Post COVID-19 business models: Finding the new normal

Pivots and process changes, yes. New normal? Not so fast.

If you listen to business and technology pundits, you may have heard that the post COVID-19 world will be completely different from the pre COVID-19 world. Sound familiar? In the midst of a crisis, it’s tempting to label any major disruption as ushering in a new normal. However, at least in terms of business models, the new normal going forwards may be a lot more like the old normal than we think.

That’s not to say there won’t be accelerated innovation and plenty of new business models, products and services appearing, but most businesses will likely be able to operate as usual with a few strategic pivots and changes to their standard processes as well as essential safeguards.

In this regard, here are four observations and recommendations for CIOs and business strategists as you look at the near term as well as the longer term.

Plan to pivot

In many cases, small accommodations to existing business models and processes are all that is needed to operate business as usual, and this is already happening. CIOs have been implementing many changes in their playbook, such as shifting spending to remote work, setting up IT resiliency dashboards, boosting customer engagement, and being proactive about phishing scams. 

Many non-tech pivots are occurring as well. McDonald’s, for example, has installed plexiglass screens at their drive-thru windows as a protective barrier to help further minimize contact between employees and customers. When restaurants re-open their dining areas post-pandemic, these screens and some social distancing decals may be the sole changes consumers see.

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