What are the impacts of Covid-19 on the tech and IT industry?
Thursday May 14, 2020,
6 min Read
With 3,308,503 cases around the world, COVID-19 continues to haunt people. It has been almost five months, and things are getting worse with each passing day. The only possible way to stay safe from the novel Coronavirus is to stay at home.
Though this strategy has helped in saving many lives, it has also shattered the economy globally. The industries are doing their best to cope with such situations. From hardware to semiconductors, every industry has been deeply affected.
Amid this pandemic, every eye is on the IT industry and how the software outsourcing companies are coping with this pandemic. The $180 billion IT sector is facing enormous challenges for business continuity.
Here we will discuss Covid-19 impact on the IT industry around the world.
Impacts of COVID-19 on the IT industry
The tech and telecommunication companies are working hard to maintain connectivity among the people working remotely. This is being done by aiding companies that are scrambling to make videoconferencing technology more broadly available.
Here are four significant impacts that the tech and IT industry are going to face in the year to come.
1- The supply chain is broken.
As we know, COVID-19 or the Coronavirus originated in China, and the majority of the country's people were forced into quarantine. This has led to a partial and full shutdown of plants and factories.
Some of these plants were being used by prominent tech companies to manufacture their goods. For instance, Foxconn, the primary manufacturer of Apple, has shut down. This has led to a shortage of iPhones supply.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, this will lead to a significantly reduced forecast in iPhone shipments through the first quarter by as much as 10%.
Generally, companies always have a plan B for productions considering the natural calamities, and so they start with the production in areas which have not been affected. But with Coronavirus, the things are a bit different as it has spread globally and so it is very difficult to predict which country will be least affected.
2- Led to the cancellation of several tech seminars
The world-renowned, Mobile World Congress(MWC), which was set to take place on Feb 24th, 2020 in Barcelona, was cancelled due to COVID-19 impacts. This is likely to result in numerous missed partnership opportunities.
For the connectivity industry, MWC is a huge event as it brings together the most important mobile and mobile app development companies in the space to network, share innovative ideas, and forge new business partnerships.
The companies rescheduled their events which were to be held in the MWC, but the continuous spread of Coronavirus led to their cancellation.
Not only MWC, but Facebook also cancelled its F8 Developer Conference and Global Marketing Summit. Google had to shift its Google Cloud Next event to online, and IBM had to Livestream it's developer's conference.
Taking all these event cancellations into consideration, it has incurred a total of $1 billion in direct economic losses.
Though online alternatives helped in limiting the fallout from cancelled conferences, tech industries will likely still suffer a period of holding back innovation due to forgone in-person business opportunities.
Though the conferences shifted to online and live streams, the attendees did not get the number of opportunities as they get in the in-person conferences. Even for marketers, it would be tougher to display all their technologies and strategies online than it would be if the events actually took place.
We know it is difficult to quantify the value of these chance encounters or informal network sessions; the effect will undoubtedly be felt throughout the tech industry.
3- World has realized the need for 5G:
5G's lightning-fast speeds, near-instantaneous communications, and increased connection density make it primed for remote interactions. These interactions have become top of mind for many organisations and enterprises as a precautionary method over the spread of novel Coronavirus.
Two major areas, Telehealth and Teleconferencing, are becoming essential for firms amid this pandemic. The increased dependency on these areas will lead to strengthening the appeal of 5G network, devices and software. Possibly businesses might need to hire developers to create their own teleconferencing apps.
The question here arises: What are Telehealth and Teleconferencing?
This empowers the physician to diagnose, treat or operate a patient without being physically present there. Such cases of combating Coronavirus have been seen in China already.
This was possible because, in January, telecoms ZTE and China Telecom designed a 5G- powered system that enables remote consultations and diagnosis of the virus without the physical presence of the physicians.
Employers have increased their trust in teleconferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype. This is because the majority of IT employees are working remotely.
Due to this, there is a stress on cellular networks in many countries. Had 5G been there, the real-time and uninterrupted connection would have been possible today.
4- Coronavirus pandemic can highlight the uses of VR:
Amid this pandemic, almost every big firm like Google, Apple and Microsoft have allowed their employees to work remotely. Companies have also stopped the non-essential travels of the employees to areas such as China, Italy and even within the U.S.
Though this is the safest way to deal with this pandemic, the employees are hindered in collaborative efforts and opportunities in hands-on training. The only way enterprises can solve this issue is through VR (virtual reality).
Companies have already identified VR as a tool for the efficient training of the employees, but for some impetus workplaces, Coronavirus can make them implement this technology too. Employees can keep their hands-on sharp even after being at home, which was earlier only possible after working in the office.
The whole world is going through tough times, and we are all in this together. Our safety is being taken into consideration but at the stake of the world economy. IT and tech industries are trying hard and blooming amid the coronavirus pandemic.
If you own a business, then this is the right time for you to take into consideration all your digital needs. You can get in touch with software development companies and outsource your customised projects. Use this pandemic to make strategies and improve your business. Stay safe. Stay home.