Supply chains were disrupted worldwide when the COVID-19 hit China. Since then, the virus has continued to spread, with more than 20.6 cases worldwide. The impact of the coronavirus has been massive, and what comes next is difficult to predict.
A major telecommunications conference, Mobile World Congress, was the first of many industry events that were cancelled in an attempt to slow spread of the virus. A growing number of workers are now working remotely, which means many projects are delayed and opportunities for partnership are being passed by.
However, both the tech and telecommunications industry have been able to promote health and safety. They’ve provided assistance to companies such as Cybermo, that need access to videoconferencing tech, helped governments provide citizens with updates about the virus, and have utilised smart tech to slow the spread of COVID-19.
1. Major disruptions to supply chains worldwide
The first major impact was felt by supply chains. In China, where COVID-19 originated, many citizens caught the disease or had to quarantine. Because of this, many factories and plants were partially or fully shut down. Many major tech companies relied on these plants to manufacturer parts and products. As an example, the main manufacturer for Apple, Foxconn, largely shut down in China, which meant that there was an iPhone shortage.
2. Conference cancellations mean fewer opportunities for networking
Major technology conferences, like MWC (Mobile World Conference), which was scheduled to take place in Barcelona between February 24th and 27th, were cancelled because of coronavirus. MWS is a major networking event in the world of connectivity. It’s where major companies have the chance to develop partnerships and discuss future innovation. While some companies were able to reschedule events they had intended to hold during MWC, many other businesses had to completely cancel planned events.
3. The need for 5G tech adoption is being showcased
Because of COVID-19, the importance of tech that allows people to interact remotely has been demonstrated. 5G is able to answer these concerns. It delivers virtually instant communication, and the speeds it offers are incredibly fast. It’s ideal for remote interactions, which is something many companies need as concerns over the virus continue.
4. An increasing incentive to adopt VR technology
COVID-19 may increase tech industry interest in VR technology. Some of the biggest companies in the sector, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google, have asked employees to work from home. Other major businesses, such as Amazon, have restriction travel for non-essential employees. Workers are banned from travelling to areas that have been heavily impacted, such as Italy and China, and the United States. It’s the best way to prevent the spread of the virus, but it does make hands-on training and other collaborative efforts more challenging. Because of these issues, companies will seek out ways to avoid potential disruptions. VR is a solution to many of these problems.
While few companies are utilising VR tech now, that might change in the near future. A number of companies are taking a closer look at VR.
5. Seeing the value of smart city technology
Across the globe, smart city solutions have helped cities to manage this crisis more effectively. As an example, the police force in China have implemented drones equipped with thermal sensors. This means that people with fevers can quickly be identified. In South Korea, the government created a smartphone app for individuals in self-quarantine. Individuals are connected with caseworkers that can answer questions and provide information as needed. In Australia, the government created a chatbot that can provide accurate answers to questions from citizens, making it harder for disinformation to spread.
Smart city technology has played an important role during the pandemic, which is why many companies can now see its value. It’s likely that many companies will continue to invest in this tech going forward.