2021 Where COVID-19 has accelerated changes in Business

February 12th, 2021

2021 Where COVID-19 has accelerated changes in Business

From no mobility to future mobility: Where COVID-19 has accelerated change

As the world grapples with a global pandemic and the potential for a severe and prolonged economic downturn, the imminent emergence of a new ecosystem takes the spotlight.

The pandemic has compelled industry players to concentrate on their day-to-day business operations like keeping workers safe and healthy, managing supply-chain disruptions, and ramping up production and services once again. However, after this period of crisis management, decision-makers will likely want to focus on their innovation portfolios--particularly in mobility.

Mobility’s next normal is foreseen to include new roles for regulators, hyperlocal mobility, changing consumer behaviors, new forms of cooperation, and a changing focus on innovation. Given this uncertain environment, the need for a resilient business model and an agile organization will become even more important. Here we take a look at how industries are being reshaped in terms of mobility amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Innovation paused--or refocused

Advances in new technologies, modes, and business models come to a temporary standstill. Development delays could add months to project timing. Many projects are coming to a halt. The industry will probably see a partial consolidation, triggering an eventual increase in cooperative agreements.

Market consolidation is expected to accelerate, driven by falls in revenue due to the ongoing economic downturn, as well as the repercussions of suspension of activities and collapsing demand during the crisis itself.

Telecommute and Digitization

The world has now seen the possibility of a hybrid of working from home and working from the office. Telework, telemedicine, and e-learning are likely to become permanent fixtures for some portion of the population, reducing their need to access mobility. Some travel-heavy industries and functions, such as professional services and sales, may never return to levels of movement before the coronavirus, as people and organizations grow increasingly adept at conducting business virtually. The magnitude of these shifts, and whether it creates a material change in overall demand, will depend largely on how long the pandemic and associated stay-at-home orders persist.

Growing reliance on e-commerce and home delivery

The perceived health risks of going to crowded stores coupled with stay-at-home orders is accelerating the rapid shift toward online retail and home delivery. There is likely going to be an increased attention to, and innovation around, supply chain optimization, long-haul trucking, and last-mile freight movement, with expanded testing and deployment of automated delivery via robots and drones, as well as remote operation and autonomous drive for long-haul trucking.

Sustainable, resilient and human-centric urban mobility systems

There is increased public awareness of environmental and health benefits; and rapid actions taken during the crisis by authorities and operators have demonstrated the “art of the possible” in terms of rapid and agile decision-making.

The lockdown has further highlighted citizens’ increased appetite for healthier lifestyles, including increased interest in active mobility: walking, cycling and other private mobility devices (PMDs) such as privately owned e-scooters.

How is the pandemic affecting your business? Where do you think the future of mobility is heading in years to come?