How the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the tech industry?

by Simon Cohen
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The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, and it affected just about any industry all over the world. Even if the tech industry grew in the case of some businesses, the truth is that many companies had to close stores and deal with massive changes. Here are some ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the tech industry for 2020 and maybe the near future. 

Many stores were closed

A lot of manufacturing factories, corporate offices, and stores were closed around the whole. Google, Tesla, Microsoft, Samsung, and even Apple ended up closing stores and manufacturing factories due to the pandemic. This movement translated into a lot of losses for the companies in question. As the factories continued to regain control, things started to get back to normal, yet some manufacturing companies were still closed and were unable to get back to work.

Business continuity is uncertain

Since many manufacturing companies are unsure about their performance and workflow, lots of tech companies are working with uncertainties. There are few business development opportunities and fewer ways for tech companies to expand to other locations due to travel restrictions.

With global attention on the COVID-19 outbreak, each day brings more uncertainty for businesses and our communities. Today, we are already witnessing the pandemic’s incredible power: disrupted workforces, supply chains, worldwide economic activity, and more to come in months. The social unrest and coronavirus outbreak are also causing a drastic change in consumer behavior; therefore, tech companies have to change in response to this.

Working from home

This is already the new norm, and it is not a big deal for tech companies since they can work from home and establish an infrastructure for that. However, working from home still makes things more difficult. There’s less communication, and the overall process is more laborious unless the company has already made a business continuity plan and established a workflow for these arrangements. Although studies have shown that flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, can increase employee productivity, compulsory work from home will see those businesses that have not already digitized struggling to adjust.

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Recruiting is a lot harder

Due to the social distancing and other challenges imposed by the pandemic, recruiting and preparing new hires to get to work can be very challenging. Implementing safety protocols and integrating the best remote training solutions can help, yet this is not ideal.

Employment rates are also expected to dip in the coming months. Some tech companies are considering halting their hiring process until the situation improves. For others, scaling up their workforce and making faster hiring decisions will be the top priority.

Tax and trade

In the case of taxes, things are more complicated since tax compliance operations can lag when remote employees lack access to timely information. Income statement changes can affect the forecasts. Then there are supply chain reconfigurations that trigger other implications. However, for some countries like Singapore, the Government has announced a generous budget to support businesses to emerge stronger when the economy recovers.

Missed partnership opportunities

Tech conferences were canceled, which leads to fewer partnership opportunities. Networking is pivotal for the industry, so not having this unique way to connect with other industry experts and establishing partnerships can indeed be a problem. The cancellation of high-profile conferences has also caused an estimated economic loss of US$1 billion amid coronavirus concerns.

Investing in smart city solutions becomes imperative 

It’s easy to see that smart city solutions were beneficial during the pandemic, so this will continue to grow in the next few years. It’s imperative to improve further technologies that help people in times of need, and results can be incredibly impressive thanks to that.

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Chinese tech giant, Tencent, is creating a “smart city” that uses technology to put people and the environment first, a model that could be applied across other urban developments after the coronavirus pandemic.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the tech industry. Not only did it end up affecting supply chains, but it also changed the way people work and the market itself. This crisis showed the need to invest in home-based tech while also implementing city-wide infrastructures to boost connectivity and provide better solutions. Investing in the right technology will bring in extraordinary potential, and it’s something we will continue to see as we get past the COVID-19 pandemic.

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