The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a major impact on how we work and changed since then. But all in all, one particular however stood against COVID-19. The Tech industry has also shifted in high gear due to the demand for remote working. Majority of businesses have gone digital and some might even consider permanent.The change has been so sudden and dramatic that it is calling into question how (or even if) businesses will ever go back to the way we previously operated.
While the uncertainty around the pandemic and its effects will have a long lasting impact on the economies and communities, companies are required to overhaul their business continuity plans if they wish to survive. IT firms have a greater responsibility on them to help businesses remain afloat by offering innovative and improved solutions to tackle the new normal conditions.
At the same time, IT businesses will also have to consider the health risks of their workforce and triage priorities to chalk out their short-term and long-term plans.IT operations are seeing their limelight moments now when the pandemic has made companies adopt remote working model amidst the government-mandated social distancing and lock-downs imposed to reduce the coronavirus disease transmission. However, the adverse impacts of COVID-19 will still offset the growth witnessed in some segments of the IT industry.
Increased Demand for Cloud Infrastructure
Shelter in-place rules have driven online shopping, on-demand online education, video streaming services and remote working, all of which rely on the Internet. Companies are opting for cloud-based solutions now more than ever to streamline their operations.
Data analytics and consulting company GlobalData’s report projects the cloud services market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19% between 2019 and 2024 and reach $661 billion by 2024.
Firms are increasing their spending on cloud infrastructure amidst the COVID-19 situation, with a report by the Boston Consulting Group indicating a two-fold increase in the budget allocation for cloud infrastructure-related projects at companies in Asia-Pacific by 2023, from the existing 5% mark.
The increased demand outlook for cloud services can be further supported by the fact that more companies are now looking to make remote working permanent for their employees. A Gartner report has found that 74% of the CFO’s intend to make the work-from-home arrangement permanent for at least 5% of their previously on-site employees after COVID-19. There’s no doubt that the IT departments will have a very busy year, helping their companies migrate to the cloud and adopt technologies that are more friendly to the remote working environment.
Streaming services have benefited from the coronavirus-induced lock downs and home quarantines. Online e-Sports streaming service Twitch registered a record 22.7 million peak daily active users in March 2020, while Netflix added 15.8 million new paid users between January and March 2020. With Theatres staying closed due to the pandemic, movie premieres on OTT platforms will further drive the traffic. Internet service providers are forced to reduce bandwidth allocation for the streaming services to reduce the strain on the network.
Way forward for IT industry
As countries ease the lock downs gradually, IT companies can guide industries to reopen with greater resilience against the pandemic and restore operations.
Business plans devised by the companies to adjust to the new normal conditions triggered by the pandemic should include-
- Renewed business targets in line with the current and foreseeable situation.
- Employee protection measures at the workplace and ways to curb the spread of infection by adhering to social distancing norms, sanitisation practices and regular monitoring of body temperature and other vitals.
- Business interruption and recovery strategies, including shifting of operations to another facility, backup for infected employees and insurance cover if an outbreak occurs at the site or in the vicinity.
- Assessment of the inventory and supply arrangements for essential equipment and components with existing and new suppliers to close any existing and foreseeable gaps.
- Thorough assessment of the negatively-affected customer and investor sentiments to project capital availability, market conditions and demands to adjust business plans accordingly.
- Adoption of more agile team structures and operational methods that can support short-term and long-term plans while keeping the company vision and priorities in sight.
The tech industry is not recession-proof, however, it is in a much better place to tackle the crisis than the travel industry, for example. In one or the other way, tech is being used as a substitute for travel that’s no longer possible during the COVID-19 emergency. Due to the coronavirus, a lot of opportunities opened up in the IT industry, such as the growing need for the 5th generation (5G) technology. This will help increase connections that support the primed remote interactions. This has become the top priority for many organizations due to the pandemic. Telehealth is one of the developing industries in the crises. This could help people to get diagnosed, treated and operated with the need of a physician to be physically present. A lot of apps have been built in the past few months to help achieve this. There are many patients who are in self-quarantine who need medical supervision and medical assistance every day, and these applications could help them achieve that.There are a few threats too, such as after the pandemic is over what would happen to the IT sector? May exporters in this industry feel that it will not be able to stabilize after the downfall, unlike the 2008 global economic and financial meltdown.
About the author
Abdulrahman Tawal is a Certified Digital Marketing Master from International Institute Of Digital Marketing™