The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone the world over. Many industries have seen delays and complications because of COVID-19. The technology industry is no different, having seen major changes during and after COVID.
The technology industry may be one of the most affected industries. Some of those effects have been positive, while others have been much more negative.
Whether the changes and consequences are positive or negative, there are major ripple effects. People outside the technology industry are feeling them too.
The biggest shift is the move to all things virtual. Almost every business and service provider has created a way for employees and customers to interact without face-to-face interaction but more screen time. This shift to a more virtual environment has also created more opportunities for independent contractors.
These positions offer flexibility, for both the employer and employee, but they also create a lot more questions. Individuals who move from full-time work to contract work are left to fill in a lot of blanks, like health care and auto insurance for independent contractors.
Change can be great, but there’s always a give and take. There’s always a time of growth and stretching. Good things come out of that growth, but it’s not all good.
COVID and the Good
First, the good news: COVID has caused a boon in the technology industry. The increased demand across many industries has required more from the technology industry.
The truth is the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for technology in our lives in a way that was unimaginable before.
Everything from the workplace and our schools to our grocery stores and stadiums has implemented new pieces of technology. Even the money we use has changed with COVID-19 and the introduction of Bitcoin.
The workplace has created a lot of demand for technology. Post-COVID, almost 82% of workplaces are allowing their workers to work from home. This creates a need for virtual interactions and workflow systems. Products like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack have helped fill the gaps.
These web-based systems may not seem like an increase in demand from the tech industry, but it has. More people working from home require more bandwidth from internet providers, and therefore more computers and pieces of equipment need to be created, disbursed, and maintained.
A virus that is highly contagious and spread through close contact means there is a greater need for limited contact. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for new technologies that help limit person-to-person contact.
As a result, the technology industry has seen an incredible increase in demand for touchless technologies and automated robots. Both of these technologies help keep the world moving in both production and customer-facing industries, but it also opens more doors for advancements.
The shift in the world has highlighted the need for change across other industries. One interesting area is car insurance. With more individuals turning to a less traditional method of employment, like independent contracting, there is less need for traditional car insurance.
Independent contractors may use their personal cars less often and need different coverage. It’s also possible these individuals will use their personal cars for business ventures. In both of these cases, car insurance coverage must change.
If you find yourself making the move to independent contracting, then it’s time to answer some nagging questions. Start with your car insurance and make the necessary changes to protect yourself and your car. Look into rates by your car’s make and model; the average insurance cost for a Dodge Charger will be different than those for a Ford F150.
COVID and Chips
While it would seem the majority of the changes are positive, there is one area that has caused major problems. A large portion of the world’s industry runs through microchips — everything from computers and cellphones to our vehicles.
The issue isn’t a simple one, either. The chips necessary to make these systems run are delayed or completely unavailable due to massive shortages. These issues won’t be resolved quickly.
Longer delays and continuing shortages across many industries will force more inconsistencies in production and function. This can have major impacts on other areas of technology and industry. Coupled with higher demand for these technologies, these issues might mean even more delays in necessary pieces of equipment.
The delays and shortages have also called into question the security of data and personal information. Now everywhere you look there are thousands of VPNs and promises of digital security. It can be hard to know who to trust.
COVID didn’t disrupt just one area of our lives. It’s pushed each and every one of us to reevaluate how we operate in every aspect of our daily lives. While some of the changes have been positive, there could be more stress and strain in the coming months.