Impact of COVID-19 on Technology Industry


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With the rapid outbreak of coronavirus, its effects are being felt all across the globe. What started in the Wuhan City of China as an infection has now become a “pandemic,” as the WHO describes it. 

The massive outbreak of coronavirus has left the entire world in a state of discontinuity and chaos and has affected almost all the running operations.

According to the WHO, the total number of corona infected cases has crossed the 2,000,000 mark worldwide. As per Worldometer, there are 2,083,326 cases of coronavirus recorded to date, which has resulted in 134,616 deaths and 510,350 lives getting recovered. 

Various industries like technology, healthcare, defense, banking, supply chain are already facing the adverse effects of COVID-19.

According to a report by Cable News Network (CNN), technology is one of the most important industries with an income of US $5,700 billion, creating 319 million jobs. But the technology giants are the victims of the coronavirus in the recent stock crash.

Impact Of COVID-19 On Technology Industry

The global lockdown has impacted the supply of raw materials and imposed an inflation risk on the products. Let’s see what can be the potential impact of the coronavirus outbreak on technology subsectors.

Impact On Hardware/Software

To prevent the further spread of coronavirus, many areas in the world are being under lockdown. Due to the shutdown of operational services, the launch of new smartphones may face deceleration. 

One of the significant challenges faced by technology firms all across the world is to get back the production of hardware on track. Ever since the coronavirus havoc, companies are not able to meet the production demands as the workforce chain is interrupted.

On the other hand, there has been a rise in remote working technologies that are being used. More and more companies are adopting the ‘Work From Home’ policy. Therefore, there has been an increase in the demand for remote working capabilities.

An exponential rise in cloud technologies can also be witnessed as the businesses are now investing in cloud-hosted services, log management, and VPN’s. 

COVID-19 Impact On IT Services 

As discussed above, there has been a massive rise in demand for cloud infrastructure due to remote working. IT spending forecasts indicate an increase in expenditure of specialized cloud software.

The spread of the deadly virus has even caused the cancellation of many events and conferences that were scheduled to take place. 

For instance, Google’s I/O (Developer Conference), one of the biggest events that were scheduled for this year, had to be called off. The Game Developer Conference that usually takes place during mid of March has also been canceled for similar reasons. There is an estimated loss of US $1 Billion due to the cancellation of the major tech conferences.

On the other hand, the pandemic has also given rise to the adoption of newer technologies in the IT industry. The increasing demand for high-speed data connectivity has given rise to a demand for 5th generation (5G) technology.

There has also been a rise in the development of telehealth applications to enable remote access to healthcare facilities. Hospitals and clinics are providing online appointments to the patients through video conferencing in case an in-person visit isn’t possible or necessary.

Adoption Of Delivery Drones 

Federal regulators are expected to speed up the adoption of delivery drones. Drones are one of the most essential resources in a pandemic like situation or crisis.

Many countries, including China, are experimenting with the use of drones to tackle the coronavirus crisis by shipping medicine, disinfecting public areas, and delivering eatables.

The use of drones is also expected for public surveillance and monitoring by the police. For instance, police can use drones to monitor any suspicious gathering in the lockdown areas.

Impact of COVID-19 On The Technology Giants

A) Facebook

The unpredictable spread of coronavirus has caused the cancellation of Facebook’s biggest event, The F8 Developer Conference. It has also affected the employee’s business visits to China due to interruptions in international travel. Amidst all this havoc, Facebook is giving free WHO ads to create more awareness about the pandemic and inform the masses about the precautions. 

Facebook also shut down its Seattle office after one of the employees tested positive for the virus. All the employees of Facebook are being encouraged to work from home.

B) Apple 

Apple has called off its Q2 Revenue Project and also has shut down temporarily; it’s all 42 stores in China. Apple corporate offices and contact centers are also said to be shut down in China. Tim Cook has allowed work from home for all its employees and restricted any international or domestic travel.

According to Apple, “the worldwide supply of iPhone will be temporarily restricted” due to a slower than expected resumption of manufacturing. Additionally, Apple says that its own and retail partner locations in China have been either closed or operating in a limited fashion, including “extremely low customer traffic.”

C) Google

According to a report by BusinessInsider, Google has advised all employees in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to work from home. Google will also give its temporary staff and vendors around the world paid sick leave if they have to take time off because of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Google has also called off its Google News Initiative Summit, which was scheduled for late April in Sunnyvale, California.

D) Microsoft

Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference is affected by the coronavirus pandemic as it had to be called off. The IT giant has announced recommending that all Seattle, Puget Sound Area, and San Francisco Bay Area employees work remotely from their homes.

What Should Be The Next Steps?

Despite the business disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic all across the globe, the economy rebound highly depends upon how the tech industry maintains business continuity. Technology leaders must incorporate effective measures to manage the crisis, which can include – 

  • Evaluate the supply chain process and find out means to mitigate the disruptions.
  • Encourage the adoption of technology to maintain business continuity.
  • Implement digitally-enabled work tools keeping in mind future scenarios.

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