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A zoom out of the world from above

Digital transformation for the post COVID-19 world

The world has changed, and there is no going back. This will be a challenging time for all of us, one of the most difficult in living memory. Our communities are reeling from the impact of Covid - 19.

The current period of extreme challenges is going to pass. Two months into the pandemic, China is starting to return to a form of ‘normalcy’. For the rest of the world, this phase will also pass. But the world will not be the same.

The last decade was defined by the smartphone, by the internet, and the growing impact of digital technology on our everyday lives. The pull of convenience, price, and access drove the spread of digital. We’re now experiencing the push. The next decade will be defined by Covid-19, and by the changes we make to survive and thrive in the new world.

When we are through this extraordinary period, no business, service provider, government or regulator is going to be able to say they aren't ready for this kind of event to happen again.

Digital technology is what will help us be ready. That means...

  • More people than ever before will access businesses and services digitally. It won't just accelerate the secular trend of people choosing the easier, cheaper, most convenient option. It will mean that people in underserved categories - older people, vulnerable people, people with access issues - will be dependent on digital not just for convenience or price, but for the peace of mind of being able to access them safely and when they need them.
  • Businesses large and small will be coming out the other side of at least one quarter of recession, and will be very nervous about more. They'll be investing in digital not just to make sure they can keep serving their customers when they aren't face to face, but to harness the cost advantages of digital transformation, and provide business continuity in difficult times. And they'll be worried about falling behind competitors who are adapting faster than they are.
  • For startups and digitally native businesses, this will be as challenging a period as the collapse of the dot com bubble or the financial crisis. Some business models will be exposed as unsustainable. Some great business models won’t be able to adapt. But there will already be capital pouring in to the next wave of startups who see the opportunities the new world brings, and money pouring in to those scale businesses who have weathered the storm. The pace of innovation will accelerate.
  • Every government will be investing in digital service provision. Healthcare is the obvious place where digital provision will make a huge impact on how we diagnose, monitor, and treat people’s health conditions. It’s been a huge enabler of the most successful responses to the virus. But everything will be put under the spotlight of how digital can make it work better. Voting, justice, social services - everything will be transformed to provide continuity of service and access for the vulnerable. 5G and fibre broadband will be the critical infrastructure priorities of the day.
  • A lot of ‘nice to haves’ will become ‘must-haves’. Intuitive, inclusive and accessible experiences are ‘must-haves’ when everyone needs to access your service and use it to its fullest. The Tesco groceries app is a prime example of a robust, intuitive and accessible online shopping tool that is today supporting millions of people, especially the vulnerable to cope during difficult times. Privacy is a must have when we’re sharing more of our personal data than ever before. Security is a must have when more and more of our infrastructure is distributed, and when we’re relying on it for more and more critical things.

Right now, many things seems to be slowing down. But digital is only speeding up. Those of us responsible for building the next generation of services in our organisations have a part to play in that journey; in how our communities and societies adapt in the months ahead.

Kin + Carta have been on the front line of digital transformation for more than a decade, and many of the things we’re working on are seeing unprecedented demand, or new pivots to meet the changing reality. Through our deep strategic and technical expertise we: 

  • Build mission critical software that delivers business and customer value, at speed, to high quality.
  • Have built a culture based on developing the craft skills and capabilities of our people, keeping them at the leading edge of digital product development.
  • Have the agile, distributed ways of working needed to keep going and keep delivering value, wherever our clients or our people are.
  • Build accessible software that works for everyone who needs it.