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Foresight

The Value Zone

The difficulties between yesterday’s and tomorrow’s business models continue to exist in a struggle to find a balance. Companies who found their comfort zone are clashing against those who seek new horizons through innovation, but the disruptive element is still worrying old-school business models who found self-validation surviving through the Covid-19 pandemic.

A company works best balancing their services/clients ratio in a value zone that allows them to find fertile land to thrive. On the other hand, there are two danger zones to consider and also to avoid at all costs: A) too few services and many clients, B) too few clients and many services.

Case A starts with an old school imprint of business core decisions where the enterprise has been coasting for years, more likely over a decade where it found a cozy comfort zone that is in fact a danger zone. As markets and economies shift faster and faster, having only one or just a few services or products is harming any business activity. No restaurant offers one dish and one drink, so why should companies do that? Yes, some might claim “location”, yet until a competitor spawns right next to you, then your days are numbered.

Case B is where a company sets to make a difference too fast and too energetically forgetting to build first a solid and basic line of clients. Companies doing this are just showering their few accounts with too many services that will appear distracting to them, but more importantly, remove any focus from their business core. Despite the need of adapting to new scenarios, companies ought to develop one important primary asset to satisfy and make clients happy.

How to achieve the value zone? This target is not a precise point that requires unfathomable resources or time to obtain. The value zone is first accepting the fact there are danger areas to avoid, places to which are often taken for comfort zones. Once you raised awareness the following step is to admit mistakes were made, where the best solution to this problem is to accept the fact new strategies must be taken:
1) Do I have few services and many clients? Expect such service to be taken away from you by some competitor with better prices; or, expect the next economic turmoil that pushes politics and markets to pull the rug from beneath you.
2) Do I have few clients and many services? Expect such clients to run away because the lack of focus brings up the lack of experience and confidence; therefore you will provide average to below results as your energies and resources are spread on too many fronts. Less is sometimes more.

In the end, we can identify the value zone as a place where companies understand their potential through team work, being open-minded, but most importantly acknowledging times are changing faster and faster, that there no room for inside politics, pride, or ego.

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Foresight

Opportunities

The Corona Virus crisis has provided important insights about our society and economy we took for granted until a few months ago. Now more than ever countries must invest by improving the digital experience of their citizens by building new tools for tomorrow; tools that will prevent the many mistakes we are doing today which are costing us in terms of human lives.

Healthcare will dominate the next decade because this crisis demonstrated the flimsy quality of hospital services and how their readiness is underperforming. We will probably see Apple and Samsung shift their tech ambitions more into tools for doctors, nursing staff, patients, by competing against General Electric, Siemens, Johnson & Johnson, among the top names in the field. Internet Of Things will be the best field to innovate by providing assistance to those who cannot be hospitalized for the lack of available beds. So smartwatches, smartphones, tablets, computers, thermostats, security devices, will be tools used by hospitals to stay in touch remotely and monitor patients from their home, where doctors can assist people and issue prescriptions that will be delivered to them.

Since we will be living the next year or two in a condition where the virus will still affect our lives, hospitality can strive by implementing new methods of services. Restaurants will invest more into touchscreen technologies instead of having their customers risking contagion while getting their food over the counter; this also means seating will be limited and rearranged where possible. At the same time restaurants have the chance to venture into ecommerce platforms for take-out and pick-up orders strengthening their customer loyalty along with secure revenues; however, delivery companies like Just Eat, Zomato, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, will expand their territory and service capabilities redefining metropolitan logistics.Also self-driving techs will help this transformation.

Manufacturing capabilities are weak in the west if Europe and North America are scrambling for face masks and respirators to be sent from China. Politicians of the west will have to reconsider many of their priorities if they do the smart thing: creating jobs at home in the healthcare industry would be a win-win situation for the economy and for political votes. When a crisis such as this one strikes we cannot depend on the mercy of Asian manufacturing output during a pandemic. Governments are stopping and sequestering medical supplies in their dockyards to secure facemasks for their own citizens, and we have seen European countries doing that as well as the recent events between Canada and the US taking place.

