Leadership Strategy

Three Drivers, Or A New View Of Technology After Covid-19


With the news of a possible set of Covid-19 vaccine possibilities, it has to be time to genuinely try and stretch ideas about a post-Covid-19 world and what it might look like. To do this on a colossal scale outside a set of one microscopic view is far past me or the space this column allows for, so I will pick the technology market as an illustrator of the five business models I believe will become dominant components in the post-Covid-19 pandemic world.  

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Think of the three patterns Covid-19 has revealed as being vital compass points for the new post-Covid-19 world:

Virtual moments and physical moments collide forever.

Ideas like telehealth, virtual delivery of products (look at the market estimated value for Door Dash), virtual team meetings and associated tasks, and purchasing cars online are the new future. In a recent interview, I did with the CMO of Cadillac, Deborah Wahl (not yet released for Forbes Futures in Focus podcast). She talked about 70%+ of shopping for Cadillacs were happening over zoom with the representative. A car purchase is one of the most expensive decisions any household will make. 

Think about how viewing homes, the most expensive decision we all make, is being done in this higher converged world. 

This shifts how companies think about managing all interactions and the associated technologies needed to converge physical and virtual moments into one decision. Merging data sets, living feeds of telemetry, and spending data. The applications of data become exponentially more valuable when worlds collide.

Online everything rips up the old book as we change so fast. Lean into dynamic knowledge

I am not sure brand loyalty has gone up or down in the Covid-19 world. We know that our desire to be curious about choices has risen a lot as we spend way online, look at Forbes, and the number of article views people now get. As we go heavily online, the ability to copy features and online experiences by competitors means that the layers that once acted as a defense can be stripped away very fast. Imagine having a Tiffany experience online at a major store’s online site. They might send you a Grub Hub gift card for spending time with them or get a customer to answer live questions in a community board for you or show you pictures of them wearing the rings you looked at on Instagram. 

The companies that win here are aggregating data are learning how to personalize in ways most humans used to do in person. These businesses will live on the cloud, automate knowledge processes as much as possible and see results with AI far faster than ever before as it is done in real-time. The need to integrate how that knowledge is developed, deployed, operated, and enhanced over time is how digital transformation moves to the core of a company and not just at the edges.

Man plus Machine plus Code. The sky is infinite with this.

System shocks force more in-depth discussions than we have been prone to have before. Even if the areas like the environment, healthcare, fair economic opportunity have been well-trod subjects. Being virtual from each other has forced us to really examine how we get things done in new ways. Increasing we really do not care how things are done or delivered anymore. We just want it to happen. Man, machine, code will become equal partners in this process. Think about how much customer service is done by software now. Ponder how powerful machines are in doing work we once left to man, from mining to robotic surgeries done across the world. We have learned to trust that the outcome’s power is better when we use any one or three of these components in their creation. Man, machine, and or code will rule the post-Covid-19 world, so getting them to work together in pairs matters. My recent podcast with Srini Kalapala, Verizon’s Infrastructure lead for Forbes, highlighted the sensor economy by 2030. Yes, sensors will be an integrated part of the global workforce by 2030.  

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This pandemic has forced that shocking moment to say what or who does the work does not matter. We want the job done. Like Srini, we recognize that the skies the limit if we add machines, code, and man together. Think about 1,000 Tesla companies in that world and not just one.

The way we think about business challenges will be different because of Covid-19. Some of the ideas, cloud, cyber-secure, AI, automation with machines, and software’s inherent power to deliver are not new. The way they will be seen and mixed with other components will be. That’s why I will look at four technology business models that will thrive with this post-Covid-19 world.

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Model One: Cloud everything changes how we think about data, work, management go far beyond the backbone’s idea to heart, head, and maybe even soul.

Model Two: Cybersecurity needs to be in the background in everything we do but actually help change our increasingly data-based behaviors to protect us.

Model Three: Adaptability is the new strategy for technology, and we no longer live or even think about the old 80% being invested in legacy models.

Model Four: Telemetry is everything as we move to mass personalization of every element. It just has to be secure, so companies need to sell in a super transparent way that they can be trusted.



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