Especially for Startups – Technology Trends for 2020

2020 – the year when everyone is fighting for their lives, the times that brought the novel Coronavirus to everyone’s lives. This is the year that has brought transformative changes in the lives of human beings.

When the offline day-to-day activities have been paused, it is the technology that will fill the requirement gaps in the lives of people. Humans are struggling and in such hard times, technological advancements and automation seem to be the helping hand for the entire humanity.

As the world experiences an unprecedented global crisis, businesses in every consumer category have ground to a halt, with an uncertain future that could look a lot different than anyone expected. Consumer behavior tends to shift due to weeks of social isolation, working from home, shopping online and not working at all. The current situation of lock-downs and quarantines has accelerated tech trends such as telehealth, digital payments, and robotics, and it plays a vital role in keeping the society functional. Now that WHO mentioned that the virus might never go away, the technologies that can help the businesses stay open and reduce the spread of coronavirus are the ones that start-ups should look forward to in the upcoming years.

Gartner analysis suggests that 48% of employees will work remotely in at least a part-time capacity, compared to 30% pre-pandemic.

So, for start-ups, choosing the right technology is very important. The right technology can make society more resilient in times of pandemic. Here are a few trends to look up on for the start-ups in the brave new world that awaits us with COVID-19:

Revolutionary Ecommerce

While ecommerce is a fantastic way to maintain social distance and reduce the spread of the virus, it is no more a fancy way to show off that the business is upgraded, it is now a must-have way for businesses to stay in the market. The business-to-business and business-to-customer online marketplace can help the market tremendously. Apart from online shopping becoming a fundamental habit, it should also come up with specific extraordinary updates like the robotic logistics system. With this pandemic, companies already started offering contactless deliveries, wherein the goods are picked up and dropped off at a designated location and not from or in the hands of a person. In-person delivery is not entirely virus-proof, but contactless delivery makes it spread less, at least.

Start-ups can start focusing on the development of a robotic delivery system along with protocols for safeguarding and sanitizing the condition of delivery goods. Several companies have already started running towards the win for delivery wars.

Digital Payments

Digital Payments

You might have heard about digital payment forms such as Paytm, Phonepe, and Paypal, which made human lives more manageable. But cashless payment will now become the primary way of transactions in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Cash can carry the virus, so most of the countries already implemented measures to ensure the cleaning of notes being done before getting it into the circulation. But usage of digital wallets is highly recommended to avoid the spread of the virus. This form of payment not only helps people make online purchases but also makes payments for goods, services and utility payments. Digital payments also make the refund faster and smoother.

Beating the competition for e-wallet might look complicated, but there is always room for innovation. Start-ups can focus on specific innovative solutions to make the experience for customers better.

AI & Automation

Amidst the pandemic, while all the educational institutions remain shut and workforce focus on remote work, online education & smooth remote working facility becomes a necessity. Technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, AI and Automation can be an area of focus for the start-ups. Achieving the same productivity with remote work has become the new target for the organizations. They can offer specific automation tools to help organizations provide 24/7 support seamlessly and offer smart educational tools for institutes to focus on imparting education without any disruption.

Online Entertainment

Companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime have noticed the maximum number of users and new registrations during the coronavirus lock-downs and quarantines. Even though the social distancing norm has reduced in-person interactions, humans tend to bring parties online. Meanwhile, the online streaming of concerts received considerable attention from the world. Online video games also experience a surge in traffic. With people being locked in the house, the chances of online streaming increases and can be an excellent opportunity for start-ups to stand out in the market.

Supply Chain

The pandemic has developed inevitable disruptions in the global supply chain. The social distancing and quarantine orders already made numerous factories and industries shut down. Due to the export bans made by a few countries, there is a lack of visibility of data, lack of flexibility in the supply chain, making it vulnerable. The supply chain mismanagement leads to various disruptions in the market. The advancement in technology helps to solve these disruptions.

The technologies like Big Data, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things and Blockchain might be the best options for developing a resilient supply chain management system. A supply chain management system built with the best out of these technologies can enhance the accuracy of data.

