Covid-19 has been a game changer, and will profoundly alter the way we live and work. It has taken the level of technological disruption to a pace quicker than any of us could have imagined, which creates both opportunities and risks for investors alike.
As more of us increasingly rely on our digital infrastructure to work, communicate and automate processes, we are witnessing a growing divide between those companies who have invested in their technological capabilities and those whose business models look increasingly outdated.
Those with digital mindsets have been able to benefit from the crisis through their agility, speed, and data driven processes to take market share off weaker peers at a quicker pace than ever.
It should therefore be seen as no coincidence that the past few months has seen huge performance dispersion between the perceived winners and losers.
The big question is how durable these trends are? There is no doubt that parts of the acceleration in growth many online businesses have experienced during lockdown will be transient in nature, but my guess is the majority will create real structural change.
Take for example online fashion, inevitably the likes of ASOS and Zalando will struggle to retain all of the customers they acquired while the high street was shut.
It has provided a step change in the pace at which these online businesses have been able to acquire both customers and brands.
This creates a virtuous circle, as with a larger customer base, these platforms have become even more important to the brands they serve, which in turn increases their value proposition to consumers.
Similarly, within the payments field, cash usage declined by about 80% during April, which has allowed card payment to fill the void, and gain about three years of usual penetration growth in three months alone.
What is most interesting is this penetration growth is partly from users who ordinarily would not have altered their habits, but may now never look back from paying by contactless or card, instead of cash.
It is this forced disruption, that has grown many addressable markets for technology driven companies far quicker than even they could ordinarily have imagined.
Companies are being forced to respond to these changes, which is likely to trigger an acceleration of investment in the wider IT infrastructure.
This ranges from the semiconductor companies whose chips power much of this innovation, to the software, and cloud behind the scenes, and the IT service companies implementing this.
Investors often overlook European technology in favour of the more well-known US names, but European companies are powering much of this innovation, and the opportunity set looks ripe for those willing to look beneath the surface.
Marcus Morris-Eyton is portfolio manager, European equities at Allianz Global Investors