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COVID-19 and its Impact on Today’s and Tomorrow’s IT industry

Hi Guys,

Today we are talking about the impact of COVID-19 on the IT industry.

COVID – 19 is a disease which has its origin in China and was identified there as early as November 2019 and till date has killed hundreds of thousands of people but as sad this news is, it has a positive impact on the IT industries of the world, how? Let’s discuss.

Early stages of the virus

Even though the virus started spreading in late 2019 it was only declared a pandemic in March of 2020, and as it was declared, so the order for quarantine for infected and lockdown for the general population followed. Millions of people now stayed at home for the longest time in their lifetimes, but as one would expect they still had to work, so most of the IT companies made their employees work from home which was at first not as effective as being physically present at their respective offices but was better than not working at all. Little by little as the workers of IT industries were getting the hang of it all (most) other companies followed their footsteps and also introduced ‘work from home’.

Even though now it seems to be the only natural thing to do, it was met with reluctant views at first and these reluctant views were not unfounded but rather a reality for most people, for example, it was thought that since a huge population of workers are older than the first mobile phone made in India i.e. July 31 1995; it would be very difficult for them to adopt the technology of video conferencing and video calling and being effective at work at the same time; which if you think about is true, and it did pose a lot of problem at the beginning, but as they say “what is never changing is change itself” and people in a very short amount of time embraced this change [1] and were almost back to their daily schedule of working. But there was one change that didn’t go unnoticed from the views of people which was the comfortability of this ‘work from home’, even though they were practically present at work during their video calls and conferences they were physically present in the comforts of their homes which was a bigger boon than the bane of less effectiveness so much so that Google extended this work from home order till 2021 even if the pandemic is to be cured [2].

Then in late April 2020, people of all ages and races who were daily office goers and only used their tech (mobile phones and internet) occasionally and for entertainment, now use it for working and for productivity, in general, not just in some parts of the world but everywhere.

Graph of Internet Usage in India
Graph of Internet Usage in India via Statista 2020.
Ranking of Zoom Cloud Meeting in the App Store
Map showing the ranking of the Zoom Cloud Meeting in Apple’s App Store

This change can not only be seen just in terms of the number of internet users but economically by the percentage change in stock prices of top video conferencing app used during the pandemic, ‘ZOOM’,

Stock Price of ZOOM
Stock Price of ZOOM via Yahoo! Finance

As we can see the there is a total change of 231% and the price went from 38.45 M from April 2019 when the company was made to 225M today mid-August 2020.

Not only ZOOM but Microsoft which owns video conferencing apps like ‘Skype’ and ‘Webx’ stocks also skyrocketed.

This brought the change in the thinking of not only the common man but of big tech companies and governments because all of these tech companies and state-owned internet service providers were struggling to keep up with the daily amount of internet used by their customers. This in turn made them realize the importance and urgency to upgrade their systems for more and more capabilities to cater to the ever-growing internet needs of the population. Not only this but the cybersecurity aspect of tech also came into limelight when some video conferencing app’s users’ data was stolen which raised the level of awareness of cybersecurity and importance of it in the general population. [3]

Now everything above was related to work, next comes the use of tech for entertainment purpose.

Since not only offices but also all the parks and non-essential places were closed this led to the rise in boredom and physical degradation and as they say ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, so this time also saw a meteoric rise in the use of video streaming services and concurrent video-game players.

Netflix alone noticed a rise of 47% in its subscribers since COVID -19. [4]

Major Streaming Services across the Globe.
Major Streaming Services across the Globe.

Video games digital distribution service by valve ‘Steam’ is one of the many online game stores which has seen a sharp increase in both google searches and game purchases; all the more reasons to continue their services.

Video games although looked down upon by the elders are one of the best alternatives to stress relief and to improve one’s motor reflexes and though this pandemic saw a rise in the gaming industry. Even without the pandemic, the industry was still set to rise but in a smaller and more consistent pace.

The diagram below shows all the different companies and industry which have a major role to play in the development of the games.

The Online Gaming EcoSystem
The Online Gaming EcoSystem

Out of all the industries involved in the gaming business, the only ones which saw a loss was ESports and gaming arenas since they require the physical presence of players to compete, otherwise, all these above-showcased fields, saw a rise in both – popularity and income.

This was all in the first stages of pandemic below is what’s happening now:

Present and the future

After the rise in the electronic/digital industries, both in popularity and share value, it only propelled its popularity, even more among investors and the other people who were usually against these platforms.

