No one is thanking COVID for coming into the world, but we can definitely see some positive changes because of it.
Lockdown forced many people to turn to digital resources, and this shift created a surge in the tech industry. Now, towards the end of 2022, we can celebrate the many ways we are now thriving because of the shifted focus. Here are 17 tech leaders that have come forward to say exactly how the pandemic transformed our digital era for the better.
While some factors may have been here before, like telemedicine or instant messaging, others like remote work and automation feel brand new. Which one has had the most direct effect on you?
READ ALSO: 25 tech startups to watch in Metro Phoenix
- Telemedicine’s Importance Has Been Emphasized
- Small Businesses Now Have a Seat at the Table
- More User-Friendly Platforms Are Encouraged
- Consumers Receive Instant Resolutions for Tech Issues
- Automation Became a New Normal
- Consumer Purchase Processes Are More Streamlined
- Rising Online Education Fulfills Demand
- More Integrated Support for Diets and Overall Wellness
- Tech Has Become More Inclusive and Competitive
- Increased Communication and Collaboration Via Tools
- Digital Adoption Has Taken a Quantum Leap
- More People Are Aware of Data Collection and Usage
- A Better Attitude Has Grown Towards Hybrid Working
- Cybersecurity Became Foundational
- Cryptocurrency is Becoming More Commonplace
- More Freedom to Go Freelance
- Rapid Growth of Multi-Cloud Management Solutions
Telemedicine’s Importance Has Been Emphasized
Because of the pandemic, most consumers have flocked to online channels, and the tech industry has responded by shifting traditional services into the digital realm. Telemedicine and telehealth are crucial innovations fast-forwarded by the pandemic that have persisted beyond the lockdowns.
Over 60% of consumers now expect more self-service opportunities supported by telemedicine apps and digital health apps. Therefore, we can expect an influx of mHealth solutions and project a greater number of tech startups and development companies focusing on health tech.
Small Businesses Now Have a Seat at the Table
The growth of tech as a whole and specifically the explosion in the SaaS sector has made it possible for more small business’s like mine to have access to the same high-performing sharable database, CRMs, and other essential online business tools we rely upon every day.
Without software I can rely on, I wouldn’t have the confidence to organize my teams and operate with the efficiency I do in this hybrid digital working environment we all find ourselves in more and more of today.
Ubaldo Perez, CEO, Hush Anesthetic
More User-Friendly Platforms Are Encouraged
The pandemic forced the technology industry to re-evaluate its complex processes that scared most people away from using dozens of apps and devices. Two years ago, technology was only useful for those who were naturally computer savvy. But as the international quarantine began, more companies needed to extend their services through the digital space. Healthcare was one of the most impacted industries, with the explosion of telemedicine.
As a result, it encouraged developers to create more user-friendly platforms. The learning curve dropped significantly across all demographics. After all, the lockdown placed everyone—from Gen Zs to Boomers—in charge of their well-being; so our resources needed to be easy to understand.
There’s still a long way to go to simplify the online healthcare process, but many people wouldn’t have been able to receive the care they needed during the last two years without these adjustments.
Consumers Receive Instant Resolutions for Tech Issues
The pandemic forced most of us into remote work and, while that brought both advantages and disadvantages with it, one of the major differences we are now taking advantage of is how we communicate with each other.
We had to find new ways to keep in contact with each other, and this led to the rise in the popularity of tools such as Slack and Zoom. Previously the domain of office workers, instant communication in real time soon fed into our relations with customers.
Consumers now expect to get instant resolutions to problems or immediate responses to questions when they contact customer service and the technology that was developed to help us get through the pandemic is now proving to be a very effective tool in responding to the customer’s demands for an ever more seamless experience.
Automation Became a New Normal
I believe the pandemic encouraged businesses to automate as many systems as possible, and this won’t only benefit the tech world but all industries.
Due to cost-cutting and an increased need for efficiency, I noticed that automation is taking over all departments, from marketing to product development and even employee management.
This is because it lowers operating costs and increases production output.
This helps businesses stay open during tough times, positively impacting economies worldwide. I also found that country to popular belief, automation creates plenty of new jobs like software and automation engineers.
Consumer Purchase Processes Are More Streamlined
With the increased need to purchase even the simplest of items during the pandemic, consumers put immense demands on existing infrastructures and forever changed how services operate for the better.
There are far fewer funnels to jump through to get through to the point of purchase. Supply chains have been redesigned and deliveries have gone from weeks to a matter of days.
With the advent of AI and chatbots, customers are now able to receive instant feedback. Overall, the pandemic has granted the tech industry the opportunity to better itself to provide unprecedented services to consumers.
Rising Online Education Fulfills Demand
Historically, when the economy falters, the need for graduate-level programs rises, as young professionals attempt to delay entering the labor market and seek ways to improve their skills in the meantime.
A growing number of people, however, are opting for online courses, boot camps, and training as an alternative because they fear the length of the current economic downturn and the consequences of taking on further debt.
