Depending on who you ask, COVID-19 is entering its endemic phase. But what isn’t up for debate is the impact that the pandemic had on digital trends. In a moment of perfectly aligned technology demand and supply, the moment was right for an advance that allowed businesses to remain productive.
Here are four digital trends that, while initiated during COVID-19, are looking anything but temporary:
Digital Transformation: Businesses were already pushing their digital transformation plans forward before the pandemic arrived, but the acceleration in order to continue productivity was notable after March 2020. Twilio, a cloud communications platform based in the UK, says that the pandemic sped digital transformation initiatives by 5.3 years.
Remote and Hybrid Work: Even while candidates favored employers that celebrated work/life balance, many companies remained skeptical that work-from-anywhere could ever be possible on a broad scale. But more than two years after the beginning of the pandemic, companies are embracing a long-term plan that includes remote and hybrid work environments. Employers were pleased to see that not only could they trust employees to complete tasks, but in some cases productivity increased with the removal of a commute and office distractions.
Findings from the 2020 Future Workforce Pulse Report by Upwork show that 22% of workers will be logging in at home by 2025, an increase of 87% from pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, a survey of 2,000 Americans by PwC found that among those working remotely, more than one-third would quit their jobs if required to report to the office. An additional 39% said they would be willing to take a pay cut rather than return to a cubicle.
The Cloud: In order to equip all of that digital transformation to keep remote work pushing forward, companies significantly increased investments in cloud technology. Cloud solutions have the unique advantage of allowing employees to enjoy a consistent work experience, no matter where they work. Beyond software, cloud approaches to networking and infrastructure equipped companies with better performance and security to ensure high levels of productivity and collaboration for team members.
Virtual Services: Companies were forced to adapt touch-free services in order to remain competitive during the pandemic. Companies that adopted curbside pickup and options to buy online but pick up in-store found that consumers were responsive and appreciated the convenience, even beyond safety concerns.
A poll conducted by MasterCard found that four out of five consumers are utilizing some kind of contactless payment option. Consumers will continue to demand these options out of convenience to avoid problems like having to wait in a long in-store line.
Everyone had hoped that “two weeks to flatten the curve” would be the extent of changes during the pandemic, but it turns out that some of the digital trends that developed over the pandemic held significant benefits and advantages.
At Safari Solutions, we examine the interaction of technology with your business as a whole, leveraging solutions that move your company forward while solving challenges. Contact us to discuss where you’re headed and how we can help you get there.