Since June, many medical companies started to work for a vaccine, that gave birth to large investments in the medical fields by both public and private firms including the government. The states started investing in their own indigenous medical industries and labs whereas private firms invested in countries with more chances of developing the vaccine. Here, India shines since it is home to some of the largest medicines and drugs manufacturers and it was in the mass media for quite some time; both because of the investment it received and the cheap prices at which they promised to distribute the drug.

And ever since the virus was discovered in China, the credibility of China has been falling, so much so that the U.S. and some European nations have started to oppose its policy and in that time many companies whose factories were set up in China especially electronics manufacturer have started the process to completely shift to India. This by no way a major blow to China, but a step in the right direction and might cost China a lot in the long run.

As time went by many offices, especially private ones opened thinking that the effects of COVID has started to diminish but were again closed by the authorities when some people caught the virus, this, in turn, highlighted the importance and the flexibility of work from home so much so that many companies increased their staff who can work from home permanently.

The entertainment industry especially the gaming industry saw a rise in its quality and content after receiving a huge boost during the early stages of the pandemic, and due to that, the industries’ value is still increasing rather than becoming stagnant.

The government introduced many startup and technological initiatives to take advantage of the available human resources. Their initiative to organize the competitions has fuelled the investment drive in India. People whose work took most of their time during the day now had an opportunity to work together with their partners to build a plan and to initiate their startup ideas. This increased the number of registered startups giving a boost to the local economy.

More than 1,200 startups came up in 2018, including eight unicorns, taking the total number to 7,200 startups, NASSCOM reported. However, the seed-stage funding of Indian startups has declined from USD 191 million in 2017 to USD 151 million in 2018.

Over 1,300 startups were added in 2019, there are over 8,900 tech-startups in India. And all of these are just startups related to technology; overall there are over around 60,000 startups in India alone.

What does this mean for the common man and to you?

Well, the world went through a phase of digitalization (by force if you will) and this gave a very clear view of what we can see in the future, where the money is and where can we see the most development in the coming years. If you already haven’t figured it out, it is the electronics department and the IT, both in the electronic hardware manufacturing and the software more emphasis on software.

The recent turn of events has put the IT sector in the radars of investors of the present and the future. And with more investment, comes more talent in that field, people being employed in the IT sector has already been increasing but now it will probably increase at a more explosive rate, even if the people are not directly employed by the sector; they will surely take more lessons and classes to increase their knowledge of this field; since it will be of huge importance while working especially online. So the general awareness of the sector will increase.

So what importance is this for the common man, well if you ever wanted to start investing in stocks then this is the time to be in. Many companies are forming and being replaced at this moment, there is an IT revolution going on so don’t miss the action. (Buying stocks are subject to market risk, please read stock related documents carefully).

Other than this, right now, it is also a golden opportunity for learners. Learners of every field can find any information and books on the internet, but as time passes on there will be a restriction on this knowledge as it will get outdated; so better be safe than sorry and start learning new things now.

Also, since most of the work will be done online at least this year, it is not a bad idea to invest in a good setup and buy a good PC which will work for many years to come and when it becomes outdated; you will just have to change some parts to make it as good as new.

Conclusion

You are at the beginning of a revolution; if you don’t take advantage of this time now, it will harm you in the future, both physically and capital wise.

Guest Author Bio

Vikramaditya Malik is an undergraduate student, currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Technology with interests in every field he comes across. He is a newbie content writer and guest post writer for TechGlobule.com, and he can be reached via LinkedIn.

That’s all folks.

Author – Vikramaditya Malik
Editor  – Swapnil Jha
Image sources –  Google Images (for all other images). Statista 2020, App Annie, Yahoo! Finance, ReelGood.com, and HackerNoon
References –
[1] Bloomberg.com/in-lockdown-seniors-are-becoming-more-tech-savvy
[2] CNBC.com/google-employees-work-from-home-order-extended-to-summer-2021
[3] Forbes.com/zoom-gets-stuffed-heres-how-hackers-got-hold-of-500000-passwords
[4] CompariTech.com/netflix-subscribers

Guest Author

2 Comments

  1. Well researched. But how do you invest in IT beside trading in its stocks ?

    • To invest not only means to trade in its stocks but also owning and keeping the product for personal use for example – like owning a plot of land, you use it personally and it is inherited by your children but you did not invest in any construction company to do so. the same rule applies here.

      ~ Vikramaditya Malik

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