Role of IT and upcoming trends on Post Covid

Hemal Gathani, Co-founder, ZEUX | Thursday, 19 November 2020, 14:05 IST

While technology had become a way of life, the full potential of digitisation was not harnessed by all companies in the pre-Covid era. Slower growth was experienced by most of such companies on the digital channels for various reasons - not a strategic priority, not enough budgets or high inertia for customers to move to the online medium.

In this age of new normal, corporations to individuals are compelled to adapt to new technologies and acknowledge it as a way of life. According to a Nielsen report, every day, 3.4 billion people approximately connect to the internet and spend, on average, six-and-a-half hours online. India ranks second in the world in terms of the number of people with internet access, with over 560 million internet users in 2019 alone.

Here are the top technology trends that will mould our post-Covid world.

1) E-learning: In this new world of social distancing, most academic institutions have gone online and are looking to make it a primary way of imparting education. As stated by the World Economic Forum states that there has been a surge in the last three months with the distinctive rise of e-learning. No longer will the quality of education be restricted or hampered in any form because of the location. There are a plethora of Edutech companies that offer specific and quality learning. Schools will continue to impart education, but learning will increase many folds because of lack of boundaries.

2) Virtual Meetings: This pandemic where maintaining social distancing is such a paramount requisite, people look at alternative ways to connect, communicate, and collaborate. Video calls, collaboration tools, and communication channels will continue to increase and improve in the post-Covid world. Most popular of all the applications, Zoom jumped from 10 million daily meeting participants in December to more than 200 million in March.

3) Digital Banking and Payments: The banking and payments industry experienced tremendous growth post demonetization initially and slowed down a bit after a while. The pandemic has re-inculcated the demand for cashless payments owing to safety measures and will now regain growth and increase the adoption across all age groups including the elderly population where the adoption rate was lesser than the millennials.

According to a recent survey among Indians on the impact of the coronavirus and its consequent lockdown, 33 said they used digital payments more than before, while 9%made online payments exclusively (Source: Statista). The digital payments industry in India is expected to touch $500 billion, as stated in the ‘Digital Payments 2020’ report released by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

4) Entertainment: OTT platforms are having their moment in the sun. With time at hand and health concerns the top priority, the OTT industry experienced a surge in traffic. The growth rate will settle down, but the OTT industry will continue to experience a faster growth rate than the pre-COVID world. OTT players like Amazon Prime and Netflix witnessed 67% and 65% surge in subscriptions, respectively. Netflix itself reached 182.9 million from January to March according to their official statement.

5) User Experience: The current wave of digitization, everyone in the industry looking to increase technology adoption and pushing the adoption of digital channels, there will be a strong need to differentiate. UI or UX design has gained importance as the focus has shifted to user experience in the recent times of pandemic (Source: Moneycontrol). Providing best in class user experience will become a way for companies to differentiate.

6) Ecommerce: While it is given that eCommerce will become the primary mode of shopping, it will be important to adapt by making it relevant in this changing environment. Companies will need to rethink how they sell online. Users are now looking for larger packs, combos and safer delivery options to minimize their risk of getting infected via delivery partners. According to a recent study by Neilsen online grocery shopping penetration could increase by a further 20% to 87% in the next two years.

7) Healthcare and Wellness: In the period of lockdown, with restricted or no access to gyms, pools, and spas, the wellness industry now has to reimagine how they can continue serving their customers online. Providing virtual services such as online tutorials, DIY kits, virtual counselling will be the new norm.

Hospitals and clinics will need to encourage usage of online channels to diagnose and prescribe medicines and treatments to ensure the safety of their own and their patients. Apps like CureFit claims that as many as two lakh people are attending its live classes every day on the app (Source: Financial Express)

For the companies to succeed in this post-Covid world, it will be extremely important for them to prioritize the initiatives that the customer wants and needs. Those who will do this well will succeed.

About the Author: Hemal Gathani, Co-founder

A first-generation entrepreneur, Hemal commands 15+ years of experience in managing teams and driving measurable results in the UX industry for marquee clients. Hemal has led over 100 projects – from inception to delivery -- and architected several large UX transformation programs including the world’s first BOT of a UX operation for a large global telecom. Having a passion to learn, unlearn and relearn – Hemal has also mentored large UX teams comprising analysts, researchers, and designers across regions. He also played a key role in establishing UX skill set in India by expanding UX Training and Certification Program across major cities in India. There are now over 5000 certified usability professionals in India. Hemal is a Mechanical Engineer and went on to earn his Master’s degree in Science from the University of South Florida.