How COVID-19 Is Affecting Tech

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the lives of almost every American. With stay-at-home orders in place, and nonessential businesses closed, the internet has become the place where we work, shop, learn, worship, bank, communicate, and socialize. The demands of the COVID-19 crisis also translate into greater mechanization in laboratory testing, hospital settings, logistics and delivery. The need to secure databases and provide completely secure servers means that businesses will be investing in Enterprise Resource Planning and enhancing the landscapes already in use. Technology is already playing a huge role in keeping our society going; its importance will continue to grow when the pandemic is over.

 

Information Technology Services

Remote working has quickly become the norm around the country; now that we know it works, it may become more common even after the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. The demand for cloud infrastructure services, and specialized software will continue to grow as well. The hardware that supports it needs to be in place and the telecom systems must meet the demand. Businesses either need to develop their own top-flight in-house IT team, or they need to work with organizations that specialize in ERPs and SAP systems.  Most organizations do not have a dedicated IT department in place for a reliable business-continuity plan (BCP). Those that do have IT departments will need to supplement them with help from IT service providers in procuring devices, setting up a resilient, flexible and secure network, disaster recovery systems, and IT security.

 

Data Protection

In the current environment, more health providers are offering tele-health services. That, combined with the extraordinary numbers of people ordering online, as well as those registering for jobless claims, means that the need for data protection has never been greater. The recently published ABI Research report “taking Stock of COVID-19 ” notes the vast quantity of personal data available, and the danger that it could end up “in the hands of a few entities with no visibility, no legislative barriers, no surveillance limitations, and no biometric revocation options for the foreseeable future.” Governments and biometrics vendors are responsible for creating person-centered solutions and utilizing the proper security measures to prevent this.

 

Biometrics

One concern that has arisen with this pandemic lies in the area of biometrics. In general, biometric AI and ML algorithms are working well to protect networks and data. However, many governments have invested tremendously in biometrics in everything from passports to security clearances. Almost all rely, at least in part, on fingerprint recognition; that kind of physical contact poses an obvious health risk. There needs to be a shift away from contact-only applications and the likelihood is that facial and iris recognition will become the norm. This will create a myriad of additional problems “because a great deal of law enforcement, Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS)/Biometric Identification Systems (BIS), border control, visa and immigrations applications are also based on fingerprint identification” (ABI Research).

 

Supply Chains

One thing that this pandemic has demonstrated with painful consequences is our over dependence on foreign supply chains. With most of the manufacturing of hardware for technology concentrated in Asia (for instance with 5G phones) the results of the months-long lockdown there will be a delay in the launch of new smartphones and other upgraded devices. Supply chain constraints apply to the raw materials as well. At the same time, hardware companies may see major demand coming from businesses that are placing large orders for laptops and mobile devices to support employees now working from home. In order to create resilience in the supply chain, significant changes need to take place. Sourcing must become both more local and more diffuse. Instead of a couple of suppliers in China producing the majority of semiconductors, for instance, we should have a number of manufacturing plants throughout the U.S. producing them.

 

Now that the world has discovered that it is indeed possible to work remotely, and truly take advantage of the technology available, there’s no way to stuff that genie back into the bottle. In order to make sure that your business is ready for the world, post-pandemic, contact the experts at 1st Basis to remotely supplement your Basis resources during these trying times.

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