As the coronavirus pandemic has quickly become the new normal, NDA wants to celebrate the positives of our current situation, to discover what people in the digital industry have to be cheerful about.
Dino Myers-Lamptey, Founder, The Barber Shop
What, if any, positive long-term impact on the digital industry will coronavirus have?
While the industry has long banged the drum of the term digital transformation, it has often been sold to those at the cutting edge of their market, with complex digital and data needs.
Covid will digitally transform our world at a rate never imagined, as every business goes through the very real and worrying existential threat of surviving without the physical world at their disposal.
Over the next few months we will see incredibly novel digital solutions, and the best of digital transformation as it focusses on the essentials for delivery of the most efficient customer experience and fulfilment. Less talk about machine learning, and more about using new ways to most efficiently deliver old services.
I’d also hope that the industry will gain a deeper understanding of what can be achieved when people work remotely, or outside of the London offices, perhaps opening up and creating more opportunities and giving access to more digital opportunities across the UK.
What positive impacts on long term consumer behaviour shifts will it have?
It’s been wonderful to see people embrace digital technology to make the appointment to connect to their friends and family on a more regular and more meaningful basis, where the questions of how are you coping are actually been asked with genuine interest.
This period is going to make us appreciate even more the things we take for granted but are so valuable, such as social spaces and random friendly encounters. The dark side of it all is the financial hardship that many simply couldn’t prepare for, out of that devastation has come revaluation of needs and essentials, elevating the price of health, family, friends and the value of space.
I’d hope many businesses by embracing the possibilities of remote working, will open up the opportunities for their staff, who are consumers too, to live and work in places where they can afford the new essential priorities of life.
What positive impacts have you seen on how your business operates?
We were built to utilise tech and remote talent, so the change in the way we work hasn’t been as dramatic as it has for many, However what it has done is accelerated the acceptance of doing the things we can over video or with remote and collaborative tech, rather than always having to make a sometimes unnecessary environmentally-unfriendly journey.
Ultimately what this does is force everyone to think really hard about the purpose and need of every meeting, and to also ensure that each meeting lasts just as long as it needs to, as opposed to the default hour that the calendar allocates.
What have you been most heartened about in how your staff, partners, customers or clients have reacted to the new normal?
We’ve had to furlough a team member, and while this isn’t easy on anyone, I’ve been blessed by their maturity and optimism in dealing with it all. I’ve also been grateful to our clients who have continued paying our retainers with the understanding that our services will flex towards their very different needs in this period.
What technologies have you been most impressed with during this new situation and do you think conavirus will hasted their uptake or development?
Most of the tech we were already using, but products like Zoom have encouraged us to explore features we wouldn’t ordinarily have. These include, breakout groups, and virtual backgrounds.
It also seems that the tech is being developed at a faster rate now, with the security features being launched. Socially I’ve been enlightened by the added features of calling specific people into your Instagram Live broadcast, or the ability to play games socially on Houseparty.
This unfortunate situation has shown how there are always opportunities for challengers to disrupt the tried and tested in the market, adding features and adding value.