Innovations leading to an increased digitalization have greatly altered the way customers now view companies and make decisions to consume their offerings. With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the entire world on a standstill wreaking havoc on the global economy, companies need to rapidly alter their business operations to thrive in the post- COVID world. Companies that act swiftly and jump on the bandwagon of innovation can truly turn the growth and profit crunch into a stable revenue stream.

Be it the SARS outbreak in 2003, which presented major challenges for the Chinese economy to step out – factories shutdowns, drop in retail sales, remote working, and consumers being hesitant, — posed as a major opportunity for the e-commerce giant Alibaba; or the Great Depression of 2008-09, which disrupted the global economy, causing a financial crisis — companies like Starbuck’s swiveled their operations to a more digital operating model, which acted as a catalyst for them to flourish in times of great uncertainty.

The post-COVID Innovation driven world

Essentially, the current COVID-19 pandemic will be no different. It will lead to a pivotal shift in technology-based solutions, like the use of AI-based platforms to find solutions to complex problems that were earlier solved by humans, and the accelerated need to create unique and innovative fixes.

What's more, certain is that COVID-19 will have a long haul impacts. While, hypothetically, we might have the option to return to some degree of typical life within a few months, the companies that have been compelled to close, or are battling through, will have to set aside some effort to return, on the off chance that they ever do. Simultaneously, online shopping is likewise on the ascent, featuring the comfort and convenience of such to a lot more individuals, which could prompt a significant consumer move, and change their shopping habits.

For companies, this implies managing market modifications in light of the financial effect on all industry divisions; confronting expanded rivalry given customers' and social "new typical", tending to manageability; assessing operational alternatives and difficulties introduced by key arranging in a situation of vulnerability; recognizing potential new items and administrations expected to live up to customer’s’ needs and wants; concentrating on innovation and negating inefficiencies in the supply chain through the use of real-time analysis and machine learning.

Changing consumption patterns

Changing consumption patterns are even more significant since, because of COVID-19, spending is expected to decrease for some in 2020 as companies close and incomes diminish. For instance, 45 percent of worldwide shoppers are committing more to social networking;, online video gushing has expanded by 26 percent;, web-based gaming traffic has expanded exponentially on one media transmission organization's servers; and the amount of buyers turning to online food’s and basic products’ conveyance has risen dramatically.The expectations for customers, businesses, and employees have shifted at a rapid pace. It has also been seen previously that companies willing to adopt and adapt to technological advancements have undoubtedly exceeded digital laggards. With the shift to AI, companies will be able to streamline their business operations, and dwell in quicker and more accurate decision making. They’ll do so by using techniques like automation, natural learning processing, and deep learning to analyze and predict human behavior and industry trends.

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The new ‘remote working’ normal

Many companies have already shifted to using AI for daily operations, the challenge being to be fully functional in order to better navigate through these unprecedented times. There also has been a massive shift to people working remotely to better practice social distancing.

Companies will have to leverage technological innovation and AI to keep their workforce motivated all while helping monitor the productivity, work quality, and overall performance of remote employees providing them an upper hand, and remaining competitive. The shift to innovation-led AI will further lead to an increased automation in manufacturing and production, and therefore less human interactions.

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According to recent reports, many companies are already using AI-powered bots rather than customer service executives as this saves them resources, which can be further opted by them to implement on a more permanent basis.

It is also being predicted that over 70% of managerial jobs will be replaced by either AI chat bots and virtual assistants, which will further squeeze recruitment of top-level management roles. Also, remote working is something that the companies will have to work towards. This will be fueled by using applications like Microsoft Teams and Skype, which have been developed using AI. These will be used widely to conduct webinars for official events, and addressing the employees replacing the traditional workshops and seminars.

Further, AI-enabled platforms can be used for recruitment purposes. Recruitment tools that are powered by AI and data are believed to mitigate the harm caused by unconscious bias, and negate the traditional practice of hiring potential employees based on their attributes that often have no or little to do with their job performance.

AI has already kick-started the fourth industrial revolution, assisting businesses around the globe to optimize cost and time; reducing redundancy, and making more informed decisions while speeding up the entire process.

Traditional workspaces are being transformed by the “digital workers,” who perform tasks just like humans, but with more agility and assertiveness. For years, tech-giants have been continuously and heavily investing in research involving AI or development, and the acquisition of AI-based software.

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With increased competition, and every company striving to be the next big name in the industry, using complex and highly targeted data has compelled companies across diverse industries to make a shift to AI for accelerated growth and thrive. According to the data collected by LeanBonds, it can be noted that the trend of the global AI software market will upsurge to a notable $126 billion in 2025, from $22.6 billion in 2020. Continued research and development are needed to make AI-based software available on a larger scale, and benefit medium and small-scale companies as well.