In business terminology, the Covid 19 pandemic of 2020 (and probably beyond) is known as a black swan event. Referring to the rarity of a swan turning out to have black feathers, black swans in the business world are events which are impossible to predict; although some “experts” later assert that businesses should have seen them coming. Either way, black swan events are crises in the true sense of the word.

Whether or not a crisis like the Covid pandemic could have been predicted, for forward-looking businesses and other organisations, the point is to learn from them. In the case of a global health scare and subsequent lockdown measures, the lack of physical presence of customers is driving an inevitable conclusion; digital online ID verification is the future, and the sooner this is acted upon, the better.

Pluses and minuses of the pandemic

Of course, the global impact of an unprecedented health disaster is overwhelmingly negative. However, those responsible for running governments, businesses and even households always need to keep a cool head and analyse the effects of such a crisis for them. With this in mind, a respected economic consultant carried out a survey of business leaders in China at the start of the pandemic.

The survey produced two lists; one of three negatives, and one of three positives. The negatives were:

  • inability to physically meet customers;
  • large drops in sales;
  • inability to restart production.

The positives, meanwhile, were:

  • improved remote collaboration;
  • high employee buy-in of the importance of IT and digital transformation;
  • huge potential of online marketing and other online business.

For business managers with the eyes to see, then, there is massive potential for business growth in the online environment. This will be the case for the long term, whether vaccines are successfully rolled out across the world; the pandemic is a black swan like no other, and businesses must be more resilient and flexible.

Building resilience and growing business with online ID checks

The combined effect of both the negative and positives gathered from this feedback seems to point directly at a digital transformation; especially in online ID verification. An inability for organisations to interact physically with their customers or clients has forced them to do so remotely. Having done so successfully, future need for physical presence is no longer a priority.

Indeed, there are already success stories generated by this adoption of digital transformation. In Italy, which was one of the worst and earliest sufferers of mass casualties due to the virus, real progress has been made in business and e-commerce. The country is witnessing a huge uptake of e-learning as workers strive to adopt new skills; this in tandem with a surge in online shopping and video streaming.

Digital transformation showing the way

Of course, for all of this to be successful, secure, and sustainable, robust online ID and documentation checks are essential. Customer onboarding is vital, both in securely setting up new accounts, and carrying out transactions over any appropriate device, at any time. The crisis caused by the pandemic is driving smart businesses to see this situation as a permanent replacement to footfall in physical premises.