We are living in exceedingly uncertain times. This much is certain. The COVID-19 pandemic, a global health emergency, has upended life as we know it in nearly every possible way. As a result, it has become increasingly apparent that business, as usual, is no longer the gold standard, and change is the only constant to everyday life. COVID-19 (i.e., the coronavirus disease) has unleashed an unprecedented level of transformation that is unfamiliar to our generation.
Industrial and economic activity is grinding to a halt as governments around the globe extend shutdowns due to its swift spread. As a result, many aspects of how we live, work, and play must be reimagined.
Given the nature of infectious disease transmission, and conventional wisdom that leads many to expect a COVID-19 vaccine is roughly 18 months out, (that in itself may be a wildly optimistic timeline) many are realizing there are few short-term answers.
Since normalcy, whatever that may look like, seems to be in our distant future, it begs the question: How can we preserve our economy and lessen the impact and aftermath of COVID-19 in the weeks and months ahead?
As consumer behavior shifts, digitalization rises
Perhaps the answer lies in technological progress. It has become increasingly evident that digital technologies have become a force to be reckoned with for quite some time, and this shift has never been more valid than it is right now.
As social distancing orders are gradually extended, the exceedingly prominent role of digital technologies grows more prominent.
So, how can digital technology preserve the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
Digital technology has a bright future amid a steep pandemic learning curve
First and foremost, digital technologies and subsequent consumer behavior shifts (for example, internet usage stats) are more or less aimed at making life more convenient.
The economy is under intense attack on multiple fronts, and the weight of social distancing regulations is ushering in a digital future. From remote working and online learning to e-commerce, blockchain, contactless payments, and more –– digital business models enable the economy to proceed forward, as best as it can, amid a steep pandemic learning curve.
Ultimately, a temporary shift in economic order will prove convenient and likely become permanent in many aspects.
Digital natives will call the shots
There’s no escaping the notion that digital technology can be more efficient during challenging times (when implemented correctly).
As the global health crisis ensues, we are actively and consistently (perhaps even subconsciously) rethinking life in terms of increased efficiency.
We know a few things to be self-evident concerning digital transformation. As McKinsey Global Institute suggests, “Large economic potential is linked to digitization—and much of it yet to be captured, digital natives are calling the shots, digital changes everything—even industry boundaries, and agile is the new way to compete.”
Digital technologies have been a driving economic force and will likely experience rapid acceleration in the days ahead as more people go online. In this respect, the best is yet to come.
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.
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