As countries around the world start to think about what “work” looks like post COVID-19 pandemic, we look at what this means for businesses. While every industry and business is different, there are several commonalities that present themselves to organisations of all sizes.
The question to ask is: what are some of the major opportunities and shifts that will dominate the business landscape post pandemic and can organizations rise to take advantage of these evolving market dynamics?
1. The time to reinvent and innovate is now
In these technology-defined days, it is easy to consider innovation as only related to technology. A common misnomer is that innovation must be undertaken only when there are significant and disruptive trends that affect the success of an organization’s ability to stay relevant. Reinvention of processes and effectively anything that improves upon a previously-accepted way of doing something are also innovation. This is the time where a business can reinvent to better support customers, optimise for a digital future and become more agile in their operations. Change is always a big challenge, and more so an organisations’ preparedness and readiness to transform.
- 1 Ethics should guide use of artificial intelligence
- 2 Why ethics should guide artificial intelligence use
- 3 Youth hold the key to growth of information technology in Africa
- 4 Intelligent connected machines to be a major part of life by 2030
2. Reskilling is key to long-term success
The forward-looking and future-ready organisation is every stakeholder’s dream and employees form a critical part of driving business success. Businesses must re-evaluate their workforce skills and invest in training that helps drive collaboration and develop cohesive ecosystems of technologies, services and products that are scalable and can connect with changing customer demands.
Many people also believe that emerging technologies such as AI, the IoT, blockchain and more will replace jobs. However, new roles will emerge that did not previously exist such as multi-cloud operators, data engineers, enterprise architects and infrastructure security specialists to name a few. In fact, at least 133 million new roles may be generated globally by 2022 as a result of the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms, according to the World Economic Forum. While individuals, must develop the required skills to keep pace with changing technology, organisations too must encourage the skills development internally and within academia, by providing the required learning solutions.
3. Embracing emerging technologies and their potential cannot be ignored
One of the many things that this pandemic has taught us is that transformation driven by technology, is happening at many different layers across the IT stack. As new technologies continue to emerge, such as predictive analytics, extended reality, various forms of AI and more, organisations need to be able to navigate disruptive digital environments to optimize their business for a digital future and minimize the risk of digital disruption by competitors.
While we have worked and lived alongside machines for centuries, by 2030, these human-machine partnerships will become deeper, richer and more immersive than ever before, helping us surpass our own limitations. In a research by Dell Technologies and the Institute for the Future, respondents were unanimous in their organisation’s necessity to transform. However, many are not moving fast enough and going deep enough to operate as a successful digital business. The research showed that only 27 per cent have ingrained digital in all they do, 57 per cent of businesses are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, and 93 per cent are battling some form of barrier to becoming a successful digital business in 2030 and beyond.
With emerging technologies reshaping our lives and entire industries as we move toward 2030, it is imperative for business leaders to have a clear understanding of their existing technology environment while mapping it back to their overall business strategy.
4. Public-private sector partnerships will rise to the challenge
Business leaders will work closely with national and local governments to address evolving situations on how systems should change post the pandemic. This is especially critical with regard to changing regulatory policies that could impact the operational and financial success of a business. We are already witnessing the birth of several initiatives, between the private and public sectors in industries such as healthcare institutions providing free training to government healthcare workers or governments working with academic and technology companies to improve online education or financial institutions that have worked with local governments to announce financial relief measures - and more. By collaborating in new and improved ways, we are already bringing to fruition the next wave of human led progress.
5. An organisation’s technology foundation will define their success and relevance
In this new era, every business is a technology business, with digital ingrained in their DNA. It is imperative that organisations invest in a holistic and strategic approach to respond to the pace of disruption. This investment calls for the convergence of technologies, to connect, collaborate, and ultimately create new services and experiences that will ultimately help weather disruption. Organisations need to take steps to modernise infrastructure, inspire employees and deploy the right technologies that will lay the groundwork for the digital future and the next wave of technology-led human progress.
In this time of unprecedented change, there is a very real element of societal transformation that we can expect, with more direct impact on how we live and work. But adapting to this new normal requires a collaborative effort which calls for unity between the C-suite, IT departments and government leaders. The question is: are we ready to be bold and take a long-term view, with the aim of driving progress for a healthy, economic future?