Coronavirus is a global pandemic and that is the reality.
People are scared of the virus itself and many feverishly anticipate the loss of revenue due to the impending shut down of retail businesses.
To date, as I type this blog, coronavirus has led to more than 330 000 infections and 15,400 global deaths which prompted the mass lockdown of people for their own safety.
The commercial industry has been affected and will continue to be so. From items being out of stock to deliveries taking longer than usual, staff layoffs and forced unpaid leave, the impact escalates.
Businesses which have already embraced digital transformation and gel with it, will prove to be at a better position and more resilient to the revenue loss than the ones which have not made the move towards digitalisation.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) respects no national or international borders, no social bounds, no political systems, and no cultural values. It hits harder than we imagine. Ask Italy. It charges at the world without discriminating between superpower nations and poorer ones.
At the risk of sounding like a bad news headline, there will be many fatal consequences in the days to come far more severe than what we see at this moment in time. Not just to people but to the small business owners more especially than the huge corporations.
Facing the COVID-19 pandemic; it is not what happens that matters, but how we respond to it.
The latest economic data is an indication of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The worse may be yet to come, according to economists.
Coronavirus Is Shaking Up Business On A Massive Scale
While the exact economic consequences of the lockdown are still not clear, we can sense it that it is going to hit every industry very hard.
Due to concerns over coronavirus, the most important tech conferences were /will be cancelled, resulting in numerous missed partnership opportunities. Most notably, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which was set to take place on February 24-27 in Barcelona was cancelled. MWC is a cornerstone event in the connectivity industry, as it brings together the most important companies in the space to network, share innovations and forge new business partnerships. Several companies rescheduled the events they had planned for MWC, but the continued presence of the coronavirus led others to cancel them entirely.
Facebook cancelled its F8 developer conference and Global Marketing Summit; Google shifted its Google Cloud Next event to online only; and IBM likewise had to Livestream its developer’s conference, which last year hosted over 30,000 attendees.
Altogether, the cancellation of major tech events has incurred over $1 billion in direct economic losses, according to estimates from PredictHQ cited by Recode.
We are all witnessing the drastic measures being taken, and we know that this virus COVID-19 has changed the way that every industry has to operate. From schools to factories, almost every industry has gone virtual in a few weeks, if not days.
Both the public and private sectors are scumming to the spread of the Coronavirus to recover.
What can you do as a business owner in these trying times?
That’s what you should do….
Doing what you’ve always done is no longer an option.
With the advancement of Coronavirus threat, digital transformation is changing faster than ever before and more profoundly than anyone could have predicted. Source a reputable digital marketing firm that specialises in technical and technological advancement especially if you are a techno phobe.
And support local. Do your bit for your community. The SME businesses need your support as much as you need them too.
One such example locally is Unilakes Technologies Investments. They have been at the forefront of helping businesses getting digital. It has a banquet of products and services through which it caters to various industries to reduce their business loss and stay connected to their customers. It has already served the educational and hospitality sectors to stay ahead of the current situation.
The specialist digital transformation practice helps companies accelerate their journeys to digital excellence.
Another key aspect of choosing your digital marketer is to find out how they address the four vectors of change:
- Strategy – where should you be going with digital?
- People – what teams, talent and skills do you need to get there?
- Processes – how should you change the way you work?
- Technologies – what platforms, software and data strategy will serve you best?
As you can see, a trusted partnership is vital. So choose wisely. Don’t use the saving pennies and losing pounds mentality. Chat to your chosen marketer clearly. Everyone knows the impact of this on the wallet and people have become more flexible than ever. Places like Unilakes Technology Investments serve as consultants who will assist you.
Digital Transformation As An Alternative
Amazon.com Inc said on Monday that it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to deal with a surge in online orders, as many consumers have turned to the web to meet their needs during the coronavirus outbreak. Many items on the digital giant are out of stock and some deliveries are taking longer than usual.
In these times of home quarantine and lockdown, when businesses go for a toss and lose monthly revenue, moving your business online is the best solution. eCommerce and selling online has seen a surge in this time when governments have requested to stay home and avoid social interactions for some time.
