COVID-19 pandemic is the worst human tragedy inflicted on the entire world. The epicenter of the pandemics might be China, but today every big and small nation is fighting an unseen battle with the coronavirus to save mankind. In the midst of saving human life, lockdown and social distancing have been proactively practiced as it is the only way to break the COVID-19 spread chain.
The coronavirus isn’t only turning out dangerous for mankind as the business industry is highly influenced by it also. This makeshift has gyrated unpredictable ways to impact IT and tech-based industries in a swirling way.
Negative Impact of COVID-19 on IT Sector
A number of studies and research papers are lately introduced to understand the impact of COVID-19 on different industries. A paper published by Computer Economics partnered with their parent company Avasant has shown how 11 major industries including IT are affected by a coronavirus. Report further stated that major changes in the High Tech and Telecommunication based industry can be seen.
A report published by CNBC on coronavirus outbreak concluded that more than 5 million businesses are going to shutdown only in China due to pandemic. And, globally the impact is going to even more worse as the supply chains are broken, manufacturing is delayed, shopping malls are shutdown and demand of non-essential supplies has gone drastically down.
The giant tech industries like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook are already disturbed with the wild chase of the stock market and work from home system. And, now Microsoft said that the virus had hampered production of its laptop and tablet computers, and it cut its sales forecast for the division that makes those products, scrapping a projection it had issued just a few weeks earlier.
But, if attention is diverted to the Indian IT industry, then the situation isn’t better. Most of the revenue generation of the Indian IT sector comes from the US and European markets. As we all know pandemic has highly affected the US and European countries so this isn’t good news for the Indian IT industry. Already, a number of IT projects have been postponed or permanently deferred because of coronavirus.
On the top, travel restrictions have badly impacted the work of Indian IT companies at offshore locations. It is predicted by experts that foreign investments and new business ventures are going take a back seat for a few months until the spread reduces down.
IT Industries Growing in Coronavirus Crisis
Now, not all businesses are shutting down due to COVID-19. The telecommunication technology industry is even growing due to the crisis. As the schools and offices are closed off and work from home and online learning has been encouraged by the government which resulted in a magnificent growth in the digital communication industry.
The demand for video and chat software has increased overnight to accommodate the new lockdown lifestyle. In response, the shares of companies like Zoom, Google, Slack, and Microsoft have touched the sky. On the top, these companies have opened their gates for small and medium sizes businesses by offering their premium features for free. This resulted in a 500% increase in Microsoft’s meetings, calls, and conferences in China since the end of January. Now, imagine the global data.
Other companies haven’t openly shared their growth data, but from the rise in the Zoom and Slack share value, one can easily assume the growth rate of the companies.
IT Industry Fights Against Coronavirus
Among all the corona warriors, IT experts are those silent warriors who are providing technical assistance to the other warriors. Yep, the IT and technology industry is a major part of the fight against coronavirus. Today, all the countries all seeking the support of IT professionals to create a strong team against the unseen enemy. In different areas, the IT industry is fighting with coronavirus.
By Tracking Corona
The most common use of the technology by the government – tracking whereabouts of the infected people using the location tracking software. Every country has developed a location tracking app to identify the location of the infected person to know where he or she went before quarantine and how many people were in close proximity.
Israel has given permission to the security agency to use the location data of all its citizens for 30 days. China, South Korea, and Taiwan have also used this technology. However, European nations have strict location tracking laws. However, India has just launched its COVID-19 app that provides information about the infected person’s location by using GPS, Bluetooth, and data networks.
By Mobile Technology
IT departments are also busy creating different types of helping mobile apps during crises such as doctor booking app, symptoms tracking apps, patient medical history recording apps, and so on. The doctor appointment online app is used to book the doctor appointment online and get medical treatment on a video call so that patients don’t have to visit the hospital. With the doctor appointment app, other critical patients can easily get the treatment and diagnoses as well.
One UK startup has launched an online doctor app for people to report their symptoms and access whether they should take the coronavirus test or not. In China, an app is created by Alibaba and Tencent that gives color code the people based on their health conditions and travel history. The code is automatically generated by a big data-driven algorithm and determines whether the particular person has entered any mall, subway station, or any other public place.
By Using CCTV
The intensive usage of CCTV footage can be seen in one Kerala case where the family of three tested COVID-19 positive after returning from Italy. The local authorities used the CCTV footage to search for all the places that have been visited by the family before they were quarantined. CCTV technology has been playing a major role in tracking the moments of positive COVID-19 people. South Korea and Singapore have used CCTV to a large extend in tracking people.
By Smart Methods
In an effort to minimize the contact, the AI-powered thermal cameras are used by China to identify people who have a fever in the large crowd. Lately, China is also developing a facial recognition system to identify the people who aren’t wearing face masks. Various streams of smart technologies are used by countries to control coronavirus.
By Drones & Robots
China has been using technology to its brims in the fight against coronavirus. In Wuhan city, they have developed an isolation ward for the patients fully operated by robots. From taking temperature to giving them food, everything is done by robots to minimize the human touch. Singapore has used robots to clean hospital wards.
With the use of robots, the risk from healthcare works can be minimized to an extent. Even in India, drones with cameras are used to scan the sealed hot spots and in some areas, drones are helping in the sanitization process as well.
Overall Impact of Coronavirus on IT Industry
There’s no doubt that the IT industry is badly affected by the coronavirus crisis, just like all other businesses and industries. But, one interesting thing here is noted that not all technology companies are badly affected. Like, digital communication and app development industries are growing rapidly. So, we can say a shift in the traditional IT business infrastructure can be noted because today people don’t want gaming or entertainment apps, they want more doctor appointment app.
In nutshell, if change IT business structure business according to the present needs, then we can see that the IT industry has so much potential to help in the world’s fight against coronavirus.