In a situation like this, when an external force upsets the status quo, you have no reason not to go for leveraging the new. It is almost like starting afresh
We have never experienced a situation like this in our lifetime. COVID-19 has made all our previous planning and risk management look grossly inadequate.
The world economy is going through testing times. We have seen each of the normal economic slowdowns changing business models so much. You don’t have to be a genius to tell that business scenario post-COVID will have completely new dynamics—in a way we have probably never imagined before.
One of the barriers against big change is the fear of cannibalization of the existing dynamics; few established businesses want to upset the applecart, despite realizing fully well about the need to go for the new. In a situation like this, when an external force upsets the status quo, you have no reason not to go for leveraging the new. It is almost like starting afresh.
The cover story this time deals with the question of what could happen. I said deal with, because it does not answer that question. I have written it and I have no hesitation in saying that I don’t have a clue—even after going through dozens of reports and forecasts. All they do is to stretch the existing dynamics by adding adjectives. Few try—let alone succeed—in reconstructing the business scenario. We have added a few pointers to what could happen in some areas. I will not hesitate to admit, they are grossly inadequate.
But the bigger point is the agreement that it will be a complete change. And new rules will be written. When something like that happens, in theory, people start by taking into account what is available. When the last such re-planning happened in a big way, maybe after 2000-01 crash, or 2008 slowdown (though the magnitude of crisis was nowhere near what is there today), technology had still not established itself as a big business enabler. It was a supporting lever, at best.
Today, that has most definitely changed. Also, the way tech fraternity has proven itself by responding to the new challenges post-COVID has created a renewed confidence in them. All talks of business guys driving technology has vanished from the discourse.
It is your chance to grab the opportunity created. And lead the formulation of new business rules. For that, do not get sidetracked by the immediate requirements, which you will still have to do. Keep an eye on the long-term changes.