How Coronavirus Impacts the High-Tech and Telecommunications Industries

#Article
#High Tech
April 15, 2020 9 min read

The outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic: the number of cases has passed 1,8 million at the time of this writing. In addition to the human tragedy, there is also a huge impact on business. Currently, the responses to the coronavirus pandemic are dramatic:

  • Governments isolating millions of people around the world
  • The US restricting travel from Europe
  • Thousands of schools shut down
  • Thousands of planes parked
  • Conferences and meetings delayed or canceled
  • Supply chains constrained, disrupted, or closed
  • India postponing visas for all foreign citizens (with some exceptions)
  • Most companies ordering employees to work from home

Technology Sector and Telecommunication Industry

The sector of technology and telecommunication industry will feel a wide range of effects from the pandemic. Employees will be limited with all the travel constraints, but individual software companies could see revenue increases.

Impact by Industry

Vendors of tools for remote team collaboration, such as Zoom, Slack, Zoho Remotely, Microsoft Office365, Atlassian, are already seeing growing demand as companies switch to a distanced-working model.

Representatives of telecommunications and technology industries are always looking for opportunities to help people stay safe and healthy. Therefore, they aid companies that are scrambling to make videoconferencing more available, helping governments to share actual information to citizens about the virus, and finding uses for smart city technologies to combat the pandemic.

Here are five ways the coronavirus is likely to affect the industry over the coming year. 

The Most Immediate Impact of the Pandemic to Supply Chains

Having originated in China, the region was affected hard as a large number of citizens contracted the disease, and many were made to follow the quarantine measures. This led to partial and full shutdowns of factories. Some plants were being used by prominent tech giants to make their goods. 

For example, Apple suffered a reduction in its iPhone supply as a result of the company’s primary producer, Foxconn, shutting down much of its production in China.

This will lead to drastically reduced iPhone shipments through Q1 — by as much as 10%, MacRumors states.

Major Tech Conferences Suspended or Canceled, Likely Resulting in Numerous Missed Partnership Opportunities

The cancellation of major tech events has caused companies an economic loss of $1.1 billion. Among other events are Google I/O, Facebook’s F8 event, Mobile World Congress, SXSW, and the massive video gaming conference Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

That number doesn’t even include the revenue that the respective companies would have made from hosting the events. The figure covers the financial loss to airlines, hotels, restaurants, and transportation providers that would earn from participants’ purchases.

Online alternatives help minimize the fallout from canceled conferences. However, the tech industry will likely still suffer a crisis period due to postponed innovation and forgone in-person business opportunities.

As conference entrants do not have the same opportunities to network via live streaming, it would be harder for marketers to share best practices.

The Trend of Remote Work Has Highlighted a Need for 5G Technology, Potentially Accelerating Adoption in the Long Term

As the US government declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, companies are enabling work-from-home modes to keep business running and help employees follow social distancing guidelines. However, distributed work isn’t new during recent years.

The coronavirus is going to be a tipping point. We plodded along at about 10% growth a year for the last 10 years, but I foresee that this is going to really accelerate the trend.
Kate Lister,
President of Global Workplace Analytics

Another study by Gallup’s State of the American Workplace 2017 revealed that 43% of people work remotely with some frequency. Research shows that in a five-day workweek, working from home for two to three days is the most productive. That gives the workers two to three days of meetings, collaboration, and interaction, with the chance to focus on the work for the other half of the week.

In this relation, there is a growing need for more instant remote interactions. 5G allows for lightning-fast and near-instantaneous communications, increasing thereby connection density and becoming the number one technology for remote interactions as caution mounts over the spread of the virus. 

Two key sectors, such as telemedicine and teleconferencing, are becoming crucial for enterprise operations, likely to promote the need for 5G:

Telemedicine: The technical advancement of the new standard empowers physicians to diagnose and treat patients without being physically near them. We, at Innovecs, have great experience in providing telemedicine solutions to healthcare organizations and premium clients.

01_telehealth visits

Telecommunication: Many companies have moved to a remote-working model and increased their reliance on enterprise telecommunication tools, such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. 

Employers’ are expected to depend highly on such tools during the coronavirus pandemic. This, in turn, will promote the case for 5G connectivity in homes and offices, as companies recognize the value that teleconferencing tools offer. That’s because a 5G connection will provide real-time and uninterrupted communication that’s not possible with most wired connections today.

The rise of use cases for extended reality tools (VR, AR, XR, MR) in organizations, boosting the technology's adoption

The outbreaks of coronavirus have forced big tech corporations like Apple, Google, and Microsoft to recommend or mandate that employees work from home. 

Additionally, companies like Amazon have limited travel to affected areas like China, Italy, and even within the US. While following this course of action during the pandemic is the safest way, it does hold down collaborative efforts and opportunities for hands-on training. With these drawbacks becoming clearer, corporations will look for ways to mitigate disruptions for employees, and one way will likely be VR.

Pervasiveness of VR, AR, XR, MR

Companies have already identified VR as a tool to improve employee training. Still, the coronavirus could prove to be the impetus for some workplaces to implement the technology. 

