Effect of Lockdown on IT Sector
The IT industry is currently facing a significant slump in operations attributed to an economy that is gradually being pushed down on to its knees. More and more businesses are left with no other alternative than to ask the employees to work remotely (from home). It is a move backed further by the increased public health concerns. As a result, companies are losing diverse and significant opportunities in international dealings. For instance, Apple Inc.’s shares are estimated to have fallen by nearly 10% due to its iPhones’ unavailability in the market. The essential parts used for building the phone are imported from China, which is grappling with a major lockdown.
The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to the cancellation of many tech conferences and seminars that would have birthed major partnership opportunities for businesses and professionals to expand their horizons. Some of these meetings shifted to teleconferences but registered a lower reach. Moreover, the teleconference attendees have to contend with limited networking opportunities compared to physically attending such meetings. The cancellation of these crucial events is estimated to have brought about losses amount to roughly three-quarters of a billion British pounds.
Disguised Gains During This Pandemic
The IT industry is projected to experience a significant boom even after all this, with estimated growth from 96 billion British pounds to nearly 215 billion by 2025. The industry is expected to perform better within the next five years compared to other industries. The economic boom is attributed to increased social media platform software demand, including software like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and WhatsApp Video Call.
Adopting the different software as teleconferencing tools, such as an in-building cellular network, has helped businesses and people stay in touch when quarantined with their families. Through these channels, people have been able to hold conference meetings and continue working. The expected economic blossom is also expected to be due to the increased understanding among many professionals of the significance of the internet and related technology in helping them stay safe during this pandemic and communicate, be informed about current affairs and work.
Some Smart Solutions Around the Globe
Lockdowns are in place in many countries, and this has forced many of them to rethink things and consider investing in smart city solutions. For instance, the Chinese police are using drones fitted with thermal sensors to monitor the public and identify possible coronavirus cases and avail the necessary medical assistance. The Australian government launched a chatbot to ensure citizens stay abreast with things and answer their questions, which aimed to reduce the spread of inaccurate information and quell panic amongst the public.
South Korea’s government launched a smartphone app that workers could use to stay in touch with their fellow employees during their self-imposed quarantine. It would help ensure they are up to date with work progress and processes while also asking any pressing job-related questions.
The telecom AHS in China designed a 5G powered system in January 2019 that enable consultations and diagnosis of COVID-19 victims by connecting the health practitioners at West China Hospitals other physicians in 27 hospitals within the area for a concerted treatment of the affected people. It helped the doctors communicate faster, develop a diagnosis, keep track of emergency patients needing urgent medical attention, and know when a hospital cannot offer patients the medical care they need, thus ensure they can be transferred to the nearest equipped health facility.
A few threats are projected to also emerge post-COVID. Many exporters in the IT industry feel the sector might not stabilise firmly after its downfall compared to its last episode in 2008 during the Global Financial and Economic Meltdown. During that period, the central banks helped the industry recoup by offering financial aid to stabilise their market. However, the central banks worldwide are feeling this pandemic’s heavy punches.