Many readers who have been following me for quite awhile would probably know me as someone who have always stuck to brick and mortar companies – banks, property developers, construction firms, autos etc.
Recently, I received an email from one of my family’s private investments and it got me thinking. The company in question is an edu-tech company and I have reposted an excerpt of the email with the sensitive portions blanked out.
It got be thinking about a post-covid world. I have written quite extensively on my thoughts on the Coronavirus in previous articles and one thing for sure is that the world will prevail and overcome this crisis as with many other crisis before this. However, how the world may function after this might be quite different from what we were used to before.
While these shifts have already been taking place before the Coronavirus, I do believe with the recent virus, it has accelerated the growth of such shifts, which I will be discussing in this article today.
Will the Zooms of the world be the biggest winners?
One common subject we probably have heard quite a lot these days would be everyone using communication tools such as Zoom or something similar due to WFH (work from home). However, will the Zooms of the world truly be the biggest winners?
Companies would definitely be rethinking what’s required to be done at work and what can be done remotely in the near future. So as to whether a company like Zoom will be the biggest winner, I cannot say for sure. However, one thing that is likely to happen will be traditional systems moving to cloud systems.
Companies were already dumping their own data centers to rent computing from Amazon, Microsoft and Google. That shift is likely to speed up as millions of employees are forced to work from home, putting a strain on corporate technology infrastructures.
Microsoft reported a 40% jump in the number of users on its software. The need for cloud services offered by Microsoft, Amazon and Google will only rise as more people are forced to work from home.
Overcoming those psychological barriers
Given how everyone is trying to stay at home during this crisis, families have been ordering their essentials via e-commerce or food delivery apps. While these apps have been around since before the Coronavirus; however, due to the virus, it would have pushed or ‘forced’ many to start getting familiarised with it.
In a post-covid world, perhaps those who have not been using such apps would go back to their traditional ways, heading down to supermarkets or malls to buy items that they require. However, I do believe there will be a sort of stickiness created after users have downloaded the app and used it.
Just using my parents as an example, they have always had this resistance in changing the status quo. Life is good, why make any changes? I have to admit, even I have such a mentality at times. However, with this virus, they have been ‘forced’ to use e-commerce, seen the benefits in just ordering their groceries online and having it delivered right to their doorstep.
What about regulation of BigTech?
Everyone remember the Facebook Scandal, where Cambridge Analytica Took 50M Facebook Users’ Data?
Since the Coronavirus, what the Government wanted to achieve on regulating BigTech, limiting access on collecting users data and all seems to have come to a stop.
Alongside these efforts, the Trump administration and others have pressured Big Tech to share location data with governments to help fight the spread of COVID-19. According to reports, public health officials want to compile location data from Americans’ phones and use it to map the spread of the infection.
Even in China, we have seen how Tencent and Alibaba worked alongside with the Government in controlling this Coronavirus crisis. They have launched a QR code system – green, yellow and red. A green code shows that the user is not under quarantine and can move around the city freely, while those with yellow and red codes need to quarantine themselves at home. Furthermore, this way, the Government would be able to trace if you have been in contact with someone who is considered high-risk and change your QR code immediately. This is similar to an app the Singapore Government rolled out called TraceTogether.
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