When China Sneezes, the World Catches a Cold!

The saying goes— ‘When the US sneezes, the world catches a cold.’ But, of late we have encountered that how COVID-19, with its origin in China, has impacted the whole world. With this new virus (COVID-19), the entire world went topsy-turvy, with millions infected, countries grappling to save their healthcare systems and economy.

Not only from the healthcare perspective, but COVID-19 impacted many nations with shutting down of production lines, plunging domestic consumption. A crucial point to be noted here is that China is both– a major consumer hub and the largest global supplier of goods. As a result, a Coronavirus-like shock can hugely impact the entire world and put it in a fix. In fact, COVID-19 has already hindered many countries’ economic growth.

As China is an important buyer of primary products, such as agricultural and mining commodities, technology intensive goods, as well as labour-intensive goods, any impact on China can truly affect the entire world. In a nutshell, China’s connectivity to the world could be analysed by the dominant place in trade, supply-chain and shipping/transport linkages.

In a way, COVID-19 has taught us a lesson–that not to rely on one country, and so countries need to focus on localization, resilience and going digital.

As digital is the key pillar for any organization, The Economic Times Edge brings to you the first edition of The Economic Times Global Virtual Tech Summit.

Navigating to the New Normal—How?

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed us for a change. This black swan event has triggered many companies to rework on business and technology strategies and frame a business continuity plan.

According to a McKinsey report, “the organizations should act across five stages, leading from the crisis of today to the next normal that will emerge after the battle against coronavirus has been won: Resolve, Resilience, Return, Reimagination, and Reform.”

The crisis has also highlighted the importance of investment in enabling technologies like cloud, data and cyber security. In another report by KPMG, it says while these were already in motion, they have now pressed the fast-forward button. Even the brick and mortar organisations have been forced to experiment with digital channels. This presents a real and immediate opportunity to drive efficiencies through digital.

In a way, this is changing the way we work with far reaching implications, enabling resilient models for working and conducting business during times of uncertainty and crisis.

Although, organizations are facing multiple challenges amid the COVID crisis, but with the right support and by leveraging the right technology they can sail through the crisis.

Organizations need to have a business continuity plan in place, with technology being the key enabler.

A business continuity plan that contains contingencies for business processes, assets, human resources and business partners. It should also include ensuring smooth supplies and equipment, data backups and backup site locations. Plans that can also identify plan administrators and include contact information for emergency responders, key personnel and backup site providers.

And this is only possible by cherry-picking the right technology. The need of the hour is to have the right technology arsenal to navigate the challenges of COVID.