Since COVID-19 started sweeping across the globe in March of 2020 it has had a tremendous impact on many industries. Many businesses went into flight mode, some closed down and unemployment soared. While some industries suffered major setbacks, others thrived.
For example, PPE (personal protective equipment) demand exploded, trends in digital marketing soared as everyone moved to remote access and, among others, frozen foods suppliers got a boost as consumers stocked up on all their necessary items.
Companies that serve the technology industry have been thriving as demands have increased, and it has forced many organisations to be more innovative and creative given the fundamental changes that have taken place due to the pandemic.
Adoption of new technologies
The adoption of new technologies internally (production, operations, and other processes) and externally (supply chains, etc.) has been sped up by several years. Companies that have made crisis-related changes and investments due to the pandemic have done so by thinking long-term. They have removed the bottlenecks that may have not been a top priority pre-crisis, and in doing so have opened many new doors and possibilities.
Global to local
The shift from global to local economies has also accelerated. Industries are looking to bring supply chains closer to home and that means more investment in the local technology and electronics manufacturing facilities. This will in turn allow for job creation in some sectors and new automated technologies which will allow for quick production line changes.
Prior to Covid-19, automation was already on the rise and when the pandemic set in many businesses started taking steps to protect themselves from similar disruptions to the current one we are experiencing. Automation is a solution that has led to increased investment in flexible, scalable solutions that will reduce the dependence on human labour and help companies to adapt to the changing market.
Automation will continually contribute to the booming technology sector as more organisations move to further automate their operations during the crisis and will likely keep these solutions in place after the pandemic passes. This adoption will then spread as other companies will need to automate to remain competitive.
The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of telecommunications infrastructure to keep businesses up and running. Businesses have relied on telecommunications to stay afloat and that has caused an increase in telecommunications investments.
Many players, from broadband providers to data centres, have benefited from the surge in data traffic. This has also forced telecommunications companies to focus on increasing resilience and possible collaborations, which was unthinkable pre-pandemic. In short, the crisis has challenged the industry to invest in existing infrastructure and game-changing technology.
With most stores having had to close during the pandemic and social distancing being a must, it was natural that e-commerce would perform strongly even though the economy was down. More and more consumers moved into the digital age and ordered all their necessities online.
Many online platforms have helped businesses build online store fronts and create a steady online presence. This has led to a boost in terms of investments in e-commerce and the overall technology sector.
Technology hardware, equipment and software
As the use of video and audio conferencing tools increased, companies had to ramp up their technology infrastructure and that led to increased investment in network equipment and software that leveraged cloud services. Sales of laptops and PCs have been their highest in many years and that led to a chain-reaction effect in terms of software and other related services.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The need for companies to complete their Industry 4.0 transformations was greatly accelerated over the past year. This meant increased flexibility, visibility, and efficiency, which in turn led companies to invest more in IoT, and that led to a significant contribution in the technology industry.
Internet services have also seen a surge as many users opted for digitalisation during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees have been adjusting to the new normal with meetings going online and working from home. This has led to increased investment in IT services to ensure that everything runs smoothly. IT services have kept us connected during a time when everything had almost come to a halt.
Most of the changes made during the pandemic will most likely stay in place, and in the long term it will be beneficial for all companies to get on board and embrace the digital age. The technology industry has shown us that where there is a will, there is a way. And although it could not prevent a pandemic, it helped prevent the spread of the virus, and educated and empowered those on the ground to minimise the impact. It stimulated daring entrepreneurship and innovation, and has paved the way to many new possibilities and new ways of doing business.
Certainly at Omnigo we have seen that to remain relevant, we have had to change and adapt by using new technologies and thinking creatively. They say nothing is certain except death and taxes. The former has certainly been something foremost on all our minds during these trying times. Although the future seems uncertain, history has shown that through adversity, innovation flourishes. We remain cautiously optimistic about the future of this industry.
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