COVID-19: Tech Challenges To Come

Consumer attitudes and behaviors have changed forever

The relationship between companies and stakeholders are evolving

As governments increase fiscal spending to maintain the social contract and Covid-19 vaccines roll out around the world, most researchers and economists still believe that some consumer attitudes and behaviors have changed forever.

The relationship between companies and their stakeholders are part of that change. While GDP fell in the second quarter of 2020, disposable income actually rose in some countries including the U.S. as a result of stimulus programs, according to a study by the management consulting firm McKinsey. This confluence of changed behaviors and relationships combined with stable buying power has created a situation ripe for disruption by innovative, dynamic and resourceful companies who are agile and able to pivot and respond quickly.

While initially companies reduced their operations to contain costs, as they successfully adapted to new stakeholder needs and demands they began to look towards growth. Key to that growth is efficiency and resilience, and innovative new ways to serve customers, employees and other stakeholders. These imperatives are propelling the use of new technologies that contributed to $15B extra per week in spending during the first wave of the pandemic (one of the biggest surges in history), simply to enable employees to work from home, according to the 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey.

Even before Covid-19, demand for technology labor sent rates skyrocketing and the inventory of skilled, trained technology professionals plummeting. Today, shortages continue, with particular emphasis on cyber security skills (35%), organizational change management (27%), enterprise architecture (23%), technical architecture and advanced analytics (both 22%), according to a recent study by KPMG.

When the crisis hit, many companies couldn’t cut costs quickly enough to offset lost revenue. Others weren’t able to pivot in time to capitalize on new opportunities. But time didn’t wait, and the digital dash propelled new ways of adapting through conversational AI, cloud computing and digital transformation. According to the KPMG study, digital leaders who are effective at using digital technologies are investing 21-50% more than those who aren’t, focusing largely on security and privacy (47%), infrastructure and the cloud. Today, new business models, products, and services are being launched at a dizzying pace, creating a new world of competition for established organizations.

With a blurring of the lines between work and home and digital adoption catapulting online purchasing to new heights, companies are now scrambling to automate and implement technologies that support their survival by reducing costs and scaling to meet new demands. From Business Process Outsourcing, to sophisticated AI-powered chatbots that book appointments, track shipments, and suggest complementary products, technologies powered by AI and Natural Language Processing are enabling fast, personalized, effective and money-saving interactions through voice and text as they break down barriers between customers and companies.

To support a workforce that is less location-dependent and very likely to be working from home, financial, manufacturing, entertainment, retail, and tourism organizations are rapidly employing communications and collaboration technologies that intersect the platforms their customers prefer.

At NDS Cognitive Labs, we are seeing solutions such as AI chatbots being vigorously deployed across B2B, B2B2C and B2C channels. Chatbots are appearing in messaging platforms from WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger to support customer success and sales. They’re used in manufacturing by companies employing them for after-sales service and to free up human resources for additional sales and service requiring empathy or advanced decision-making, based on AI analysis of big data. Digital payment channels, high-security digital identification and the use of linked data are also ramping up by both public, private, and non-profit organizations.

Covid-19 has accelerated the use of new business models, products, and services designed to meet new needs and demands. Rules, stakeholder relationships, and expectations are being reimagined. Replacing lost revenue, finding new growth opportunities, and delighting customers, employees and all stakeholders has never been more important – and rapid, affordable development and implementation of new technologies are key to resilience, survival and the ability to thrive.

NDS Cognitive Labs rapidly and affordably develops and integrates sophisticated technologies, leading the implementation of conversational AI, cloud, and digital transformation solutions in Latin America. Co-located in Mexico and the United States, NDS delivers essential innovation and a collaborative team experience through three flexible development models including turn-key services, Outstaffing, and Global In-House Centers. Drawing from our proprietary platform of 20,000 highly skilled tech technology professionals trained in U.S. and global standards, we work with the top global technology providers including IBM, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, MongoDB and more.