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How Covid-19 would impact enterprise technology

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/everything possible)

No doubt, when Covid-19 leaves, everything as we understand it to be now; our daily lives, our interactions with friends, family, sport, technology and every other human endeavor would have had a massive shift from what we used to know it to be before to something we may not recognize.

This pandemic has upended most of the life activities; concerts have been canceled or postponed, football leagues have been suspended, borders are being closed, flights are suspended, the world economy is in shambles and more than a quarter of the world’s population are forced to stay at home. Still the pandemic rages.

Though the world has stepped up the fight against the contagion as different governments are enforcing rules on minimizing movements, social contact and advising their citizens to practice good personal hygiene and other guidelines as directed by the World Health Organization.

However, the virus has claimed thousands of lives worldwide and that makes for some gory statistics but the good news is that at some point in the near future, the contagion would be contained. A vaccine would be developed and everybody -- businesses and individuals -- would move on or wouldn’t they?

In this article, we look at the post-pandemic world and predict how the enterprise technology industry would fare in it.

Increased dependency on cloud technology

The new normal in that world would be an increased dependency on cloud infrastructure by businesses. The world has moved on from the manual use of pen and paper to store information to the computerization and automation of work and every other related document needed to make work seamless.

During this pandemic, most businesses were forced to close down and had to encourage their workers to work from home. And cloud services have played a massive and enabling role in the shift to ”remote working”.

Though front-end applications like Netflix, Slack, and Zoom are at the forefront taking all the plaudits for their wonderful applications, Cloud storage companies like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and smaller cloud providers like Digital Ocean are the rock on which these applications are basing their operations on.

To put it mildly, Cloud storage companies have been the unsung hero in this pandemic.

A business like Mead & Hunt which had successfully migrated all of its company's data and workstation to the Cloud has seen the importance of storing all important files and documents in the cloud so as to enable workers to have access to it and continue working no matter what happens.

According to Andy Knauf, CIO and Vice President of Mead & Hunt, he says that ”every one of my people is able to work at the same level as in the office. If we stopped working for a day, it’ll cost us a little over a half a million dollars a day from where we’re sitting”. This means that business has continued as normal in Mead & Hunt regardless of the lockdown and the stay at home order by the government.

Basically, in a post-pandemic world, we would witness a surge in the dependency and need for Cloud storage facilities so that necessary company data and information can be accessed anywhere and anytime securely by workers of the company.

Plan for all eventualities

It was almost impossible to keep every worker of a business out of the office before the COVID-19, but since the outbreak, it is not only impossible, it is mandatory.

Businesses, hitherto, whose culture never supported remote work now have to deal with the whole workforce working from home. Businesses whose enterprise tools were initially created to work internally now have to ensure that everyone, workers, of the organization have secure access to the tools -- mobile versions and desktop versions -- from home with the proper training and ability to navigate to the necessary information without error.

In short, businesses now have to prepare for all eventualities so that work can continue and workers can still remain productive.

Not only that, but businesses also need to have an accurate cash plan especially in this pandemic, attention has to be given to the analyst and forecast of cash flow in the business. Businesses need to reevaluate their budgets while also following different cash management tips to boost their chance of recovery.

Have disaster recovery plans

What happens when there is a loss of important data? Or if there is a cyber-attack that leads to the loss of important business data and information? How would the business react? What would be done to mitigate the attack? How would the data be retrieved?

Those are million-dollar questions that the business has to prepare for. Businesses now need to have disaster mitigation plans as it has become very important so as to prevent losses that could lead to the end of the business.

The need for a recovery plan cannot be overstated or underestimated as businesses would at one point in its corporate existence have to deal with a major disaster that would shake it to its core. How would the business bounce back? How would the business recover?

There is a need for businesses to develop and implement a workplace pandemic preparedness plan along with business continuity plans. To familiarize employees and emergency teams with the plan, businesses should conduct exercises annually, if not more frequently.

Additionally, businesses need to plan for support employees in the case of an employee falling sick. The company also needs to have business systems like HR payroll, ERP and CRM; unified communications (UC) and collaboration tools in place.

The business would also need to prepare for cybersecurity threats as cybercriminals would find periods like this to be as opportunities to attack as teams have been detecting malicious files disguised as PDF, MP4 and DOCX files with names suggesting that the attachment held useful information about the coronavirus. Instead, what users got were Trojans and worms that could destroy, block, modify, copy or exfiltrate personal data and interfere with systems.

As recent as March, Champaign-Urbana (Ill.) Public Health District's website was bugged by an attack that blocked the public's ability to get updates and information on the coronavirus response efforts.

So businesses need their cybersecurity teams to be at their best to protect the organization from threats and to alert users about phishing, ransomware and other malicious attacks targeting them and the business.

Race to profitability

Every business has only one goal; maximize profit. So businesses would go the extra mile to make sure that profit is maximized no matter the situation or happening in the world 

This pandemic has shown that enterprise technologies with a lasting legacy have been able to take in the profit and a ready example is Zoom which according to Bloomberg has gone from a conferencing app to the pandemic’s social network. Also, according to the Newyork Times, Amazon said it would be hiring 100,000 warehouse workers to meet increasing demand. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, said traffic for its application had exploded while Microsoft said the numbers using its software for online collaboration had climbed nearly 40 percent in a week.

Microsoft announced that the number of users on its Microsoft Teams had grown 37 percent in a week to more than 44 million daily users. There have been at least 900 million meetings and call minutes on Teams every day. This staggering statistic was made possible by the government order forcing work and businesses to decipher other ways by which they could collaborate with their team.

Other businesses, like Microsoft, are recording astounding figures as they have made record profits or subscribers (Netflix and YouTube) during this period.

Guy Sheetrit, CEO, Over The Top SEO

Guy Sheetrit is the CEO at Over the Top SEO, a senior executive with 14 years of experience across the technology, marketing and software development industries. He specialises in providing customised SEO marketing solutions for ecommerce, local SEO and Fortune 500 companies