Mary Meeker’s Emerging Trends for Business Post-COVID-19

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The tech community follows Mary Meeker’s annual trends report religiously. Her VC firm, Bond, recently released its coronavirus trends report, filled with a good analysis of how this crisis will affect us all and shape how we interact and do business going forward. Covid-19 has disrupted all of our lives in ways we are just beginning to understand, but here are some key takeaways for B2B businesses.

Digital Transformation is Accelerating

The need to physically distance has accelerated the shift in activities from offline to online, as businesses have been forced to take their workforce remote and transition many of their daily offline activities into the cloud. This need to leverage cloud technology has led to an increase in the use of business apps and remote work tools as businesses struggle to provide digital solutions that meet the needs of their employees and clients. We will see businesses continue to integrate more technology through the use of digital tools that help address remote work challenges, like fostering creativity and productivity, optimizing face time, and managing technology and security, all while continuing to maintain engagement and culture.

Businesses are exploring ways that their products and services can be delivered virtually or with limited contact and having more discussions about how technology can help address these challenges. Establishing and maintaining a strong online presence will be more important than ever as consumers are turning to digital solutions in order to help them locate and procure the products and services they need.

Tech-Enabled Communication Will Be Key

The shift to remote workforces and limited contact delivery of goods and services has also driven a greater need for technology that facilitates real-time on-demand communication. For example, Zoom’s video conferencing tool jumped from 10 million daily meeting participants to more than 200 million daily users in the last three months. As remote cloud-driven communication and collaboration continue to grow, we’ll see an even greater need for technology-enabled communication and ways for both our employees and our clients to communicate and interact digitally.

Automation will Continue to Grow

As businesses look for digital solutions to help reduce or streamline workloads and improve the quality of data capture, the use of automation for streamlining key activities and communications is growing. Businesses will continue to explore how automation can help make activities more scalable and positively impact their operations. We’re already seeing the impact with many companies using automation or artificial intelligence to fill in gaps, helping ensure that businesses can continue to provide services, sometimes with a reduced workforce. The use of automation to scale activities was already a trend prior to COVID-19, but we will continue to see growth in the use of technology to further scale and automate communications, logistics, and services.

The businesses that will weather this crisis are already leveraging cloud technology, have a strong online presence, can serve their clients with limited contact, and are selling in-demand products to consumers or providing services that help make other businesses more digitally efficient. These characteristics will continue to be important as we navigate this crisis and come out on the other side of it.

As Mary says in her report:

“We are optimists and believe there is hope on the other side of despair…We also need government, business and entrepreneurial intervention at scale (deployed logically and effectively) to get to the other side.”

You can read the full report here.

All the best,

Bill Bice

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