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By: Elías González Rogel / Professor of the Financial Management area at IPADE Business School in collaboration with Great Place to Work® México
- Online education.
- Health and wellness at home.
- Entertainment and culture.
- Logistics and supply chain.
What characteristics must business models have to meet the habit changes caused by COVID-19 ? What industries have been affected and what new business opportunities are emerging?
We have been confined for months and our habits have changed forever. In the way of working, consuming, buying, learning, relating and having fun. These changes are radical and, in most cases, they are not a direct consequence of the pandemic, but of the acceleration in the digital transformation that it has caused.
Accelerating digital transformation
The spiral of economic deterioration caused by the coronavirus is accompanied by the acceleration curve of digital transformation. The connectivity enabled by computers and mobile devices has made the reinvention of business models inevitable.
According to a global study by Twilio, a cloud communications platform, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in six years. In other words, the way in which we interact today is equivalent to what was expected for 2026. This is due to a cause over which we have no control.
How are business models changing?
With the support of digital technology, organizations must rethink their service model to move to the new schemes:
- from individual contact with your clients to multi-channel personal relationships (ie website, mobile app, chat, social networks, call center , etc.),
- from individual follow-up to requests for help to massive follow-up of the requirements of each person,
- from learning one by one to learning from each other.
- from managing market segments to communicating in real time with vibrant and growing communities,
- from offering help on a case-by-case basis to offering it continuously and permanently.
These guidelines will transform business models as we know them.
The specialist area in Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) of the consulting firm PwC assures that, to make it really worth leaving home and visiting a store, an automotive agency, a mechanical workshop, the cinema or a clinic, we will look for something that justify it . And he adds that, to generate and maintain a lasting relationship with their clients, organizations that attended exclusively in person must generate an individual or collective experience that cannot be achieved at home.
New business opportunities
Sources specialized in innovation and business model analysis, such as the International Institute on Innovation and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, agree on the existence of the following business opportunities:
1. Online education : Universities, schools and organizations around the world have had to decide whether to move their training to online systems or cancel classes.
There are opportunities related to the creation of multimedia content, workshops and specialized sessions. The creation and maintenance of technology platforms and businesses with a faculty capable of serving students remotely.
2. Health and well-being at home: Organizations related to the exercise and well-being of people offer classes online via streaming for their users. In this sector there is space for initiatives related to food and personalized diets, training and monitoring of athletes and online sale of food supplements. Most will need someone to help them implement their online strategy.
3. Entertainment and culture: museums, cinemas, theaters, libraries, academies and theme parks have had to abide by the prohibition of concentrating crowds of people. Therefore, there will be opportunities for those who help them digitize content and facilitate total immersion in remote events.
4. Logistics and supply chain: dependence on centralizing production in China has highlighted the risk that this entails. There is a new need for better distributed and coordinated sourcing across multiple geographies and suppliers that ensures the benefits of economies of scale. There are opportunities for those who can provide global platforms that reliably link buyers and suppliers.
5. 3D Printing: This industry will also find opportunities in the wake of the challenges created by this pandemic. By printing tools, sanitary objects, articles of personal use, such as oxygen masks or adaptations to press buttons.
The pandemic has had tragic consequences for millions of individuals around the world. However, the crisis has also caused a tremendous acceleration in the digital transformation of the global economy and, with it, the creation of business opportunities for those who decide to take them.