed.

Swift retirement of technical debts by smart firms to utilize the tech disruption wave.

Short-term: Tech and business leaders will acquire powerful digital operating platforms (DOPs) and will overhaul and update business models by retiring technical debts.

Medium-term: Firms will restructure processes, such as procurement, with the use of distributed ledger technology or blockchain to increase supply chain transparency.

Long-term: Automation, electrification, and other similar innovations will change the way we go about our lives and our business.

Resiliency in business as an edge over the competition.

Short-term: Organizations will continue to invest in business continuity capabilities to still allow them to make good on their vision and brand promises.

Medium-term: The new overall business supply chain strategy and agenda will now include sustainability, climate risk, and corporate social responsibility.

Long-term: Investments in enterprise risk management capabilities will become commonplace to allow for real-time evaluation and response.

According to Forrester VP and Group Director Stephanie Balaouras, the way we do business has been fundamentally changed and greatly affected by the pandemic. As the days go by, business leaders will continue to adapt to the new normal by embracing new ways to engage customers.

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