At this very moment, new counties, cities, and states are entering a state of lockdown despite the fact that there are new vaccines that have proven effective in trials. Everyone said goodbye to 2020 as if that would make all the bad things go away. It didn’t. And it won’t.
An election that gave us a new president didn’t make all the political unrest go away. New vaccines didn’t suddenly open all the closed businesses. You still can’t find a place to sit down and eat in New York City. A few good movie releases didn’t get people back into theaters. And stimulus checks didn’t get everyone out of debt.
2020 didn’t go away. It just got older. And we have to get tougher. We have to stop waiting for a white knight to come and rescue us. It is time to find those bootstraps and pull ourselves up by them. This is the time for the tough to get going. The rubber has met the road. Our metal is being tested. We are being weighed in the balance. I am convinced we will not be found wanting. Despite the continued challenges, here is why things will be better for business in 2021:
Better Business Tools
Nothing moves faster than software. And today’s business runs on software. Coders are able to respond quickly to changes and make better business tools to meet an all-encompassing crisis. Tools for master data management have only gotten better. Every aspect of the data workflow is smoother and more efficient.
It is not just the data center. Every aspect of enterprise software has been improved including the following:
- Business Intelligence
- Online Marketing
- Customer Relationship Management
- HR Management
- Cloud Computing
- Enterprise Resource Management
No list of business tools would be complete without mentioning artificial intelligence and machine learning. Smartphone cameras have taken a giant leap forward, not because the hardware is so much better, but because they are using AI/ML to do computational photography. That is a trivial use of the technology compared to what big businesses can do with it.
If anything, COVID has accelerated the software industry, forcing it to respond to the new challenges. And respond, it has. That is why all else being equal, 2021 will be better for business.
Better COVID Tools
Even as we put vaccines in arms, new strains of the virus have emerged that are easier to spread to even younger people. No one is safe. But our tools for fighting COVID are getting better by the day. We don’t just have two vaccines already on the market, they are both more than 90% effective. Other vaccines are on the way. One in particular can be transported and stored using traditional refrigeration. That means it can get to more people in more remote places.
Bear in mind we are talking about a disease we didn’t even know about a year ago. This is the year scientists became rock stars. Along with effective vaccines, they gave us tests that can render results in minutes as opposed to weeks. Just around the corner are tests we will be able to do from home with no need to go to a hospital or send them in to a lab.
We are also increasing our ability to do contactless transactions. All NYC subways have contactless payment which makes it easier to avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily. No virus can defeat human ingenuity.
More Work from Home
Big businesses figured out how to let their employees work without needing to come into the office. This changes everything! When more people can work from home, it means that more people can work. That includes people with disabilities that might have made it difficult for them to commute. It also enables people who don’t live near a company to work for the company of their choice vs. whatever happens to be in their area. This is what winning looks like.
The worst of 2020 is going to linger a little while longer. But this time, we’re ready. We are armed with better business tools, better COVID tools, and a bigger and more empowered workforce.