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Impacts of COVID-19 on the Information Technology (IT) industry

The COVID – 19 Pandemic has caused drastic changes in many industries, and Information Technology (IT) industry is the major among them. The negative impacts during this situation are more compared to positive effects.

Effect of Lockdown on IT sector:

The significant weaknesses the IT industry is facing now is due to the fall in the economy, as a lot of companies are forced to ask their employees to work from home (remotely) keeping in the account of the public health concerns. Due to this, there is a massive loss in opportunity for many companies who have international dealers. For example, Apple Inc. is estimated to have at least 10% fall in its shares because of the lack of availability of iPhones in the market. The parts that are required to build the iPhones are supposed to come from China, and it is facing a major lockdown.

The spread of this deadly virus has caused a lot of tech conferences to get cancelled, which could have been a great partnership opportunity for many companies to expand their horizons. A few of the meetings were shifter to teleconferences, but this won’t have the same reach, and the conference attendees will not be able to have the networking opportunity as they would be attending the actual conference. Due to the cancellation of these major tech conferences, there is an estimated loss of US$ 1 Billion.

Disguised benefits in this pandemic:

Even after all this, compared to many other industries, the IT industry is expected to have an enormous market boom from US$ 131 Billion in 2020 to US$ 295 in the next five years by 2025. The main reason for this increase in the economy for this industry is the increased demand for software and social media platforms such as Google Hangouts, WhatsApp Video call, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. All these teleconferencing tools help the people who are in quarantine to stay in touch with their family members as well as have conference meetings and work at the same time. The economy will also blossom because, during these crises, people understood the importance of the internet and technology as this is helping us stay safe and helping in the communication between the doctors and the public. 

Some smart solutions around the world:

Many countries who are facing the shutdown have invested in smart city solution such as the cops in China are using drones attached with thermal sensors to identify the symptoms for coronavirus and get immediate medical help. In Australia, the government had launched a chat-bot to keep the citizens up to date with the situation and answer their questions so that they will be able to decrease the spread of misleading information and stop the panic that could be created in public. In South Korea, the local government has launched a Smartphone app that keeps the self-quarantine employees in touch with their co-workers to keep the updates to the work process and to ask any questions.

In January, in China, the telecom AHS designed a 5G powered system to enable the consultations and diagnoses of people affected by the virus by connecting the physicians at West China Hospital to 27 other hospitals in the area to treat the illness affected people. This not only helps doctors to communicate faster and come up with a diagnosis but also helps to keep track of the emergency patients who need immediate medical help and if a hospital is not able to provide that the patient could immediately be shifted to the nearest equipped hospital for assistance.

Blooming Opportunities and Threats in the IT industry:

Due to the coronavirus, a lot of opportunities opened up in the IT industry, such as the growing need for the 5th generation (5G) technology. This will help increase connections that support the primed remote interactions. This has become the top priority for many organizations due to the pandemic. Telehealth is one of the developing industries in the crises. This could help people to get diagnosed, treated and operated with the need of a physician to be physically present. A lot of apps have been built in the past few months to help achieve this. There are many patients who are in self-quarantine who need medical supervision and medical assistance every day, and these applications could help them achieve that.

There are a few threats too, such as after the pandemic is over what would happen to the IT sector? May exporters in this industry feel that it will not be able to stabilize after the downfall, unlike the 2008 global economic and financial meltdown. Back then, the central banks helped to improve the stability of the market, but now even the central banks are helpless.