The Perkins’ survey reveals exciting facts about what 200 startup founders think of VR and other extended reality tools. According to the report, by 2025, the immersive technology will be as ubiquitous as mobile devices in the consumer market, with 39% saying they strongly agree with that statement and 47% saying they agree.

Top Workforce

Also, 49% of respondents consider XR (extended reality) beneficial for facilitating training and mirroring real-life experiences, even for remote employees, particularly for those working in potentially dangerous environments.

Another benefit of using VR is the opportunity to perform a wider range of meetings remotely, as employees can better view and share complex ideas like prototype designs. Since 20% of employees identify communication and collaboration as their biggest struggle with working remotely, it doesn’t sound ridiculous anymore.

Smart city solutions continue to grow with the tech solutions being a core tool in crisis management

Cities around the globe have used smart city technology in attempts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. Police in China are using drones with thermal sensors to identify people in public running a fever. 

In South Korea, there is an app where self-quarantined people get in touch with caseworkers, reporting their progress and asking any questions that arise. The Australian government launched a chatbot to address citizen questions and quell the spread of disinformation. 

While these solutions are far-reaching, they all fall within the domain of smart cities, proving the space to be a worthwhile investment in a time of crisis. The majority of smart city solutions are aimed to support the day-to-day operations of a city. But that underlying infrastructure — whether it be city-wide connectivity, surveillance systems, or citizen communication platforms — can be adapted to meet the needs of a government in a time of crisis, as the coronavirus has demonstrated. 

According to estimates by Business Insider Intelligence, the smart city investment will reach $295 billion by 2025, up from $131 billion in 2020. Should smart city solutions prove to be a useful tool at mitigating the pandemic, governments may feel even greater certainty in making further investment, which could accelerate the rate at which they deploy solutions.

Startups: Negatively and Positively Affected Sectors

As we already understood, the knock-on effects for businesses are enormous. The startups aren’t the exception. Nevertheless, some newly born companies are doing better than others according to this research.

Affected Areas

Outsource-focused Companies Have an Advantage

Innovecs and other companies that provide outsourcing services are used to working in a distributed model for years. That is why we honed our remote working practices and use them in the most effective way possible.

In fact, because of the work specifics amid outsourcing companies, the remotely managed team can be even more effective, cost-efficient, and produce better products.

Since the demand for telemedicine and telecommunication solutions is growing, we at Innovecs are ready to help your business thrive in this challenging time. With deep expertise in industries like healthcare, business intelligence, VR and AR, fintech and many others, we can offer the following solutions:

Developing Virtual and Augmented Reality Solutions 

Innovecs has considerable experience in designing and developing virtual/augmented reality solutions for various industries, including education, entertainment, and healthcare. We help companies transform casual things into advanced interactive solutions with high user engagement.

Developing Telehealth Platforms From Scratch

Outsourcing your custom healthcare software development is not a problem if trusting the job to Innovecs specialists. Be it an app for remote patient monitoring and diagnosing or a platform for in-depth patient data analytics and online document administration, we’ve got you covered. 

Developing Retail and Ecommerce Apps using AI and ML

Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning in software development, our team creates consumer-oriented retail and e-commerce apps. This enables businesses to understand customers’ needs better as well as better perform demand planning, meet consumers’ expectations, and therefore earn more.

 

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April 3, 2020
Message from CEO Alex Lutskiy on COVID-19
To all Innovecs employees, clients, and partners As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop and affect people globally, I want to personally update you on the steps Innovecs is taking to maintain our business operations and ensure the health and safety of our staff. We remain committed to ensuring the superior service our clients have come to expect from us. We monitor the situation closely and remain watchful to the recommendations of government and public health authorities. Our R&D teams, as well as all other employees, continue to work remotely, and we are ready to adjust the measures in response to changing quarantine circumstances. We have established a special COVID-19 team within senior management to respond to the ever-changing impact of the coronavirus and to protect employees’ health and safety. We have also set up regular online meetings to keep up to date and plan activities so that we could advise our customers and coordinate our teams accordingly. And we continue to provide our internal and external audiences with the relevant webinars and online events with regard to the new world order. To combat the spread of the disease in Ukraine, Innovecs has created the “Innovecs COVID-19 Fund” in the amount of 1,500,000 (one million and a half) hryvnias. The fund is directed to support the initiatives that fight coronavirus, as well as to ensure the safety of the company’s employees and their families. As part of this initiative, Innovecs purchases and installs an oxygen pipeline system at one of the Kyiv hospitals. This is a challenging period for everyone, and the situation is changing rapidly, but Innovecs is responding to it with unity, as a company, and as a team. I believe that when we stand together through moments that bring uncertainty and seem dark, we come out even stronger in the end.  Thank you for your patience and attention throughout this stressful time. As an employer and a partner, Innovecs is confident in our business continuity plan and our ability to provide support to our clients and staff. It is my sincere hope that our efforts and those of businesses, communities, and governments will empower the containment of the coronavirus and enable a speedy recovery for people around the world. In the meantime, let’s stay safe and help others keep safe too.   Sincerely, Alex Lutskiy Innovecs CEO & Founder  
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