The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed thousands of lives and put a halt to many activities, leaving a remarkable dent in the economy. Businesses are feeling the heat to evolve and survive during this time of uncertainty.
But COVID-19 is not the only crisis that the world has faced. Innovation is born from adversity and there is no doubt that the current situation will help push innovation to greater heights. Read on to see how past crises have led to new discoveries, and what we can expect at the end of this challenging global crisis.
The Great Plague is recorded to be one of the most devastating pandemics in the history of mankind, eliminating an estimated 30%-50% of Europe’s population. This unfortunate event resulted in higher working standards within society - with the increasing number of deaths, human labour became more scarce and therefore, more valued. Wages also increased, which allowed the income disparity to equalise and employers had to create better work environments in order to retain workers.
Forbes also highlights the effect of the plague on society then - contemporary industrial innovations such as clocks and hourglasses were made for time-keeping to keep track of hours worked. Modern medicine was also born, as well as automation and tools that we use today.
SARS broke out in 2002. Causing much chaos and uncertainty, it brought our economy to a standstill and cost the global economy about $40 billion. The disease itself affected over 8,000 globally, claiming hundreds of lives. This crisis gave rise to a need for people to stay connected with others while in the comfort of their own homes - and thus, e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba Group were born.
Today, Alibaba is one of the most successful e-commerce platforms in the world. Besides online shopping, other online service technologies such as telecommuting apps and services have also been borne out of this need to help facilitate work from home practices.
Today’s landscape is totally different. The novel coronavirus has brought about the practice of isolation. The effects are conspicuous - countries going on lockdown, companies enforcing work from home practices, and measures such as quarantine and stay home notice orders all point to an isolation economy.
What will come out of this?
Healthcare services will undeniably see a marked change and improvement as we learn more about the novel coronavirus and how to be better prepared for future bio-crises.
E-commerce will definitely continue to be on the rise as people demand for goods from the comfort of their homes. For instance, online grocery delivery service, RedMart, saw a spike of over 300% in Singapore. E27 draws a parallel between SARS and COVID-19, and foresees that our economy will encourage the rapid movement from traditional store-based selling to online retailing.
As remote working becomes the new norms of things, businesses can expect a shift towards digitalisation across industries. For Singapore, companies (particularly SMEs) can find support from new initiatives aimed at boosting digital transformation in light of COVID-19, as announced Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat during the Resilience Budget speech. Companies can utilise schemes such as the SMEs Go Digital Programme to boost their internal processes with a wider range of digital solutions.
But a complete digital transformation does not happen overnight - from document management to cybersecurity, a trusted business partner makes all the difference in a seamless digital transition for any company.
With our expertise in digital infrastructure, automation and cybersecurity, Canon ONE Solution (CONES) aims to simplify business complexities and challenges especially during these challenging times. Reach out to us here to find out how CONES can streamline processes through every stage of your business to enable continuous productivity, and also help you emerge stronger from this crisis.
From these lessons, this period of hardship will only spur our businesses to be more resilient and prepared for future challenges that may come our way. Here’s to looking beyond the adversity and building up a better future!
Take care, stay safe and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more tips and insights!