This article was first published on November 26, 2020.

The fallout from COVID-19 has challenged preconceptions about which industries would be the most resilient during arguably one of the worst health crisis that we have faced in a generation.

According to the joint report by Cisco and Jungle Ventures, healthcare and tech sectors rank as being the winners of the shift caused by the pandemic along with media/entertainment, education, and supply chain/logistics.

Meanwhile, sectors such as travel/hospitality and consumer (retail) have struggled with business losses. Companies in the consumer sectors are also adapting to business models because of the need to adapt as a necessity for survival.

“It will be a very long time before we understand COVID-19’s full repercussions to the global economy and public health. Amidst this uncertainty, however, the way we respond to the pandemic will serve as a litmus test for the resiliency and adaptability of governments, citizens, and enterprises in the long run,” the report stated.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), ASEAN went from a projected GDP growth rate of 5.3 per cent in 2020 pre-COVID-19 to a contraction of -0.2 per cent after the pandemic hit. However, by constantly keeping an eye on the current market response to COVID-19, opportunities can be created.

Image Credit: Jungle Ventures, Cisco

The report also highlights three drivers of mid to long-term momentum which can be significant for businesses to adapt with shifts and capture optimum value.

Also Read: How data can help the global fight against COVID-19

Here are the main takeaways:

Data is the new gold

“If a company has no real-time way of capturing data from users then the company will be left behind,” Naveen Menon, President, Cisco ASEAN said during the media roundtable.

In a world run by the internet, businesses are now seeing the importance of having real-time data to drive their overall strategy and outcomes. As companies adopt off-the-shelf solutions that offer data transparency and visibility, large organisations that have IT budgets are leveraging on the momentum.

Image Credit: Jungle Ventures, Cisco

From centralised to flexible environments

The boundaries between how people live, work and learn are all blurring creating complexities as well as opportunities for many companies. Therefore, a different way to deploy and use technology is now being required because of the changing working norms.

“Organisations will need to address the operational complexity of managing remote and physical teams at the same time, achieve similar levels of productivity and collaboration, and ensure security in complex and dispersed environments,” the report said.

Increased use of technology

Customers who were previously hesitant or sceptical about online services are now finding themselves to be propelled towards making use of tech.

Service providers can leverage this to grow from their early and niche adopter base to enjoying mass-market penetration.

Image Credit: Tyler Franta on Unsplash

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