In terms of a generational shift, the Covid-19 crisis may well prove to be the biggest fundamental change since World War 2. While the number of deaths could still hopefully be far far less that what was initially projected, the way the world has reacted is unprecedented. Many industries will be transformed beyond recognition and the underlying technologies will also see a sea change. A look at some of them…
1. Netflix beats Hollywood.
Hollywood was seeing lowering ticket sales, a decline in creativity with the same superhero type formula churned day in and day out and day out and an over-dependence on the Chinese box office. Star Wars IX barely crossed $1 billion and a less discussed thing is that they probably wold have been gunning for $3 billion had they got everything right. For Hollywood, Covid-19 could not have come for a worse time. In a corporate day and age where even a bad quarter can spell doom, many cinema halls in the world will remain shut for the entirety of 2020. Even in 2021 it is anyone’s guess whether the appetite for large crowds. The shift from the hall to the drawing room will be accelerated. The onward march of OTT led by Netflix continues. In 2020, we will have record new connections and those people will be hooked for life and the global bandwidth is being upgraded thanks to WFH.
2. Collaboration beats foreign travel.
It was sci-fi writer Arthur C Clarke who said that the better personal communication got, the lesser there was a need for personal transportation. Taking it to its logical end, if personal communication reaches perfection, then there’s no need for transportation. Covid-19 could prove worse for the airline industry than 9/11. Some airlines will go bankrupt as planes will be parked leading to losses and maintenance issues. Will this industry ever be the same 2021 onward? Meanwhile collaboration tools get the greatest fillip in 2021 and 3D tools may soon replace the need the need to be in the same room.
3. Online education beats the Ivy League.
Online courses and virtual classrooms were already gaining traction and they too have been sped up. IIT Kanpur is offering free online Python courses. Harvard is offering many of its courses for free. This even as student debt in the US crossed US$ 1 trillion with millions of defaulters. The offline industry is bursting at its seams. Courses. Training. Exams. Tests. Interviews. Everything can be done online. From 2020 in the world of education, more and more will be done online.
4. The Robotic Quartet beats manual labour.
You could now have robots as receptionists of all hospitals, large offices and even at the security check of airport entrances. They could be used in factories and hazardous areas in large numbers. Drones can do almost anything nowadays from surveillance to delivery to even military applications. Driverless cars mean that you can be alone in a taxi without worrying about being in contact with anyone. Robotic Process Automation will continue replacing repetitive manual tasks. The quartet of robotics, drones, RPA and driverless cars will take away many human tasks. Regulation and legislation was the only thing holding it back now.
5. MedTech beats OldMed.
Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. Big Data analytics. Predictive analytics. Robotic surgery. The applications of technology are many in the medical industry and like the Robotic Quartet, regulation and legislation is the only thing holding things back. But the system was caught off guard and an upgrade will be demanded and will happen. Wearable IoTs will get even more sophisticated and medical startups will mushroom.
6. AR-VR-MR beats real world experiences.
Augmented Reality. Virtual Reality. Mixed Reality. It powers the gaming and film industries. It can compete with the tourism industry. It can enhance and complete online education. It’s great for training. It’s great for communication. It’s a great escape. It could even give an environment for driverless cars. The applications are endless and they will all be used from now on.
7. IT continues beating everyone else.
The desktop age. The Internet age. The laptop age. The smartphone age. The post-Covid-19 age. It doesn’t matter what happens. We continue to be more and more dependent on technology and the IT industry continues with its onward march of taking over every industry in the world.