Search & Destroy

What will be the new normal after Covid-19?

Look out honey, ’cause I’m using technology
Ain’t got time to make no apology

Two lines from The Stooges applied to the Vietnam War, but also applicable to the post Covid-19 era. A lot of companies will die and the surviving ones will fight for their customers. Other companies will be wounded and an easy target for a cheap acquisition. 

Everybody knows that important companies were founded or broke through in times of crisis. They were prepared before the crisis, they sat comfortable during the crisis, and they attacked as soon as the crisis was over. And the rest… they sat down and watched. 

The financial market already differentiates their appreciation for a random company depending on the scale of remote working versus a company that depends entirely on international trade and travelling. Because they know we’re in this for a long time. And if your company revenue is highly dependent on the number of international contacts or lobby work, your company will be dead long before the first reliable vaccination is available.

For 10 years, the vendors in our product portfolio, wondered whether they would continue to focus on network business or whether they would switch to the cloud business. The result was often that they would do both. And because Sales People are lazy and always keen in finding the easiest way to sell, they would continue to sell network business.

In the meantime, small Cloud-only security companies were growing in their shade.

Without Covid, this process would have gone on for at least 5 years. When we wake up after our lockdown, the world will look different without being too negative. Different is not always bad. We won’t forget how efficient we were as from March 2020 without spending hours in our cars around Antwerp or Brussels, for the rest of our lives. We realize now that 5 days in a week in the office won’t be normal anymore.

Probably a lot of investments in 2020 will be postponed or cancelled, IT investments too. But my guess is that the investments which will go through before the end of 2020 will be more cloud-oriented than campus network oriented.

Those small companies with their cloud-only approach might still look irrelevant and small. And most of them will choose for quick money and will be acquired by the usual mastodons in the network economy. Others will fade away.

The main activity for Network & security integrators like Netleaf, post Covid-19, will be to evaluate all those small players. To look at them very closely, not only on the feature set of their cloud service, but also strategically with a visionary eagle eye. Somewhere out there is the new HPE Aruba, Palo Alto or Fortinet. Choose well!

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