“The new normal” will be driven by consumers: NB – financial services.


Many claims are made of the data we have today but two things appear clear to the layman.

  1. The more data you have on the spread of the virus, the easier it is to make the right public policy decisions.
  2. Ultimately those decisions  are based on politics as well as science, economics and well as health.

What Michael Gove yesterday called the “new normal” will emerge as a result of what politicians allow us to do and what the laws of economics dictate. Rents must be paid, people must eat – but we must do so as safely as we can.

Take these comments which appear in a pay-walled article in the Times

Given that the risk of dying from Covid-19 is low, politicians can assure the public that our worst fears are over.

Another consequence is that a lockdown is no longer a proportionate response, particularly given its profound negative impact: massive unemployment and increases in domestic violence, mental health problems and child abuse, as well as deaths caused by delayed or cancelled medical treatment.

“The risk of dying is low” is a politicisation of science, the authors are John Ioannidis is professor of medicine, epidemiology and statistics at Stanford.  and Rohan Silva , senior policy adviser to No 10 and is a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics

What they mean is that for the productive workforce – those of working age who pay taxes. it’s time to go back to work. If you are a pensioner, in your 50s and BAME and if work means commuting in a metal tube, then going back to work presents a different new normal to if you’re office based and in your 30s and 40s.

I see the new normal as I run and cycle around the City, I see key workers in offices, they are key usually because they do the manual jobs like post, security and maintenance, for them the old normal hasn’t and won’t go away. Nor for those digging up the roads and constructing and reconstructing the infrastructure in which we work. If I was writing in a rural area I am sure I could find similar divisions of labour (cows need to be milked etc,)

It looks unlikely that we will feel comfortable getting in a metal conveyance alongside others any time before mass vaccination proves effective and that looks at the least a year away by which time habits formed over the past six weeks may have become the new normal to a point where concepts such as commuting will have changed for ever.

We may never again class “fear of flying” in terms of aircraft crashing, in future we will fear our being confined in a metal tube for hours alongside fellow passengers. I’m not the first to point out that self-preservation in terms of health may trump good intentions in delivering climate change targets.

The new normal – at least in terms of work – looks like a less mobile, more digital era where we become used to less social interaction and a much greater importance on the means with which we get our information.

So we see the arrival of new terms to describe software development “low code- no code” software that relies for its value not on year long development projects but on getting ideas to market quickly , effectively and to as many braincells as possible.  This is from Soren Kaplan, a Californian management consultant

Anyone in the software business should become intimately familiar with the various tools, APIs, and business models that will power the next generation of the industry.

Check out Google’s Data Studio to track various data connectors or GitHub to access open-source out-of-the-box code snippets. Get new skills through an online course from Udemy or others, or get a basic overview from searching YouTube.

Indeed – when software development doesn’t require coding, we may start thinking of software development as a branch of journalism where the media of delivery is governed by the demands of users for information. YouTube, Udemy and GitHub are examples of companies we employ to deliver our ideas, but the idea remains the intellectual property that’s most valued as it contains the proper understanding of what people want.

This seems to be the driver for politicians and economists, for software developers and for those who run and finance businesses. It’s very simple, people seem generally to be moving on from the pre-pandemic paradigm and waking up to a new world where things can be done differently. While some will not make that transition (and need to be served in old ways) the new normal is about delivering what people want in new ways.

Which has particular relevance to financial services, which have the means to do just that – with important implications for the development of pension dashboards (amongst  other deliverables).


Delivering to braincells!



About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in advice gap, digital, pensions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “The new normal” will be driven by consumers: NB – financial services.

  1. John Mather says:

    Henry, Observing a system of which you are part has always been challenging

    However, If you go back to 2006 you will find a TED talk from Dr Larry Brilliant He was also the technical consultant on the field Contagion.
    Here is a more recent update.

    Gove might learn from people like him. Policy and announcements are not action or leadership and clearly contingency plans have not gone well, if they existed at all. Maybe another victim of austerity


    Kind regards


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