As COVID-19 continues to dramatically affect people around the world, many of us have had to quickly adjust to working from home. This shift in working patterns is unlikely to go away anytime soon and we have all been obliged to adapt to what might reasonably be seen as the ‘new normal’.
On 22 April 2020, Mark Walker, Editorial Director at The Fintech Times, was joined by Adam Bialy, OpenPayd’s Chief Product Officer, David Keene, Chief Marketing Officer at Funding Options, and Stephen Dukes, Chief Operating Officer at Confused.com. During this 45-minute webinar, the group spoke about how the coronavirus has affected marketplaces, in terms of the challenges but also the opportunities.
Challenges and Opportunities
COVID-19 has affected marketplaces in different ways. Food delivery marketplaces, such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats have flourished under these new living conditions, where people are at home more and the need for food deliveries has increased. On the other hand, travel marketplaces have been seriously struggling for obvious reasons.
The point here is that those who have faced enormous challenges in the wake of the pandemic will presumably have to put measures in place to try and overcome a repeat of the current situation. Quite how they will do this is unknown - but then there are still so many unknowns regarding the lasting effects of the virus.
The Time To Adapt Is Now
One of the particularly interesting topics of discussion concerned how CEOs and thought leaders around the world have extolled the virtues of being agile; of how there is a real need to move towards a digital-first approach. However, for all the talk, many businesses have been slow to put measures in place to make this happen. What COVID-19 has done is to force companies to become digital - many contingency plans for institutions that relied on call centres, for example, involved moving the call centre from one central location to another.
While such a plan might well have been effective for disruptions caused by a terrorist attack (something many businesses put contingencies in place for), it is ineffective for the disruption caused by a global pandemic. Employees are now having to take calls from their own home which comes with its own challenges.
Although this is only one example, the point is that many companies have been forced to undergo a digital transformation. The panellists discuss how this new way of working might well represent the new norm, that the global pandemic has ushered in the true birth of digital.Ultimately, the world in which we live has changed and it is unlikely to merely go back to the way it was once the dust has settled. We are now living in a very different world and although some things will undoubtedly go back to normal, many things will irrevocably change. It will be fascinating to see what this new landscape looks like.
To listen to the podcast, you can visit The FinTech Times’ dedicated page.