No one could have guessed by the end of 2019 that a few months down the road we would be facing one of the biggest crises in recent history. We are seeing lockdowns, markets crashing left and right, and even oil prices falling to negative numbers for a while. Without any doubt, the global pandemic of coronavirus is one of the heaviest blows the world economy has suffered in the last 70 years.
Things looked grim for a moment, but as more and more governments are starting to take steps to reopen the economy, the markets are responding with cautious optimism. We are all well aware that no economy, no matter how strong, can withstand a long term lockdown. But going back to our workplaces doesn’t mean that things will be like they used to. This crisis had so many different effects on a wide array of people’s everyday lives and the economy as well.
Getting the COVID-19 under control in a region isn’t a guarantee that a second outbreak won’t happen. As we all know, the predictions for the next winter are not so optimistic. However, this situation is so predictable that we can’t even be sure that we will repeat it once again. That doesn’t mean that governments should not prepare themselves for the next impact.
China, for example, might be on the verge of having a second wave of contagion. Companies need to prepare for stricter regulations, a world of social distancing, and the possibility of having to close down again. It should be said that this pandemic has a different effect on different parts of the world. Some of the countries in Asia experienced a lockdown much later than a majority of European and North American countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not been kind to IT, and Forester’s forecasts point to an overall contraction of the IT market for the next year. But on a positive note, it seems like cloud infrastructures and specialized software development services provided by companies like BairesDev will see a significant increase.
It makes perfect sense to see that this crisis forced people to stay at their homes. Therefore, many people started using the internet much more than in the years before this pandemic. Therefore, this opened many opportunities for companies in this field of work to experience growth during this global crisis. However, it should be said that these effects are not as positive as many people would think.
Companies are looking for ways to adapt to the pandemic, which could mean relying on software automation to minimize human inner contractions in the workplace or investing in solutions to accommodate a virtual office environment. This is something that can be considered crucial since adapting is the most important thing you can do when you experience a change in the climate or the usual company’s modus operandi.
The market is in flux right now, and it’s still too early to tell if we are going to see a recovery or a recession in the coming months. Business opportunities are going to look very different depending on the path the economy takes. Even though the predictions are not so positive, it should be said that governments and industries will give their best to preserve as much of the global economy as possible in these conditions.
If we see a recovery, expect to see a surge in investment, as companies will be more open to adopting new technologies to prepare their systems for a post-COVID-19 world. In short, people will feel more confident in investing. We are pretty sure that the history of our civilization can teach us that every crisis or war has led to numerous opportunities to the rebuilding of every country’s economy, or the world’s economy as of t.
If we go into a recession, consultants will still have a role to play, but they have to be smarter. Software development companies have a great opportunity in their hands, as long as they understand the psychology that drives decision making during crises. We’ve already mentioned that these opportunities can arise from the future rebuilding of the economy and every particular industry.
People will favor low-cost and low-effort solutions
Uncertainty makes people risk-averse. The best example is how foreign investment has dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic. When there isn’t enough information to make an assessment, people tend to be cautious, and only make low-risk decisions. This is pretty normal for this kind of situation since people will look for the opportunity to preserve as much money as possible, due to the danger of losing employment.
Another example is how IoT investing has sky plummeted in the last few months, except for retrofitted solutions. That is, installing easy-to-adapt technology to systems that are already in place. But, it should be said that many experts think that this trend will change in the next couple of years after the economy manages to recover itself a little bit more.
While not as useful as a fully engineered solution, retrofitted technology is very alluring because of how easy it is to install, and because it tends to require a lower investment. The lesson to be learned here is that, unless the client is a high-stakes entrepreneur, they are probably not thinking long-term right now. But, that doesn’t think they will remain at this position down the road.
But for now, tech consultants should offer short or mid-term solutions, aimed at reducing the current impact of the pandemic. For a lot of clients it’s not about investing to make money a couple of years from now, but investing to stop losing money right now. The whole idea with this approach is to be able to have the costs down to a minimum, to preserve the current funds from getting completely wasted.
Keeping adoption costs to a minimum
Considering what we said before, this is a no-brainer. It’s hard enough to get people to adapt to a new system, but having to adapt while dealing with remote working, a health-crisis, and school shutdowns is another matter entirely. It should be said that this is the first time humanity experienced something like this. Therefore, it should be said that it is not a surprise that many people struggle so much.
Software consultant companies need to understand their clients. Google and Microsoft were two of the first companies to adopt a work-from-home model, but they already had the systems in place. Modern companies might see this change as a minor nuisance at best.
Middle and small-sized companies are another matter entirely. Many are just getting acquainted with concepts like cloud-based tools or collaboration tools. Simply put, for millions of people out there, remote working is sending emails and calling their coworkers over their phones. This was a direct result of people being under lockdown and being forced to work from their homes.
The paradox is that these companies are the ones who need tech consulting the most, but at the same time, they are also the least likely to adopt a solution. The key is to create solutions that are easy to grasp, similar to what they already have in place, and to offer a training program adapted to their needs.
Security is key
With travel bans in place, lockdowns, and work from home being the norm in most of the western world, we will be seeing a rise in cybercrimes and cybersecurity concerns. Services like Zoom are being tested on their ability to protect their client’s data. This is now one of the most popular services you can find on the internet. Due to its capabilities, people are now able to complete all of their works from their homes.
Tech consultants need to prepare for a new level of security awareness amongst their potential clients. People will be placing a lot of value on safety and data protection. As such, software developers should emphasize on how their products are going to protect their client’s data. It looks the future will be pretty bright for them, even though the situation is not positive for many other industries.
What comes after…
The world after the COVID-19 is still uncertain, but we are already seeing a push for fewer restrictions. Companies will be facing new challenges in the coming months and software developers will prove great allies in figuring out how they are going to adapt and grow in this time of crisis.