We’re all looking forward to a post-COVID-19 world and as a result of the disruption caused, we are all fast-tracking business growth and digital transformation in a way that has never been seen before.
Businesses are exploring new products, new services, new business models and new sustainable incentives to meet expectations and thrive in the future. They are also thinking about the next generation – of both customers and employees.
According to our Future Ready Report, 72% of companies say Generation Z (1995 to 2010) presents new challenges – from the way they engage with brands to their concerns about climate change. Many of you have responded to this by increasing social engagement and committing to sustainable business plans: 67% of businesses – and almost all businesses with more than 50 employees – are working hard to reduce waste and cut energy consumption.
But what does this mean for the future?
Not only are 64% of Gen Zs are willing to pay more for an eco-friendly product, but 79% say companies behaving in a more sustainable/ eco-friendly way has become more important as a result of coronavirus. And while this generation spends a lot of time online, sharing news and views via social media, research also suggests that 70% believe they influence their family’s purchasing decisions.
To connect with Gen Z businesses need to be more environmentally conscious – and they need to be more vocal about it.
Many companies are now using IoT and Mobile Private Networks (MPN) to monitor energy consumption across grids, buildings and logistics operations in real-time and using this information to highlight opportunities for a more energy-efficient business.
Techem are using Narrow Band IoT and remote radio metering to track energy consumption in homes and commercial buildings, helping to lower energy consumption, reducing CO2 emissions and protecting the environment.
Gen Z employees
As an employer, the experience of Gen Z employees during the pandemic is also provoking some serious thinking.
The generational divide between work from home preferences was pronounced: Gen Z was the most likely to say that they didn't like working from home and reported the most productivity issues. This generation wants to grow business networks; they want to socialise with friends. They are also often in shared accommodation which can make home working difficult.
Creating safe back to work strategies will be important to get this generation back into the office quickly – using building monitoring solutions, for example, to reinforce safe distancing policies. But adding Unified Communication and Collaboration tools, such as conferencing, will also help these individuals to connect and build relationships with colleagues – many of whom will opt to stay at home in the long term.
Keeping the momentum
According to McKinsey, we’ve covered a "decade in days" in adoption of digital – and you have responded by accelerating your digital plans. Through rapid digitalisation, development timescales of years and months have changed to just weeks - and sometimes days.
So what’s next for your supercharged digital transformation?
Keep going. Build on the momentum and embrace change.
Provide the tools that allow employees to work from home, as and when they want.
Use data to track energy consumption and provide customers with information about sustainability gains.
Explore analytics to better understand changing customer behaviour – especially of the next generation of decision-makers.
Business and society are changing faster than ever before – your digital journey will help you respond, adapt and thrive.