Coronavirus has impacted the globe: COVID-19. We’ve all heard about it, and it seems that there isn’t an ending in sight. Our news feeds are constantly bombarded with coronavirus information, but to what extent has it changed the workforce? With many of us being asked to work from home, we’ve had to make the most out of our resources (not to mention, keeping our children and pets entertained at the same time). Within the IT industry, people work from laptops and desktops for the majority of their work. Electronics, software, hardware, internet, and networks are their bread and butter. In less than a month, COVID-19 went from surreal speculation to reality, while ushering in a new normal for the IT industry.
1.Disruption of IT supply chain
Technology companies rely on plants and factories overseas to manufacture their products. When China began to shut down their plants and factories, it started a ripple effect throughout the IT supply chain. For example, Apple immediately noticed shortages of its iPhone supply when their main manufacturer in China shut down its production. The big challenge facing IT companies that rely on overseas production is that their contingencies may need to be adjusted to answer a looming question: where will their products be manufactured? The coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the globe which makes it difficult to choose an alternative production plant.
2. Reschedule and/or cancellation of technology conferences: revenue loss and missed opportunities to develop partnerships
Several technology conferences have either been postponed or outright canceled. These technology events draw thousands of participants where we network, create new partnerships, share innovations, and close deals. According to estimates, the shift of major technology events resulted in $1 billion in direct economic losses.
3. Increase use of virtual reality (VR) as a training tool
Virtual Reality (VR), a new training approach, will likely become a popular option.That’s because many IT companies have already considered VR as a tool to improve employee training, but the coronavirus could be the catalyst for some workplaces to implement the technology. According to a Perkins Coie survey, almost half (49%) of business respondents are looking to use VR and other extended reality tools to mirror real-world training conditions. Plus, a wider range of meetings can be held remotely through VR, as employees can better view and share complex ideas.
4. Accelerate the adoption of 5G
The significant spike of remote work propels the need for 5G’s lightning-fast speeds, near-instantaneous communications, and increased connection density. IT Companies rely on collaboration tools to empower remote interactions. With predictions that remote work will become the new norm, companies want technology tools that can help their employees be productive.
Analysts predict that businesses will have an increased dependence on teleconferencing tools — such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom — as their employees switch to remote work due to public health concerns. As a result, employers’ reliance on collaboration tools will validate the case for 5G connectivity in the home and office. A 5G connection can provide real-time and uninterrupted communication which currently is not possible with most wired connections.
For an industry that is often a behind-the-scenes factor in other businesses, the Coronavirus has shown just how important it is that our technology needs to be modernized and up to date. We don’t see this virus slowing down any time soon – and with that, the IT industry will continue to have to adapt and improvise as new curve balls are thrown its way. Charter Global is constantly monitoring IT trends to ensure its processes and strategies appropriately match what our clients need. While only time will tell how the Coronavirus will affect the industry overall, you can rest assured that we will be right by your side.
In my 30 years working in the IT industry, I’ve never worked from home. I’ve always wondered about the “work from home” concept, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been positively socially impacted to fully embraced working from home. I enjoy connecting with our team members and collaborating with our clients to help solve their business challenges utilizing teleconferencing, emails, phone calls and more! We coined our onsite Charter Global location, the “command center”. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you can refer to my “work from home” station as my newest “command center”.