Conference attendees do not have the same opportunities to network via live streaming as they do attending in-person events. It would be harder for marketers to casually share best practices over the live-streamed Facebook Global Marketing Summit, for instance, than it would be if the event actually took place. Though it is difficult to quantify the value of these chance encounters or informal network sessions, the effects will undoubtedly be felt throughout the impacted industries.
Technology And Remote Interaction
The growing need for remote interactions amid the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a need for 5G technology, potentially accelerating adoption in the long term.
5G’s lightning-fast speeds, near-instantaneous communications, and increased connection density make it primed for remote interactions, which has become top of mind for many organizations and enterprises as caution mounts over the spread of the virus. Two key areas—telehealth and teleconferencing—are becoming critical for enterprise operations amid the pandemic, and we think that increased dependence on these areas will help strengthen the appeal of 5G:
- TELEHEALTH: The technical superiority of the new standard empowers physicians to diagnose, treat and operate on patients without the need to be physically near them. We’ve already seen such use cases for 5G to combat coronavirus in China: In January, telecoms ZTE and China Telecom designed a 5G-powered system that enables remote consultations and diagnoses of the virus by connecting physicians at West China Hospital to 27 hospitals treating infected patients. Given the ability of 5G to expand the reach of expertise and services offered by hospitals in this time of increased need, we expect more hospitals will look to tap into 5G to take advantage of the benefits offered by the new standard.
- TELECONFERENCING: Many employers have increased their reliance on enterprise teleconferencing tools—such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Zoom—as their employees switch to remote work due to public health concerns. We expect that employers’ dependence on such tools during the coronavirus pandemic will strengthen the case for 5G connectivity in the home—and in the office as enterprises recognize the value that teleconferencing tools offer. That’s because a 5G connection will be able to provide real-time and uninterrupted communication that’s not possible with most wired connections today.
- e-LEARNING: Because of the threat of Coronavirus mass spread, we observed that schools were shut in the first week of March and since then no school is working here in the UAE. Most of the examinations were postponed initially and then canceled permanently. This drastic and sudden shutdown has led schools to go virtual. My kids are attending classes from home and their teachers are connecting using Microsoft Teams. According to Microsoft due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the second week of March; Microsoft Teams saw a 500 percent increase in usage of Teams meetings, calling and conferences and a 200 percent increase in Teams usage on mobile devices. Though this change is sudden, schools and offices have started to adopt it as an alternative. We don’t know for how long the lockdown will continue but if there is something that is going to persist and get better from here on it will be taking business and educational systems to the digital platform. Unilakes Technologies Investments has supported many organizations like COTHM Dubai (College Of Tourism And Hotel Management) to take its entire courses on hospitality management on digital platforms and all the students are connected via eCothm Learning Management System (LMS).
A Surge in eCommerce Store App Downloads
Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt have all been setting record download days for downloads of their mobile apps each day for the past three days. Yesterday, Sunday, March 15, 2020 was again a new record for each app.
We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries asking if food delivery is on the rise in the United States due to the spread of COVID-19. We very recently reported the market is actually cooling in this country. Before we check back in with food delivery, let’s look at grocery delivery.
Successful Business Leaders Will Need Digital Business Skills.
While new roles, such as a chief digital officer, will emerge as catalyst roles, all business leaders and CIOs will need to develop digital leadership and technology capabilities to define and execute a digital strategy. In 2020, digital leadership skills will be assumed for all business leaders and on a par with other executive skills such as finance.
Business leaders who do not respond to the challenge of digital business will find their own careers sidetracked. CIOs who do not respond to the leadership challenge may end up as custodians of infrastructure and back-end technology only. In 2020, the new digital business technology organization will coordinate the business-critical digital business architectures and back-office IT.
Digital technology drives improvement at the traditional business process and business model levels. However, the differentiating fight will be for “business moments” – the third level of digital reinvention created by the need to compete with increased speed and agility. Technologies such as the Internet of Things and 3D printing will enable new digital business processes, models and moments.
Organizations that excel in the digital industrial economy will be those that can become more technologically capable and sophisticated. Their digital stories will be written in technology.