6 Silver Linings of the COVID-19 pandemic for IT
Unquestionably, the coronavirus crisis has dramatically shifted the way society functions on a global scale. The undue stress and anxiety caused as a result of the virus have had a profound impact on the world – a notion exacerbated by the increasing toll of lives lost from this disease.
Naturally, as social distancing measures are implemented in order to keep the public safe, humanity – and businesses as a whole – have relied heavily upon technology. Consequently, tech companies have experienced some major positives in the age of COVID-19.
Langley James has looked to find the positives that came from a very bad negative. These findings are summarised below;
Remote Work Success
The move from office to remote work has surprisingly revealed to businesses the effectiveness and potential of a primarily remote workforce. A study found that 82% of business leaders say their organisations plan to let employees continue to work from home at least some of the time, while 47% plan to allow employees to do so permanently.
The transition to working from home to both business hardware, specialists software, and cycle security has demonstrated the ability to work flexibly and subsequently save employers money on office rental, heating, and supplies. Most employee have found that they are financially better off with less money being spent on fuel, luches and clothes and having the flexibility to walk their dog, particpate in the school run and spend more time on domestic projects.
The pandemic has been a catalyst for many silver linings, one of which is the emergence of new entrepreneurs. Around a quarter of those who were made redundant due to COVID-19 were starting their own businesses. In the survey, Those who said they didn’t have plans to start a business pre-pandemic, do now; 51% said they identified new business opportunities due to the crisis.
The majority of sectors these entrepreneurs were venturing into mainly involved the hospitality, arts, and entertainment industries – a surprising finding considering these occupational spheres have been one of the worst affected as a result of the virus.
Increase in IT Monitoring Tools
Every day this pandemic is driving customers to think and work differently.
In light of the current climate, there has been a much-needed interest and increase of production tools across a variety of businesses.
Productivity is typically one of the most difficult things to measure. Striking a balance between monitoring employee productivity and allowing them space to be autonomous can be challenging. For example, financial giants Deliottes have published a report detailing their extensive implementation of online collaboration tools (such as a virtual KANBAN* board, virtual task list, etc.) to keep track of tasks that are outstanding, in progress, and completed across the team. These technological tools are now more important than ever with a limitation of social contact, facilitating team and individual productivity within the workplace.
Another major finding is the increased and independent distribution of cybersecurity for insurance coverage to small and midsize businesses “at speed”. This speedy rotation may be attributable to the 100% move to online, as opposed to the traditional paper-based model.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations had to rapidly pivot from work in the office to a fully remote structure. While some were well prepared and able to accommodate such a shift, others were scrambling, increasing cybersecurity risk. The concern for insurance companies was how easily these companies were able to transition and whether they were able to do it securely.
Consequently, it seems the COVID-19 pandemic may prompt a lightbulb moment for a lot of organizations that cybersecurity risks should be front and center. As companies become increasingly reliant on technology to run their business, it should raise questions as to what happens if that technology fails. Cyber insurance acts as a backstop to be able to protect organisations from a system failure standpoint, yet less than half purchase a standalone cyber policy. Overall, this is accelerating the adoption of cyber insurance.
Enhanced digital interactions between companies and stakeholders
There has been a need for “accelerating digital interactions”. What this means is that in order to effectively communicate and interact online, companies have needed to open their data and services to their stakeholders through the medium of integration technologies.
Indeed, recent data highlight how consumer and business digital adoption has accelerated 5 years forward in a matter of around eight weeks in sectors such as Banking, who have transitioned to remote sales and service teams, and launched digital outreach to customers to make flexible payment arrangements for loans and mortgages.
Increasing consumer transparency.
Continuing the theme of openness, surprisingly, consumers have been more willing to share their data during the pandemic, to provide companies with vital information about their gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, post code, tv channels watched, and specific programs they watch. All this data has been obtained from the “Privacy + Privacy” study regarding consumers’ concerns about gathering data. The findings are summarised below;
For instance, a majority are somewhat or completely willing to share data on each of the following:
- Gender (68%),
- Ethnicity/Race (65%),
- Age (62%),
- Sexual orientation (61%),
- Postcode (55%),
- TV channels watched (54%),
- Specific programs watched (53%), or
- What they buy at the supermarket (50%)
It seems that we have been able to cultivate some major technological advancements within the business sphere as a result of COVID, which is likely only to accelerate as we adapt to our “new normal”.