The emergence of COVID-19 changed the world, upending virtually every aspect of people’s daily lives and throwing businesses into one of the most turbulent economic climates in history.
Benefiting from a wealth of experience in the gaming and tech industries, Roman Semiokhin has a unique appreciation of what it takes to keep a business on track in a post-pandemic world. In order for companies to survive, their leaders had to be quick-thinking and innovative, adapting at a moment’s notice to keep the wheels turning.
2020 was a stark lesson against complacency, teaching business leaders that they cannot predict the future. The pandemic showed that it is crucial for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to prepare for the unthinkable, devising disaster recovery strategies just in case.
As we continue to move forward, now is a critical moment for business owners to start looking forward once more, attempting to predict what the year ahead might have in store, and contemplating how this could impact their business.
From tech and social media marketing advancements to continued remote working practices, the pandemic transformed the way people live their lives today, with experts predicting that many of these changes are here to stay.
Business Model Innovation
The pandemic forced business leaders to become more customer-centric, focussing on the value they offer and how they operate as a business. Many industries were completely transformed by COVID-19, including the hospitality and events industry.
Some businesses thrived throughout the pandemic, but in order to do so, they had to respond swiftly to changes. Take for example restaurants, forced to close during lockdown. Rather than resting on their laurels, many restaurant owners switched to a home-delivery and collection service model, reaping significant rewards for their efforts. Now more than ever, it is vital for businesses to keep a close eye on their industry, watching out for market shifts and adapting accordingly.
Increased Adoption of AI and Automation
Even before the pandemic, many industries had seen an explosion in AI, facilitating the automation of processes and drastically improving operational efficiency in all aspects of business. Widely adopted in the manufacturing and healthcare industries, thanks to ever-increasing technological advancements AI is becoming more prevalent and affordable in virtually every industry.
AI and automation confer huge benefits in terms of streamlining operations, helping businesses to become more efficient and productive while increasing their bottom line. Another facet of AI technology that has come to the fore in recent months is the use of AI in customer-facing rolls. Utilising chatbots enables e-commerce businesses to significantly lower their customer service expenditure, enabling them to pass these savings on to their customers and creating a competitive edge.
The Rise of Remote Working
One of the most significant changes stemming from the pandemic was a widespread transition from commuting to the office every day to working from home. In the UK, more than 46% of the domestic workforce has spent at least some of their time working from home since April 2020.
Although nationwide vaccination campaigns have had some success in countries around the world in terms of lowering infection rates, new variants of COVID-19 are a constant source of concern among health officials.
Many employers who were reluctant to embrace remote working practices prior to the arrival of COVID-19 have come to recognise the significant benefits in terms of driving down company costs and improving productivity levels. With many employees keen to continue working from home, it seems that remote working is a trend set to continue in 2022 and beyond.