The impact of COVID-19 in the technology industry is not uniform across B2B and B2C companies. Tim Zanni, Global and U.S. Technology Sector Leader, discusses the implications for diverse business models and highlights places where innovation is flourishing.
Hi Everybody – Day 21 of our Shelter in Place in California and I’m pleased to say that all is good in our home.
I thought I’d provide a few brief observations on the technology industry and COVID-19.
Let’s remind ourselves that the technology sector is a diverse group of business models so any impact to uncertain times is not uniform. B to C companies are negatively impacted due to consumers prioritizing vital household supplies and groceries over consumer technologies. However, within the B to C segment, activities such as streaming, messaging, contactless payments, and video conferencing are all experiencing significant demand. That demand is able to be supplied because of the distribution ease of the internet and the use of scalable cloud-based infrastructure.
B to B companies, for the most part, are seeing demand for their products as technology fuels our work from home environment in addition to staying in touch. Ultimately, the B to B companies with significant business in verticals such as travel, entertainment, hospitality and energy as well as the SMB market will see the most prolonged downturn.
As I look at specific technologies, obviously video conferencing has seen a boom but newer technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are accelerating as important use cases and solutions arise during the pandemic. At KPMG, we have also benefited from virtual reality which allows us to observe in places we would typically visit.
Lastly, I’ve written a fair amount about upcoming innovation hubs around the world and what it takes to be one of those centers. I just released a blog [OK1] on my LinkedIn page describing how innovation continues to thrive in these locations such as New York City. I’ve observed examples of extensive use of location identification, high-performance compute, remote technologies, and artificial intelligence developed and deployed to help fight and manage the situation we find ourselves in.
Technology and technology companies are really stepping up in this time of crisis. I fully believe the industry will not only be a visible force for good during these difficult times but will grow even stronger and more relevant going forward.
Thanks for joining me and stay safe everyone!
I’m hoping it will take a day to get edits and cleared, but just in case let’s be vague on timing.