With COVID-19 hitting many companies’ performance, particularly in the service industries, they have focused their efforts on reducing costs to stay afloat. At the core of the problem for many organizations has been the lack of productivity improvement. In fact, the 2010’s decade was amongst the lowest productivity gain in modern times, which is not too surprising when the biggest innovation was arguably the smartphone followed closely by social media. Several promising, advanced technologies stalled as problems related to autonomous vehicles and automation proved to be more difficult and so struggled to transpire into any significant realizable gain.

But we are now on the brink of a serious step forward in automation, driven by computing technologies, artificial intelligence, and robotics. These factors are already shown to be at the core of companies that are creating the most value. Having adopted digital technologies earlier than most of their competitors, companies in this elite pack have been able to extend their leads in their specific market sectors. One example is McDonald’s who undertook a strategic digital transformation that included digital kiosks, weather and time of day based menus, plus extending the drive-throughs to two lanes while providing a more personalized experience. This has evolved to be a key asset as revenues were sustained even as the stores were forced to close the indoor restaurant areas.

Covid only helped to accelerate the transformation and show the digital divide in its rawest form. Hurting old industries, bankrupting companies that were already in decline, and exposing those that were slow to innovate. Online has seen accelerated growth across multiple industries as people and organizations were forced to go digital. This included industries like healthcare, education, and government bodies, that previously would hinder any actions to change the status quo. Like so many others, these behemoths were forced to adopt new technologies and business practices at a rapid pace to stay relevant.

Now innovation is needed more than ever with companies searching for new growth opportunities as they look to build competitive advantage and accelerate their productivity. This drive for performance will be based on digital transformation strategies with the focus varying by industry. However, robotic process automation, AI, cloud and edge compute will all invariably play a major part. How we work as individuals will also continue to factor into how companies service their commercial customers and consumers. With 70% of white-collar jobs expected to remain at home, at least for the near future, it produces a systemic change in behavior and corporate practice that will need to be addressed in any new business model and customer engagement.

At a macro level, the stage is being set for continued reduction in energy prices as countries drive for a reduction in carbon emissions through increased adoption of green technologies. The price point of renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels, changing the future calculation of cost and return and therefore our consumption behavior.

We are in a world with a lot of disruption driven by external factors such as climate, automation technologies, geopolitics, and society. One thing people of innovation love most is disruption.

 

About Triangulum Labs:

Triangulum Labs is a venture foundry built to leverage the experience and strengths of our resources and core partnerships to support new startups. We invite and encourage founders with innovative ideas and go-to-market strategies. We help them recruit talent for founding teams, support them with product and go-to-market strategies, and help them develop or extend their MVP. When it’s all said and done, we help accelerate them into their markets, empowered with the resources they need to become stars in the Triangulum constellation.