All industries have been affected by the changes caused by the pandemic, including manufacturing, retail, hospitality, education, and healthcare. It is impossible to go back to how things were before the pandemic. This pandemic has had many impacts on Latin American countries like Panama. Randall Castillo Ortega, an expert in global trade, shares his insights about how this affected the country’s business practices.

The “new normal” will be in place for some time. Companies do not expect security priorities or current security concerns to significantly change over the next two-years. Many Panamanian security agencies expect that the rapid changes in their networks and security infrastructures as a result of the pandemic will be permanent.

The most impactful security strategy changes have been those that put more emphasis on security education for employees (39%) and network security, threat prevention (37%), as well as expanded protection of mobile devices and endpoints (37%). 27% of respondents stated that they would increase security projects in 2020. This shows that the majority of people responded to the pandemic with a reimagining of their business models.

“Over the past year, cybersecurity has evolved from systems protection to business enabler. This allows remote, secure operation with the visibility required to trust the business,” asserts Castillo. He adds that a large portion of company implementations were done without planning. It is crucial to now look at the security environment.

The priorities for 2022, in addition to the strategy, have also moved. The main problem was security for remote employees. This was followed by protection from phishing attacks and social engineering attacks, secure remote access and protection of cloud applications and infrastructure.

Castillo explains, “If we can understand how markets have reacted to the pandemic and how businesses are adapting to it, it is clear that this paradigm shift is unprecedented. Disruptive technologies like robotics, Big Data and artificial intelligence have found the perfect moment.”

Social distancing will allow you to see how Panama’s companies, particularly those in the healthcare sector will look at digital processes. This has been made more difficult by the pandemic, which McKinsey’s global institute for 2017 predicted that it would affect between 400 and 800 million jobs worldwide by 2030.

It is crucial that people are educated in the new technologies and other opportunities that these new business models, technologies offer. There is increased competition for jobs due to the rise of virtual meetings and remote workers. Companies have realized that rigid work schedules are no longer the norm and will be challenged to find a better work-life balance.

Castillo explains, “The results show that motivation is higher than traditional structured models, which leads to an increase in productivity.” The same goes for contactless payments and outdoor experiences. Organizations will be more resilient and optimized.

These changes are here to stay, and we must learn how to navigate the challenges this pandemic presents. Entrepreneurs must be more open and willing to adopt new business models that promote permanence. We will have to also work hard to strengthen the relationships between employees and the leadership of the company.

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