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Foresight

The tech race for the next economy

The last four weeks gave us a sad panoramic of the bad preparation state western countries are living in. Despite the wide availability of technology we suddenly discovered this invisible wall affecting the healthcare sector, and no country in Europe or North America had the contingency to get ready for this pandemic.

We are not talking about the lack of expensive medical equipment, but the simple things like those face masks doctors are in dire need just to go by their simple tasks. Then we also seen the need for respirators so companies are scrambling to convert their production lines to meet the new demand. Virgin Orbit did so and surprisingly we can see a simple and cheap mechanism that can help patients, yet too many hospitals are in short of.

While Apple already ventured into healthcare with user information being harvested via their devices, we will now see companies invest into the medical field with a great emphasis seeking new growth and new profits. This will be driven by a new demand for hospitals, universities, and labs, to acquire new personnel and students with an interest in immunology and infectious diseases. The great demand for vaccines, machineries, and AI, will propel the global economy to the Industry 4.0 moving away from older production practices and affecting the labor force

The tech race for the next economy will venture into more data-gathering and its elaboration to provide more accurate information. With the implementation of AI in the healthcare sector to improve cognition and analysis of medical data, we can expect significant investments in the digital realm influencing global markets to head towards that direction. This has the possibility to affect doctors’ behavior in delegating more responsibilities of diagnosis towards AI, thus changing this role into a more managerial function applied to direct nursing staff and other hospital personnel. However I wouldn’t exclude banks from entering the healthcare industry business with a heavy foot.

Another important field that will reshape production sectors are the 3D printing technologies applied for small and large scale projects. In March an Italian engineer managed to help patients in intensive care in northern Italy by printing in a few hours the much needed oxygen valves for the hospital. In case small hospitals should be built during emergencies we can rely on 3D concrete printing for fast solutions; using more printers in one site it’s possible to raise a safe and durable structure with better qualities than the traditional brick method.

These technologies are already here and have already delivered so much in recent years. Companies can access this tech realm without having to resort to big capitals to invest, this mean small enterprises can innovate their sector and themselves. This pandemic and consequential economic crisis will trigger this race for survival, pushing more into the digital world than ever before.

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A new life awaits you

The year is 2020 just started in the worst possible manner. After leaving behind a grouchy 2019 wishing the next one to be better, we stumble into undiscovered space with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are learning things as we go in these months and it shouldn’t be like that. Despite our best effort in technology-making there are several fallacies we haven’t addressed yet; one of the many is the our own behavior we are exploring under particular stress.

In 2003 the SARS epidemic begun raising alarms of the ease at which such disease managed to spread. I remember those white, green, and blue masks, on the face of people in Toronto believing it would have been a much worse scenario, luckly it didn’t happen. Fast forward 2020 and the Corona Virus (similar to SARS) has placed the world on its knees becoming a direct threat to many healthcare systems and economies.

We are witnessing the weak and unprepared side of globalization where markets have no more boundaries, and so do people. Now, more than ever, western economies are depending more and more from the east and in particular from China. Our technology is made far away from the stores near our neighbors, yet all it took to send panic and supply shortages was a controllable disease that was left unchecked.

As quarantines have struck all major countries of the globe, we are slowly understanding how tomorrow will be different from yesterday. We acknowledge how frail our economies are, how easy it is to get sick, how fast we can lose our loved ones to an invisible enemy. What is propelling through this chaos is the digital component of our lives, we can still exchange data between each other, we can work from home, we can do school from our devices, but the next change in society is already here.

Hopefully the quarantine and extraordinary measures should fade through the spring, however there is still plenty of caution we have to excercise before we can resume yesterday’s pace. From today on we will be thinking twice about many things like how easy the panic was for the lack of hand-sanitizers, or the toilet paper rush. But most importantly we will rethink our political class and how they responded in time of crisis.

We are going to become more paranoid and more fake news will wash ashore of our social networks, and this will become our ever increasing Achilles’ heel; more than anything else: we have become such an iperconnected society to the point we cannot go back anymore. A new life awaits you…