Frost & Sullivan’s Mega Trend Universe encompasses transformative, global forces that define the future world with their far-reaching impact on businesses, economics, cultures, and personal lives. Disruption of the global economy, industry, companies, and investments are making it difficult for companies to prepare for the future. The emergence of a pandemic has accelerated these disruptions. COVID-19 has impacted multiple facets of our lives, from how we work to the way we conduct businesses and leisure. The underlying technology transformation will augment some of these impacts into trends. In a post-pandemic world, changing consumption patterns will cause the emergence of new Mega Trends while abruptly altering previously established Mega Trends with long term impacts.
The nine Mega Trends accelerated by COVID-19 are:
1. Connectivity and Convergence: The pandemic reinforces the need for connectivity and networking in personal and professional settings.
2. Cognitive Era: AI and automation exhibit high potential to find solutions to the pandemic and will continue to drive innovation.
3. Future of Retail: Innovation in retail spaces, point of commerce, people, and processes will shape the post-COVID-19 future of retail together.
4. Smart is the New Green: The pandemic has reinforced governments’ need to monitor human social behavior in future smart cities.
5. Social Trends: Varied impact across generations will trigger distinct changes in customer behavior.
6. New Business Models: Companies capable of rapidly shifting to new business models have successfully evaded the downturn.
7. Health, Wellness, and Well-Being (HWW): Telehealth presents a significant growth opportunity post-pandemic. However, telemedicine is underpenetrated and a major obstacle in patient support.
8. Innovating to Zero: Synchronized sequencing of innovative practices is essential to reach zero COVID-19 outcomes worldwide.
9. Future of Mobility: Post-pandemic growth opportunities will emerge in e-retailing, digital car platforms, bike-sharing, and in-car HWW features.
While the Mega Trends above enforce change in a post-COVID-19 world, they also provide opportunities to build more resilience in the system. Companies should strategize, build, and grow in these times of adversity. Some major opportunities arising from the convergence of Mega Trends in a post-pandemic world include:
Digital point-of-care-testing (POCT): Digital POCT adoption is forecast to speed-up clinical decision-making. AI- and ML-powered digital POCT will transform the way assay results are gathered and analyzed.
Robotics-as-a-service (RaaS): As companies struggle to keep up with the current demand amid the pandemic, they will increasingly use RaaS to enhance productivity while saving capital investments required for buying robots.
Return logistics-as-a-service (RLaaS): E-commerce growth during the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing challenges in return logistics and the inherent excess waste. RLaaS will create opportunities for connecting point solutions to offer holistic return management.
Zero-waste manufacturing: The manufacturing sector is striving to drive higher profit margins by enhancing existing processes through zero-waste manufacturing techniques to reduce the gap between planned and actual performance.
Autonomous private shuttles and pods: COVID-19 has disrupted most mobility segments. Consumers are moving away from ride-sharing solutions to a more personalized on-demand transit, with improved last-mile connectivity powered by autonomous vehicles.
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