Tech tip: Why a tough economy always seems to precede a tech boom
If nothing else is certain, then you can bet that the need to improve circumstances or processes gives rise to innovations of all types. Technology has proven this time and time again, as new solutions have emerged to solve previously intractable problems and challenges, not just in the workplace, but in society as a whole. Let’s take a look at how economic hardship has spurred innovation, especially in the tech sector.
Covid has been difficult for everyone, especially businesses
Perhaps the biggest example of recent times is the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced many companies to change their operational structures and processes virtually overnight. According to a survey by McKinsey & Company, these trends are expected to continue in the future.
Nine in ten leaders believe their operations will change as a result of the pandemic, and 85% believe their customers’ needs will continue to change and be influenced by the pandemic even five years from now. Most leaders see this opportunity to grow and adapt accordingly, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The pandemic has provided organizations with the unique opportunity to adjust processes and operations. Some of the trends that have emerged include:
- Offers as a service*, as cloud-based tools facilitate remote work;
- Hybrid working approaches, as they help to increase employee satisfaction while allowing working from multiple locations;
- Supply chain resilience, as a way to avoid the challenges we currently face.
This type of innovation is nothing new
Disasters, challenges, and problems have spawned new and innovative tools and solutions throughout history, and that is unlikely to go away. Some of the biggest private companies emerged from the recessions of the early 1980s, many of whom took advantage of the era to pursue their dreams. In fact, Isaac Newton established his law of universal gravitation while staying safe indoors during a time of bubonic plague.
Technology can help overcome challenges
Technology has helped people make great strides, even when it seems hard to keep going.
*According to Wikipedia: “As a Service or XaaS (Anything as a Service) offerings provide client/consumer endpoints that typically interface with APIs, but can usually be controlled through a web console in a user’s web browser. Internally, these often complex systems typically possess a high degree of internal automation which typically provides varying levels of fault tolerance and resiliency, the ability to scale up/down to meet load capacity and performance requirements of work submitted to the service by its users. /consumers, and are generally intended to perform their day-to-day functions without requiring human intervention. »
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Alan Edwards, CISM, is chief information officer at Computerware, Inc., in Vienna, Virginia.