It is undeniable that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and will have a significant impact on our everyday lives. Every individual, organization and sector is already feeling the consequences of the pandemic, with some being affected more than others.
As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, some industries are set to undergo drastic transformations due to a combination of the changed landscape, consumer needs and new technologies. Here, we explore some of the most significant changes that are set to occur in the near future.
The impact of COVID-19 has been felt acutely in the medical and healthcare industries. Health professionals are leading the charge to combat the virus, but they are facing significant challenges, including inadequate resources and an ever-present danger of catching the virus themselves.
It is likely that a computerized vetting system that employs artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate people and ascertain who requires direct medical treatment may become more prevalent following the pandemic due to the increased pressure on health services. Nonetheless, for some patients, it may be possible to consult with their doctor via online video calls.
The government is considering increasing the number of screenings for the flu and other infectious illnesses, as well as providing more specialist services and facilities to help reduce the spread of the virus. Additionally, efforts are being made to improve the quality of care provided remotely. These initiatives are aimed at reducing the number of people coming into contact with the virus.
The sudden transition of K-12 and higher education institutions to online learning, without the necessary preparation from both students and faculty, led to outcomes which were far from ideal. Whilst online learning has the potential to be highly beneficial, this rushed move does not demonstrate its full potential.
As the new academic year approaches, educational institutions are exploring a range of options to ensure they are adequately prepared to respond to the current situation. In particular, many are considering hybrid learning approaches, which allow students to benefit from both in-person and online instruction. Additionally, there are those who wish to pursue their entire education through digital means.
When thinking about the future of education after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the use of e-learning will be essential. To keep students engaged in their digital classes, teachers will have to do more than just give talks over Zoom. To achieve this, they may take advantage of video sharing, augmented reality (AR) to offer students exclusive experiences, and other related technologies. As such, there should be a greater focus on teaching educators how to employ various platforms and devise classes that run smoothly online.
Protection Against Cyberattacks
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, it has been accompanied by a rise in cybercrime. Criminals have utilized the internet for a long time to carry out malicious activities such as malware attacks, phishing scams, and other forms of infiltration. It is therefore imperative for companies to take further steps to ensure the security of their staff and the general public. Improved security measures can help to protect against these cybercrimes and ensure the safety of everyone.
In the future, businesses will need to make greater investments in cybersecurity. To ensure that their systems remain secure, they must adopt a range of measures, some of which are already in use, but on a larger scale. Examples of such measures include providing staff with security awareness training, using virtual private networks (VPNs) more widely, and carrying out rigorous, ongoing assessments of all security measures. In order to stay ahead of the game, businesses must embrace these measures as soon as possible.
Targeted attacks on enterprise systems require additional security measures. It may be necessary to bring in specialist professionals to carry out a detailed review of the systems and identify any potential vulnerabilities. Some companies may decide to recruit “ethical hackers” or outsource their cybersecurity in order to discover the best solutions.
Service and Retail Sectors
The global pandemic has had a devastating impact on the hospitality and retail industries, with many businesses having to close and sadly, some never reopening. In light of these challenging circumstances, companies must come up with innovative methods of service delivery to ensure the safety of their customers. Over the course of the pandemic, many retailers have managed to stay afloat by offering doorstep or curbside collection for a wide range of products, including clothing, books and food.
In light of recent events, many companies have been re-opening their brick-and-mortar stores, which has led to a reconsideration of their business strategies. This is due to the fact that some cities have imposed ordinances that limit the number of people who can be served at one time in restaurants and bars, which can make it difficult for these businesses to operate at full capacity. To mitigate this, certain businesses have implemented contactless ordering systems, wherein customers can scan a QR barcode to view the menu and place their order without any direct contact.
In the foreseeable future, it is likely that shops will continue to offer curbside pickup as an option for customers. Additionally, there is a possibility that order-placing apps may become more prominent, as customers can place orders from a distance and then collect their purchases with minimal contact with other people. Moreover, it is anticipated that the number of purchases made over the internet will increase.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, the manufacturing sector has experienced contrasting fortunes. Manufacturers of paper products such as toilet paper, paper towels, sanitary napkins and cleaning supplies have seen a significant rise in demand, resulting in a corresponding increase in production. This has created an excess of supply, leading many manufacturers to consider outsourcing some of their support functions.
In order to tackle this issue, factories are combining digital and physical systems. The Internet of Things (IoT) has many potential advantages for businesses, such as optimized logistics management and automated control of environmental conditions, like temperature. Furthermore, organizations will face the extra challenge of safeguarding their personnel from the Coronavirus, which is likely to result in a greater dependence on automation.
Getting Out of Town
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, travel has been significantly impacted. Travelers have been very apprehensive due to the risk of being in close proximity with other people, and in addition, several countries, including the United States, have introduced bans on international travel.
In order to ensure the safety of their passengers, airlines, railroads, and other transportation companies will be taking stringent measures. These will include, but not be limited to, taking the temperature of passengers prior to boarding and implementing a policy of mandatory face coverings for the duration of the journey.
Many businesses will probably introduce rewards program, discounts, promotions, and more to woo consumers back.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been far-reaching and have had a particularly severe impact on a number of sectors. Going forward, it is likely that there will be significant changes required in the months and years ahead. It is highly unlikely that the world will be able to return to the ways of doing things that were commonplace pre-pandemic, as we are all having to adapt to a massive shift in our everyday lives. Each and every professional in the relevant sectors must now face the challenges posed by the virus.
While a new phase brings challenges, it also brings possibilities. It remains to be seen how well corporations will use them.