Telehealth

Telehealth

Telehealth makes a significant impact when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID-19. Technologies like wearable IoT devices can help tracking the vital signs and chatbots can help to perform initial diagnosis based on the symptoms identified by the patient. Telehealth means the health care provided by utilizing telecommunications technology. The telemedicine services allow practitioners to collaborate with each other and their patients, for instance, by transferring and analyzing data and images to treat the patients without any physical contact. Utilizing technology for healthcare will not only help with advancing the treatment of sick but also protect the healthy ones too.

“Clearly at a time when you have a large influx of patients with potential for infectious disease, putting them all in a waiting room is suboptimal,” says Dr. Josh Kugler

Robotics Advancements

Every one of us saw it coming, but just coronavirus made it necessary to reduce human interactions and make advancements in robotics. Every work under labor-intensive businesses such as retail, food, manufacturing, logistics has experienced a considerable hit due to COVID 19. The pandemic has pushed the importance of robot and research on robotics. At certain places, robots have been utilized for delivering food to the ones in quarantine and disinfecting the areas.

A recent report mentions robots will replace that majority of manufacturing jobs and new jobs will be created in the process. Sufficient training and social welfare might be the next step, but pandemic inclined the interest of people towards robotics.

Data-Driven Digital Marketing

With the virus spreading human to human, print media such as magazines, newspapers are set to experience a decline. This offers the start-ups with an opportunity to revamp the existing marketing strategy and begin adopting the new digital trends as they emerge. As Big Data impacts the way businesses collect customer information, start-ups can make use of the technology and develop insights to grow their audience. The technology encompasses leveraging a massive amount of digital information to raise online brand awareness, retain the customer base, and make quick adjustments to the strategy with real-time insights.

When people are in their houses and are available online almost all day and every day, they create information that can be converted to data to offer them personalized results. At the start-up level, automation and machine learning also trigger the utilization of big data.

3D Printing

The technology has been correctly implemented to mitigate the shocks to supply chain and export bans on personal protective equipment. With 3D printing, there comes flexibility; a single printer can be used to produce different products based on different design files and materials. It makes the supply chain process hassle-free, as certain simple parts can be made on-site quickly, even without the lengthy procurement process requirement. The technology has been specifically implemented to mitigate the shocks to supply chain and export bans on personal protective equipment. With 3D printing, there comes flexibility; a single printer can be used to produce different products based on different design files and materials. It makes the supply chain process hassle-free, as certain simple parts can be made on-site quickly, even without the requirement of the lengthy procurement process.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning

It is an essential factor for demand forecasting. Utilizing machine learning to optimize customer and supplier relationship management, logistics and manufacturing processes along with smart marketing campaigns makes the process more adaptable to the changes and is faster to implement. If optimized rightly with NLP and cascade models, short term POS data, machine learning can enhance the demand forecast accuracy.

Demand Forecasting is something that can be useful in every sector. Start-ups can start focusing on this latest technology and make the most out of this pandemic situation.

5G Mobility

All the above-mentioned tech trends require reliable, stable and high-speed internet. The adoption of 5G might be the trend one must look forward to. Starting from global franchises to one-person shops, digital transformation is noticed in every sector of the market. The fifth generation of mobile networking ensures faster mobile speeds and even greater use-cases for those looking to work from their smartphones and tablets. But how will it affect start-ups? It gives start-ups a newer and innovative solution across all the industries. In this new paradigm, 5G Smart Networks has the potential to unleash new ideas and use cases in all sectors, helping start-ups achieve their business goals.

Final Thoughts

The pandemic has shown us the necessity of digital transformation allowing businesses and regular lives to continue as frequently as possible during the outbreak. Developing a necessary infrastructure in order to support the digitized world and staying updated with the latest technologies will be essential. For any business to remain competitive in the brave new world post COVID-19, the implementation of digitization will be a must-do act along with an extraordinary approach to technology governance.

The present COVID-19 situation will cause the loss of jobs for an estimated 200 million people resulting in a robust financial burden. A BBC report mentioned.

Digitization tends to change the way jobs are available to humans; hence the correct implementation of it’s impact on the larger workforce is something that deserves human attention and a solution with no harm.

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