The coronavirus fightback is in full swing. People are staying at home and tech is playing a vital role by connecting them but the outbreak has hurt our industry.
Covid-19 has created a complex interplay of commercial pressures. Supply chains are disrupted and the economy is uncertain. And tech is at the centre.
Suddenly, remote work is the default. Tech tools are needed. CONTEXT analysts have seen increasing sales of products needed for home-working – running down stock in some countries – and there is increased investor interest in companies such as Zoom and Slack.
Many people want to know how far remote solutions can go in replacing cancelled in-person meetings and conferences. A recent CONTEXT blog suggested companies consider CSR in the light of Covid-19: how much do business people need to fly? Our analysts see the current situation giving a boost to long-term workplace digitisation.
Sadly, the best remote communications solutions can’t yet solve the logistical problems caused by having a fifth of the world locked down. As activity slows down, a recession looks likely.
Meanwhile, there are still challenges on the supply side. We haven’t yet seen the full impact of factory closures. ‘We produce most of our products in China,’ Enrique Lores, the CEO of HP, told CNBC, predicting a hit to his company. Apple noted the slowdown in a mid-February investor update. Its major supplier, Foxconn, has been struggling. The IPC, the electronics industry body, notes that its members are experiencing shipment delays, but that they are hopeful that the situation will improve this year.
Production is recovering. But a global virus creates further difficulties and a resultant recession could have wide-reaching implications.
For now, the continuing demand for remote-working and remote-learning essentials demonstrates that tech is needed more than ever. If we in the industry work through the challenges with care, we can support lives on lockdown and help see the world through this time.
© CONTEXT 2020