As opposed to, say, the travel or restaurant industries, the tech sector has weathered the most disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic relatively well. But that doesn’t mean that business has gone smoothly as if nothing happened — or that trends haven’t accelerated or been disrupted by the crisis.
While it’s a bit early to know whether shifts in usage and IT tactics will remain permanent, some corners of the computing business have clearly seen a boost, while others have fallen in use, suffered setbacks in the wake of lockdowns, or been called into question for the months ahead, even when workers return to the office.
Here is a look at which technology categories and strategies have benefitted by the shifts caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and which are likely to be rethought post-pandemic.
Winner: Video conferencing — and its ecosystem
The big winner is easy to spot: Demand for video conferencing tools has skyrocketed meetings and classroom sessions have moved online. But it’s not just the few major platforms that are benefitting, as the virtual meeting boom has attracted satellite projects tuned for smaller niches. Zoom, for example, has an app marketplace with specialized extensions for industries such as finance, education, customer services, and more than a dozen other categories. There are similar software projects built around Microsoft Teams and Google Meet as well.