Written By: Christiana Dan, Research Journalist.
If the year 2020 could be described in one word it would be ‘PANDEMIC’.
The pandemic that started in late 2019 ran swift across the globe putting most nations in panic and almost everyone in fear for their dear lives. But, as the effects of the pandemic resulted in gradual global lockdown businesses were forced to shut down physical offices and work from home.
This move was smooth for businesses that had long gone digital but it was a rough ride for most small and medium scale businesses that relied so much on their physical location to drive their businesses. The resultant effect was a salary slash and eventual workforce clampdown.
Soon everyone was beginning to realize that the pandemic was not just a health challenge but an economic challenge too, as most businesses and homes began to suffer from the gradual global lockdown.
The issue of palliatives began to arise as businesses, households, and individuals struggled to stay afloat. But, there were equally businesses, households, and individuals who thrived more at those trying times. For most of such thriving businesses, their online presence had served as the bridge to the post-COVID world that many never envisaged. It is the world of virtual meetings, virtual classes, redefinition of workspace and workforce, and forced embrace of the digital era.
Businesses, Schools, Religious centers, and Organizations were forced to hold virtual meetings and embrace the opportunities in the online space. It was either you move online or move out of business or out of the job.
What started in Wuhan China and was at first China’s problem soon spread to the rest of the world and became a global problem. This has reemphasized that the world is indeed a global village and whatever affects one part of the world would in turn affect the rest of the world. Hence, we must realize that we need each other to make things work.
If the world is a global village then there must be a need for a global connection. The internet is evidently the modern platform where the whole world can stay connected. The importance of the digital space was most vivid in the heat of the pandemic as it served as the platform to connect people who were lockdown from one another.
A Digital Marketing Expert, Olugbenga Ogunbowale, stated that going digital during the pandemic was basically the difference between life and death for most businesses.
He said: “Essentially, the pandemic made it nearly impossible for businesses to open safely. So, people needed to order online whatever they needed and receive it safely at their homes without physical contact.”
Ogunbowale advised persons and organizations that are yet to go digital, to get online and activate a digital strategy for growth.
“If you have been waiting for a sign to go digital, coronavirus is that sign! I mean there is no better time for you to get an online presence and be able to essentially serve the needs of your customers than now. This is because your customers are online, your potential customers are online and your competitors are already online.”
So, what are the action points for 2021?
For the coming year, it would be best to pay attention to one’s health, master one’s digital space, and show some love to your fellow man. Never again should a year like 2020 come and meet any individual, organization, nation, and the world unprepared.
The coronavirus pandemic may be under control at the moment, but one big lesson we can glean as we plan and prepare for a new year is that the world is a global village and the digital era has come to stay.
CREDIT: This research/investigation/story was supported by the US embassy via the ATUPA fellowship by Civic Hive.