Lockdown Effects on the IT Sector
The drop in the economy has resulted in the IT industry currently facing significant weaknesses. Many companies are being forced to have their employees work remotely (from home) due to public health concerns. This has resulted in massive opportunity losses for many companies with international dealers. Apple, Inc., for example, has been estimated to have a drop in its shares of at least 10% due to the lack of availability in the market of its iPhones. The parts that are needed for building iPhones normally come from China, where there is a major lockdown currently.
The spread of the deadly coronavirus has resulted in many tech conferences getting cancelled. For many companies, these conferences can offer great partnership opportunities to help them expand their business. Some meetings were changed into teleconferences. However, they will not have the same reach that in-person conferences do. Conference attendees will not have the same network opportunities that they would if they attended an actual conference in person. Due to so many major tech conferences being cancelled, the loss is estimated at US$ 1 Billion.
Hidden Benefits from the Current Pandemic
Despite all of the negatives that have occurred, compared to many other types of industries, it is expected that the IT industry will enjoy a huge boom, going from US$ 131 Billion in 2020 up to US$ 295 by 2025 over the next five years. The major reason for the large increase in this industry is due to the increased demand for software and solutions like hosted telephony as well as social media platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp Video call, and Google Hangouts. These teleconferencing tools all help individuals who are currently in quarantine to remain in contact with members of their family and to also do work and hold conference meetings at the same time. Another reason why this sector of the economy will be thriving is that during these types of crises, people know how important technology and the internet are since they help to keep people safe and also help doctors communicate with the general public.
Smart Solutions Being Developed All over the World
Numerous countries that are currently faced with shutdown have been investing in such smart city solutions as police in China using drones that have thermal sensors attached to them to identify coronavirus symptoms and get medical help immediately. The government in Australia introduced a chatbot in order to answer questions and keep citizens up to date, to help reduce the spread of misleading information and preventing the panic that can be created among the public. The local government in South Korea has introduced a Smartphone app to help self-quarantined employees stay in contact with their co-workers so they can ask any questions and keep updated on the work process.
In China, in January, a 5G powered system was designed by the telecom AHS to allow the diagnoses and consultations of individuals affected by the coronavirus by connecting West China Hospital physicians to 27 other local area hospitals to treat people affected by the illness. That not only helps doctors to communicate and diagnose more quickly but it also helps with tracking emergency patients who need medical help immediately. If a hospital is unable to immediately help the patient, he or she can be transported to the nearest properly equipped hospital for care.
There are also a few threats; for instance, once the pandemic has ended that could impact the IT sector. Many exporters in the industry believe that they won’t be able to stabilize following the downturn, in contrast to the 2008 global financial and economic meltdown that occurred. At that time, the central banks acted to improve the market’s stability. However, at this time, the central banks are in a helpless situation themselves.