As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘the new world has become something of a buzz phrase and even cliché.
But what exactly does ‘the new world’ look like? For the foreseeable future, it does of course mean social distancing, concerns over health and fears of a second wave and a fragile economy.
The decline of high street retail has accelerated, the hospitality and entertainment industries have been hammered and sadly many businesses will never open their doors again. But as always, radical change can also bring new opportunities.
Technology industries have of course been massive winners in 2020. Broadband providers have reported traffic surges of between 30% and 50%. The use of social media platforms, YouTube and streaming entertainment services have spiked.
Online retailers have struggled to meet demand and grow their delivery networks fast enough. If you weren’t doing a weekly supermarket shop online before the pandemic there’s a very good chance you are now.
Some food retailers have seen a 45% increase in orders and the majority of customers have continued to use these services even after lockdown has eased.
The world of work is unlikely to look the same again for the next five years, if ever.
Many companies have adapted at an incredible rate as contingency and disaster recovery plans were given their ultimate test. Offices, banks and call centres switched to remote working almost overnight.
Video conferencing tools that have been seen as something of a novelty for the past decade suddenly become the lifeline for business meetings and a way to deal with customers.
Commercial drone operators, video production companies and professional photographers can all benefit from this disruption.
The business opportunities may not be immediately apparent, and things are still evolving, but several factors are coming together post-pandemic that make this an exciting time. For example, video for ‘virtual’ meetings and visits has become the norm.
Loss Adjusters, surveyors and building contractors are using video streaming to remotely view properties rather than to visit. Sports and live events are being live-streamed to fans in their own homes.
There is increased demand for online content including images and video footage. Any technology that can reduce the need to travel, physically be somewhere or mix with other people is coming is in high demand.
Many industry leaders are predicting the end of globalisation, or certainly for countries to build their own resilience in a world with less travel. Global supply chains are now more fragile, and being able to produce goods in local markets has a strong appeal.
This has implications for manufacturing, construction, transport networks, agriculture and Government. Efficiency is key and industries that have resisted disruptive technology like drones will now have to embrace it.