The covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the IT sector. Numerous and major tech-related conferences were either suspended or cancelled to help curb the spread of the virus. These measures meant employees couldn’t come together (like they used to) to brainstorm projects that they were working on or develop new business communication and connectivity services to make the industry better. Most companies resolved to lay-off some of their employees and asking the rest to work remotely from their homes. This also meant no more business-related travel internationally, a huge blow to major IT companies. Apple Inc, for example, suffered a major blow after China went into lockdown. The company couldn’t get all the parts needed for the iPhones from China, resulting in reduced production of the same and a 10% drop in its shares.
While teleconferencing might have helped most businesses hold meetings and stay afloat, this also meant participants couldn’t network like they used to. Virtual conferencing, while effective, doesn’t empower attendees to interact freely too. The cancellation of tech conferences is believed to have cost the industry more than US$1 billion.
How The Industry Has Benefited From This Pandemic
The IT sector saw an increased demand for software and networking platforms as more and more people started using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp Video Call, and Google Hangouts for business purposes. This industry is thus expected to benefit economically from this, with more than US$ 164 Billion in profits forecasted within the next five years. Companies hold conference meetings and even get in touch with the family members using most of these networking tools, especially WhatsApp Video calls, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. Almost everyone today understands the importance of technology and the internet, all thanks to the pandemic and the need to keep the social distance.
Examples of Smart Solutions from Across the Globe
With many countries having had their fair share of lockdowns and the need to work remotely, most have used this as an opportunity to come up with smart solutions for a number of issues. The police in China, for example, use drones fitted with thermal sensors to help detect persons who might have come into contact with the virus and get them immediate medical help. The Australian government developed and launched a chat-bot to help deal with misleading information and curb panic with the public. South Korea launched an app that would help employees on a self-quarantine stay in touch with their co-workers, enabling them to work remotely.
In the wake of the pandemic, AHS (China Telecom) developed a 5G-powered system to enable doctors to consult about and diagnose new infections more efficiently. This helps physicians in West China Hospital to connect with 27 other hospitals in real-time to help handle and treat affected patients. Thanks to the system, doctors were able to share information and work in harmony, thus enabling them to keep track of all patients needing emergency help. Any hospital not in a capacity to handle a specific patient would thus use the system to have him/her transferred to a better-equipped hospital.
Challenges That Came with The Pandemic
Like many other sectors, the IT sector wasn’t immune to the pandemic. Many exporters in the industry have been hit hard and struggling to stay afloat. This is because most economies almost came to a standstill resulting in a sharp decline in the number of orders from previously loyal customers. The pandemic rendered most central banks helpless, with many unable to stabilise the market and their economies. While most economies are recovering from the pandemic, the process is, and will be, much slower than it was during the 2008 financial meltdown. However, the IT sector has helped many countries and companies stay afloat, which was unlike in 2008.