Beyond Brick and Mortar: Embracing the Power of Technology Post-COVID

By Darren Bautista

On February 24, Dr. William Murithi, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at De Montfort University’s Department of Management & Entrepreneurship, hosted a masterclass on “Digital Transformation for Business Model Innovation Post-COVID-19. He stated that, “we cannot do business as usual, we have to go beyond it.” This is highly relevant to the subject that he based his discussion on: Digitization and Digital Transformation in the current Business world. Because of the pandemic, we have to change how we do business, and how we change our business models.

Key aspects that Dr. Murithi introduced were two interesting business models: Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas & the St. Gallen Business Model Navigator. With Osterwalder’s, it is based on key partners, costs, sources/amounts of revenue, and customer segments. For St. Gallen’s, it mainly focuses on the who, what, why, and how’s of value proposition, value chain, and overall revenue. These models tie together with Digital Transformation, as they help businesses move to something dynamic, rather than static where competitors can easily beat them.

Digital Transformation is a broad subject, as Dr. Murithi said, but he was still able to touch on the major changes that he predicted to see post-COVID due to a digitized era. He noted that there will be drastic changes in enabling new access channels to customers, highly automatized processes that accelerate efficiency/quality, and business revenue streams (as seen through companies like Netflix or Amazon).

Dr. Murithi emphasised that Digitalization and Digital Transformation goes far beyond improving products/services, and production processes. It has the power to change many economic characteristics in the future. This is the breakthrough that businesses will inevitably face as we enter a Post-COVID era wherein technology will continue to shape our daily lives. One need not fear the supersonic pace of change as it represents a countermeasure against future ominous and fortuitous events. Being aware of this will allow the audience of Dr. Murithi’s masterclass to face the challenges of tomorrow.

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