After COVID-19, many online-course-focused e-learning businesses saw significant demand for their services. For instance, in April 2021, Outlier, an idea of MasterClass co-founder Aaron Rasmussen, secured $30 million in Series B funding. Undergraduate courses for college credit are offered at a low cost of around $400.
More Integrated Support for Diets and Overall Wellness
The tech industry continues to support health and wellness in new and innovative ways post-COVID. Diet apps, video chats with nutritionists, etc. have all been emerging as of late to help people address their health and food habits.
This food-as-medicine trend continues to help people get a hold of not just their diets, but their eating habits and why they eat and how they do, understanding generation-old habits in mere weeks.
Tech Has Become More Inclusive and Competitive
Tech has become more inclusive by offering more positions to talented international employees. Many of these new hires work remotely, while many others still represent the many first generations of internationals who immigrate to the United States to work every year.
This has raised the bar considerably for tech overall with highly sought-after salaries, enticing benefits, and flexibility, unlike any other industry in the world.
Increased Communication and Collaboration Via Tools
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in several changes in the tech industry. Perhaps most notably, there has been an increase in using remote working technologies, as businesses seek to reduce their office footprint and enable employees to work from home.
One way that the tech industry has changed for the better this year is that there is now a greater focus on communication and collaboration tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Hangouts. This trend is a result of the switch to remote workforces that many companies have had to make. By using these tools, companies can stay connected and productive even when their employees are working remotely.
Digital Adoption Has Taken a Quantum Leap
During the pandemic, consumers have quickly migrated to online channels, and enterprises and sectors have reacted. The results of the survey are in favor of a swift shift to client engagement through digital media.
They also show that adoption rates have increased significantly since earlier polls were conducted. Compared to before the crisis, respondents are likely to claim that at least 80% of their consumer interactions are digital. The findings show an average seven-year increase in the rate at which businesses are creating these goods and services across all regions. Again, in developed Asia, the gap is significantly wider—ten years.
In their portfolios both before and after the epidemic, respondents claim to have had a similar mix of different digital products. This data shows that enterprises have likely refocused their products during the crisis, rather than making significant advancements in product development over a short period.
More People Are Aware of Data Collection and Usage
One way the tech industry has improved is that people are more aware of how their information is collected and used. Data collection has become a hot topic after the data scandal at Facebook was revealed.
People now feel more empowered to take action to limit the number of data companies collect from them. Cookies, for example, are now considered spyware by many people.
Google now plans on ending support for third-party cookies by 2024. That is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to increase transparency and decrease the amount of personal information collected online.
A Better Attitude Has Grown Towards Hybrid Working
I think the tech industry was always pretty flexible with working from home or hybrid working. However, we found that team members that worked from home more frequently than others were often unfairly stigmatized for being less productive or committed. Also, quite a few people didn’t work from home when they had the option, as they thought it would harm their chances of being promoted.
Since the pandemic, both working from home and hard-working have become much more acceptable now that everybody was forced to experience it firsthand by the safety measures.
Everybody has become much more used to dealing with colleagues remotely and, certainly at our organization, productivity is demonstrably better than it was in 2019 since team members are generally happier.
Cybersecurity Became Foundational
One of the major shifts in the tech industry since the pandemic has been an increased focus on cybersecurity. Today, cybersecurity serves as the foundational pillar of every tech invention.
Our cybersecurity tech and systems are finally in the spotlight, and they are getting better and better each year. This is a huge trend that certainly changed the industry for the better, and we are yet to see how far the benefits go.
Cryptocurrency is Becoming More Commonplace
Tech developers are spending more time and energy on cryptocurrency. It’s not just something that is used on the Dark Web any longer. There are bona fide entrepreneurial pursuits related to crypto—and that trend is likely to continue.
The crypto market isn’t rooted in printed money. If your life depends on digital, you are more likely to try crypto. Moreover, the industry is expanding because it is attracting more talent and more creativity. It’s gaining more acceptance—and over time, it’s expected to be more regulated.
Before long, crypto transactions will become commonplace. The pandemic has contributed to the mainstreaming of crypto.
More Freedom to Go Freelance
In 2022, the tech industry has created the freedom for everyone in every industry to go freelance. Now that everything is so accessible and accepted to be done virtually, there is a freelance option for every industry and job.
2022 saw the highest rates ever for people quitting their corporate jobs. This does not mean these people are now unemployed, it actually reflects the many people who are now creating structure through technology to work for themselves.
American work surveys reflect low pay and limited advancement opportunity as a motive for people quitting. As a result, most of the population is seeing how many opportunities there are now to earn money by working for themselves.
Rapid Growth of Multi-Cloud Management Solutions
Cloud and XaaS, Everything-as-a-Service, have transformed this year as businesses continue to demand integrated services for their remote and hybrid teams. As XaaS becomes integral to digital transformations, we’ve seen increased AI capabilities, intelligent edge computing, and better connectivity than ever.
Since most businesses are adopting a multi-cloud approach, we’ve seen a massive response in the industry to develop and release solutions that manage seamless integration and coordination across cloud applications and data.