Coronavirus And Software Development – What Is The Impact Of Pandemia On Tech Industry
Coronavirus pandemic has already influenced the world in a major way. The nature of work in companies of all branches has drastically changed. And the IT industry is not an exception. And if in the beginning only the Software development companies whose activities are in any way related to China were forced to accommodate to new rules, but now there is no company in the whole world that isn’t affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts say that even if tomorrow the number of active cases would begin to drop, the consequences of the pandemic will be felt by the industry for a long time. How then the IT companies are managing the newly appeared changes?
Who needs to adapt?
A number of companies were immediately hit by the consequences of the pandemic. Under quarantine conditions, permanent high-quality Internet access was very important, so those who work in this niche reacted to the changes among the first.
For example, Comcast and T-Mobile offered more advantageous tariff plans. Airbnb’s reservation service has eased the conditions for canceling a reservation. And Google is now working with Verily on a website that will help determine if a person should be tested for COVID-19.
There have also been serious changes in the operating principles of companies that provide information distribution technologies. After all, millions of people turn to the Internet, trying to find useful data. And it depends on such companies, whether users will receive reliable information as quickly as possible. And because of the fact that there is a lot of misinformation spreading about the coronavirus, numerous companies have found themselves in a difficult position.
For example, there is a regulation on Youtube that any video telling about a recent tragedy should be demonetized. This prohibits companies to make profit from such events. Consequently, this rule was applicable to videos that tell about coronavirus. But vloggers started to resent it because it affects not only those who try to make money on someone else’s grief but also those who want to just give quality information on a given topic. As a result, the controversial regulation was overturned.
It must be noted that some IT companies had been pushed to “filter” information. Some people think that companies that provide services to a broad public should have certain social obligations to inform people about possible misinformation. Others insist that companies should just give people tools to spread information freely.
But in occurred circumstances companies have rejected the latter. Now search engines prioritize health care resources, app stores have become a subject scrupulous moderation, advises of self-treatment are deleted. That way companies are aiming to promote only the truthful information.
Who was hit the hardest?
Obviously, the pandemic had differently influenced companies working in different fields of the IT-market. For some, this adaptation to new conditions had passed mostly unnoticed, and some were hit the hardest. The second category refers to:
- Companies that are directly dependent on supplies from China. These are manufacturers of computer equipment and various gadgets.
- Those who provide software development services for transport companies and travel agencies. It is these segments of the market that have now “sagged” quite strongly and, accordingly, the number of orders for software has decreased.
- Companies, whose activities are related to open events.
Remote work transition of IT companies
In the beginning, software developers were carefully talking about the remote work transition only in those companies that were close to the epicenters of the outbreak. But, with some time passed, the transition became obligatory. Job interviews are also done only by video. Such mode of operation became a norm not only for small businesses but also for big players of the market.
Particularly, Google recommended that all employees should transfer to remote work. Twitter also said it encouraged all staff members to work from home regardless of where the office is located. Even Apple, which has always worked in the strictest secrecy mode, allowed the transfer to remote work.
Many companies are now actively looking for fresh ideas. Mainly the development of apps that will come useful and relevant in quarantine. For example such apps as:
- Applications that will help to set up a remote work environment in different areas (to coordinate employees, set tasks, monitor their implementation).
- Services for distance learning, as both schools and higher education institutions, are forced to switch to distance learning.
- Applications that allow door-to-door delivery.
- Applications that allow tracking infected people, which are on self-isolation.
- Other applications that allow people not to get bored during quarantine (language learning, coloring books and more).
Remote work specific problems
Regardless of the fact that IT companies are adapting to new work conditions there are still left many unresolved questions, such as:
- What needs to be done with the service staff when offices are empty? (Many companies have promised to pay full salaries to such staff)
- What should employees do if they don’t have an equipped workplace at home? (Many companies promise to partially cover the cost) of setting it up)
- Won’t this situation be a turning point for remote work? After all, if it turns out that the productivity of work is not reduced, employees may not want to return to the office again.
It should be noted that this is the first time that a remote work system can be applied by large IT companies. In fact, we have a global experiment ahead of us, the results of which will allow us to draw some conclusions.
Event organizing for software development companies
Due to the global quarantine, a huge number of different specialized conferences such as MWC, E3, SXSW were canceled. But this is not the only solution. More often than not the organizers:
- move conferences to the summer. There are good reasons to believe that the situation will change for the better. However, there is no complete certainty yet that by May it will be possible to make decisions on when to put the events.
- are putting the conferences online. Microsoft Build, WWDC, Google I/O, as well as a number of serious cybersports tournaments, were held in this format.
Of course, online broadcasts do not provide face to face communication with speakers. But, on the other hand, such conferences can be joined by those who would not have been able to attend the conference live even without quarantine.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and touched all areas of business. The IT industry was no exception. Companies adapt differently to quarantine conditions: they transfer employees to remote locations, hold conferences and online interviews. Some even change their work direction by developing applications that make life easier for people in isolation. It’s still difficult to make serious predictions about the impact of the pandemic on IT, but experts are already saying the industry will definitely change.
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