By Pradeep Khurana, Managing Director of ContinuServe. ContinuServe is a global outsourcing firm, which helps corporations and private equity firms with their IT, Finance, and carve-out needs. More information at www.continuserve.com.
ContinuServe is a leader in providing technology and financial outsourcing solutions globally. This allows us to have some perspectives from our corporate and private equity clients on what we may expect in 2021. By putting our prediction for the new year on paper, it helps us and other business leaders identify and plan for certain scenarios.
Overall, we see the Biden presidency to provide much needed stability to the geo-political landscape. Biden has already shown that he is planning to bring on Cabinet members who have deep technical experience and more traditional backgrounds. This may help to restore some of our global alliances and our international reputation. This will likely lead to more stable economic growth and improved international relations. This will allow for enhanced global trade and more collaboration on challenging world issues.
2021 will hopefully see an end to the Covid pandemic in the United States. With widespread vaccine distribution, we will likely see a massive drop in cases and mortality which will allow the economy to come back. This will help small businesses reopen and grow. Some sectors such as aviation, hospitality, amusement parks and live entertainment may be able to restart. Volumes will still be below 2019 levels for several years, but the surviving players can start to rebuild. Although the economy will start to recover in 2021, we don’t expect to see a major increase in the stock market indices. The stock market is near all-time highs despite the damaged GDP and elevated unemployment levels. This is not rational. We see the stock market as already baking in the improved post-pandemic expectations, so there is little 2021-upside. In addition, the large damage to government budgets from the massive pandemic-relief programs may lead to higher corporate tax rates, which may also be a drag on the stock market.
Covid also changed a lot of behaviors. For example, corporations were forced to roll out work from home programs and tele-services. This has increased the use of telemedicine services. It has also ramped up distance learning from home. All of this has forced more Americans to learn cloud-based applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other collaboration tools. We were also trained to do more of our shopping online. Also, the IT, finance, and HR managers were forced to work from home so they increased their reliance on offsite web services to run their businesses. This has led to increased use of cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. We see the shift to cloud continuing, but we also see some mission-critical services remaining in-house.
We expect this environment to increase the number of mergers and acquisitions; IPOs from promising technology companies and a continuation in the number of SPAC IPOs. Additionally, we expect corporations to expand internationally and to leverage additional outsourcing resources. Corporations will now feel free to bring on more international workers and to expand globally.
As the economy reopens and pandemic-safety precautions are removed, we expect Americans to get out and spend on the many activities that they sacrificed for the past year. We expect more people to shop in stores, travel and attend entertainment venues.
At the start of the pandemic, it was a very dark period. People had no idea how it would be resolved. Now that there are several vaccines that have been approved and are targeting initial delivery before January 2021, we can see a real exit path. Also, the unprecedented vaccine technology developments using mRNA has helped prepare the world for the next coronavirus so we will be able to respond more quickly and with higher certainty.
We are cautiously optimistic that 2021 will see an improved economy, fueled by increased consumer demand, more stable international policies and enhanced use of digital technologies.
— Published on December 10, 2020
Published By: Bullsource