OUTLOOK OF THE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY
Covid-19, without debate, is one of the most unseen and unheard of calamities to plaque the human race in the 21st century. Causing cities to shut down, busiest of offices to lockup and basically bring activities of human lives to a halt. It has been described as an unseen enemy which has depleted human and financial resources across the nations of the world.
Technology has stood out strong as an option in the crises; as the sole means to get most things done — work, leisure, school, trading, etc. As the world’s economies unravel their ways round the novel deadly virus and structure how life will be after the pandemic, an outlook of how the global technology industry will look like post the crises period will be an appreciable insight and guiding light.
This article investigates nine (9) technology subsectors i.e on-demand,
e-commerce, Fintech, Telecommunications, Cloud computing, Internet services, Cyber security, Digital/Social media and Big data/Data mining and how the crises covid–19 impacts their productivity going forward.
1. On-demand. The on-demand subsector of the technology industry includes
services such as cab services, food deliveries, and any other instant service
enabled by technology. Before covid-19, there has been a surge in most on
demand services particularly goods delivery as it was seen as making life
easier but wasn’t a necessity or a sole option. However, given the nature of
covid-19 and it’s different ways of transmission and the cardinal advice from
health experts of social distancing, on-demand services are likely to see
exponential growth in patronage as most retail outlets will see it as a means
of enforcing the social distance protocol and cutting down on human
interactions while staying afloat in business. It will also reduce their overhead
costs as it will be relatively cheaper to maintain a fleet of delivery
motorcycles and riders than to reconfigure their shops etc. to allow for social
distancing. You are likely to now have your favorite cappuccino delivered to
you instead of going to the coffee shop down the street.
2. E — Commerce. Most business are now migrating to the e-commerce
environment regardless of the good or service they provide. Due to the early
impacts of the pandemic, and the scramble to maintain customers,
businesses have launched various e-commerce platforms to take orders from
their customers and serve them regardless. Such platforms and systems will
be maintained post covid-19 as a means to provide customers with the
luxury of different and efficient choices to make purchases whiles
maintaining the needed protocols.
3. Fintech — Financial Technology. Fintech operations have seen a surge in
traffic as a result of covid-19 and the various methods deployed by health
experts to contain it. This will not see any decline post covid-19 but rather a
further increase in the use of such technologies as more people have become
intimated with its convenience and time efficiency particularly in emerging
economies like Africa. Fintech companies and their corporate clients — Banks
and other financial and insurance houses, must brace themselves for a
double amount of traffic to their systems post covid-19 when life returns to
normal as much as it can and economic activities bounce back. Most people
will prefer to make a quick bank transfer or e-money cash redrawal or pay
insurance premiums via an app than going over the counter for same.
4. Telecommunications. Telecoms in emerging economies like Africa will see
more progress in the penetration of their services and products than before
covid-19. This is because before the pandemic, the ease of movement and
social bonding affected how some of their products e.g. mobile money and
talk time was patronaged. Given how events have turned out, more Africans
are likely to embrace mobile money options for their payments and other
financial transactions and are likely to also talk more on phone than they
originally would. These among other things will increase activities in the
telecoms industry and is likely to cast a permanent impact on their
operations going into a post covid-19 world.
5. Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing before covid-19 was mostly partially
deployed in the corporate world and sometimes not at all. The narrative
during the pandemic has however changed. Organizations have now
migrated most of their day to day operations to their online portals where
they access and work on documents electronically and collaborate remotely,
hold virtual meetings on video conferencing apps among other things. This
has surged interest in applications like Zoom, Skype, Cisco Webex and the
google suite of apps. Going into the post covid-19 world, most of this setups
will be maintained and escalated to create convenience to employees and
also to improve on their efficiency and productivity since getting ready for
work and driving through tedious traffic could be daunting and emotionally
draining. Also really, to ease employees back to normal life whiles
maintaining health protocols.
6. Internet Services. Internet Services are going to see more expansion post
covid-19. This is because with the migration of almost every service online,
no one can afford to live without an internet service at home or at work. For
people in emerging economies like Africa, the astronomical cost of internet
is a barrier but with increase in patronage, data cost in the region will likely
see a reduction. This will mean ISPs need to provide good, quality access to
help customers keep up with their many schedules.
7. Cyber Security. The cyber security sub sector will see some of its busiest
years post the covid-19 pandemic if they have not already. The general
growth of cyber activities will demand that effective and strict cyber hygiene
protocols, cleanups and maintenance processes and procedures are
followed. The increase in cloud computing, e-commerce, fintech etc. will be
hinged on the triangle principles of Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.
Cyber security professionals will be heavily engaged by the corporate world
on how to implement this principles in accordance with regulations and
standard practice. Also so that, technology does not become a scourge but a
catalyst to newer dimensions in doing business.
8. Digital/social media. Before covid-19, media was redefining itself with the
growing influence of social media and how easily accessible news items became. With the wave of the pandemic and looking at post the pandemic,digital/social media will see exponential increase in growth and influence than it has already seen. This is because, media houses are determined to increase their market shares whiles cutting cost. Demography in emerging economies like Africa is heavily biased towards the youth with 60% of its total population being youthful — age 25 and below. Most of these people can be located on social media without much effort so media houses are now scaling up their digital/social media presence to catch as many eyeballs as they can. Television shows are now shown live on Facebook and Youtube concurrently as they air on traditional TV among other ingenious ways.
9. Big data/data mining. Data Scientists will see a boom in their sub sector post covid-19. After the pandemic, there will be full scale assessments from
economic to health to determine the full impact of the pandemic and data
scientists will be key in doing this assessments. Data will be the jewel which
determines the allocation of resources and for key decisions to be made in a
post covid-19 world, a thorough impact assessment will be done to
determine effects of the pandemic and the most efficient direction to take
in a post pandemic world.
Mawuli is an IT Professional and a tech writer with over 5 years of writing