Digital transformation will be seen as a critical lever to build business continuity and resilience. Fears of more regular crisis events, given our interconnected world, will provide the burning platform needed – especially for government and small to medium enterprises that have lagged in their digital transformations. The coronavirus crisis is unlikely to be a one in 100-year event – lessons will be learnt that prepare us for future global disruptions. These lessons need to be factored into future government and business operations and forecasts.
The simultaneously global nature of the coronavirus pandemic has exposed flaws in the global resourcing model and heavy reliance on offshore operations. This will encourage companies to explore new options for service delivery, either by bringing services back in-house, back onshore and/or greater adoption of digital managed services. A greater priority will be given to control and risk management dimensions. This could prove significant to tackling local unemployment and economic recovery as local capabilities are favoured.
Events will be planned and rehearsed through wide-scale, real-world simulations, and refined. Continuity of operations will increasingly rely on enabling the workforce to work from home amid future potential lockdowns.
True organisational flexibility and modularity will be considered over just keeping the lights on. Companies will modify their organisational structures and decision-making formats to provide new options for rapid changes when faced with extreme events (e.g. hibernation, divestitures and separations of business units). Employers will build crisis clauses into contracts that enable reduced wages, forced leave or other tactics during crisis events.
We have been quick to give up a lot of social liberties (movement restrictions, surveillance and population monitoring). A well-handled government response to the crisis will boost trust and provide an opportunity to pivot reputation.
Taiwan’s cross-government and industry collaboration around their capture and use of data was born out of the SARS crisis – they have had a controlled response to the coronavirus outbreak.
These themes were selected by comparing emerging trends before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within each theme, we engaged KPMG professionals to develop hypotheses on what a post-COVID-19 world might look like.