What positive impact will the coronavirus have on the Tech sector?
COVID-19 is having a massive impact on the way businesses of all sizes are operating. But could the current events work as a catalyst for change? Would this be an opportunity for the technology sector to thrive and at the same time support businesses through uncertain times?
In this new climate of remote working, there is an increased need for businesses to fast-track digital transformation projects. The benefit will be a faster adoption of the emerging technologies and collaboration tools to ensure business continuality. But factors such as cyber security will be more important than ever to manage effectively.
Software and telecommunications
Telecom companies have already reported a massive spike in data usage and BT have just announced it is scraping broadband data limits after it has seen its network traffic increase by almost 60%. As schools close, there will be a further stress on the telecoms network as education bodies shift to digital learning.
‘’We’ve seen a huge rise of data and voice communication usage, since people are now working remotely” says Fotis Karonis, CTIO at BT Enterprise and 5G Executive Advisor, “BT is the fabric of the UK enabling people to be in permanent connectivity and our network is performing exceptionally well under unprecedented times. The technology sector in the UK is responding very well with resilience in this exceptional pressure of the extraordinary circumstances and daily changing patterns caused by this covid-19 pandemic.’’
Furthermore, ‘software companies could see revenue increases’ according to a recent study by Computer Economics. The study notes that due to the significant need of remote- working, software like Zoom, Slack, GoToMyPC, Zoho Remotely, Microsoft Office365, Atlassian, are already seeing an increased demand in their paid and free services. Other collaboration tools are also seeing a growth in usage.
Until very recently, companies would move to emerging technologies in order to achieve higher efficiencies or reduce costs. However, as a result of the coronavirus, companies will have to also assess other factors such maintaining business as usual, adaptability and employee wellbeing to help them remain sustainable.
Investing in emerging technologies such as IoT, AI and AR, will help to adapt quicker to ever-changing environments. Further to SaaS, technologies such as VR can help colleagues engage and collaborate more efficiently, Augmented Reality alongside AI can help resolve maintenance issues (including predictive maintenance), and 3D printing could be a problem solver to the shortage of supplies caused by coronavirus.
5G will provide greater network connectivity although at present the distribution is too limited to be a game changer.
An unfortunate side effect of remote working has been an increase in the risk of cyberattacks, since networks are being overused. As businesses have moved from a protected secure network to employees accessing business data through potentially unprotected networks, experts predict a surge in attacks as demonstrated by the recent C-19 relate cyberattack at Brno University Hospital in the Czech Republic.
Increase demand for tech talent
According to the Financial Times, ‘Tech companies still hiring, despite mass lay-offs elsewhere’. Rick Smith, MD of Forbes Burton, who recently spoke to InformationAge, suggests this time of uncertainty is an opportunity for the tech sector to lead the way in thinking about how it can provide services and solutions when situations arise.
Industry experts suggest that the whole tech industry will experience growth during the coronavirus pandemic, but especially telecoms, digital/online connectivity, 5G, AI and cyber security. There has been an immediate increase in demand for tech professionals with experience in cloud, networking and infrastructure, secure endpoint solutions, collaboration tools, and security strategies. The global turbulence has caused a lot of pain for individuals and businesses but has also presented opportunities and possibilities for tech businesses.
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