Condensed version of a McKinsey piece that highlights six digital trends and their significance from six eminent McKinsey executives.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digital technology adoption remarkably all over the world. While different regions and industries are witnessing different types of transformations, a few vital trends are gaining more momentum than others. Here are a few most prominent changes along with the reasons stating why they matter.
Wider and better virtual connections
Rodney Zemmel, Sr. Partner and global co-leader, McKinsey Digital, New York
The years preceding Covid-19 pandemic, saw a rise in B2C selling via digital channels but digital platforms were unavailable for B2B selling. In B2C segment the seller needs to connect with a single buyer, and so the journey is precise and straightforward.
B2B selling is a longer and more complex process, where multiple stakeholders are at play and hence in-person relationships and meetings are deemed more effective. Covid-19 led disruptions compelled many B2B sellers to use digital platforms to replicate the same connect and they were largely successful. With B2B buyers open for virtual buying, digital platforms for B2B products are sure to debut very soon.
Virtual healthcare is another segment that is gaining popularity very fast. Covid-19 limitations, changing regulations and technological confluence is making it possible and the trend is expected to stay long-term because of its many benefits.
Smarter risk assessment and mitigation
Jan Shelly Brown, Associate Partner, New Jersey
Agile and digital transformations have been accelerated by the outbreak of Covid. Digital tools that facilitate risk assessment and mitigation on the go have emerged as a significant game-changer. Such tools can allow a company to assess the potential risk concerns and mitigation measures while the product, say an app feature, is still in the development stage. Since all of this is catalogued, separate teams can view everything without losing any time on team discussions. Such digital tools would speed up processes and make risk management leaner and easier.
The mammoth rise of e-commerce
Anand Swaminathan, Sr. Partner and leader of McKinsey Digital Asia, Singapore
Post the pandemic e-commerce is on a roll and there is not stopping it any time soon. Earlier even the savviest people would buy about half of their purchases through online channels, but now about 95% of the buying is happening online. It will definitely have an all-pervasive impact on everything including product designing, offering, supply chains and creation of a new array of digital-only businesses.
Improved tracking of crisis outbreaks
Jessica Lamb, partner, Philadelphia
Simulation models have been around for quite some time, but the latest digital advancements have taken it to unprecedented heights. Improved digital capabilities now allow larger data volumes with substantially better computing power, enabling modeling more scenarios faster. So, now a disease simulation that can input new data from every country of the world with weekly updates is possible. Such capabilities will allow companies to evaluate more scenarios and take better decisions.
Superior customer experiences
Gabriela Platinetty, Expert Associate Partner, Sao Paulo
Many brands around the world are using social messaging apps to create a one-on-one connect with customers and influence their buying decisions. The pandemic has accelerated the trend and customers are happy to get answers to their queries online in real time. Online problem solving is a boon to customers and the trend is expected to thrive more in near future.
AI models that are more ethical
Chris Anagnostopoulos, Sr. Principal Scientist, QuantumBlack, London
As data science and AI models are gaining ground in decision making in many important areas, ranging from loan approvals, university admission to medical decision support, it is essential that we ensure AI systems follow ethical guidelines. It has manifestations along numerous dimensions like right to privacy, no discrimination on grounds of gender, race or religion. It is thus essential to develop technology with best practices so that AI systems of the future are in line with well-defined human values.