The world battles a new crisis in the form of the present global pandemic. Like many other global crises before, this one is likely to spur adoption of new technologies and business operating models at a large scale. It may forever change the way we live and work as citizens and how enterprises organize their “usual” business in these unusual times.
One emerging trend is working from home. Though this concept is not new, it is being used at such a large scale in India due to the lockdown that has been imposed to contain the virus spread. With nearly 100 percent of workforces operating from home, corporations are learning what it takes to keep businesses up and running while working remotely. Of course, some functions like manufacturing or service and maintenance would require physical presence of employees, but this pandemic has shown that most other functions can successfully operate from remote locations.
Even after things become more normal, this experience may lead to corporations encouraging certain functions to work remotely long term to save on real estate and other associated costs. Employees are also realising they can work as productively from home as in an office. They do not have to spend time travelling to work and are able to spend more quality time with family. For some, having a small or micro uninterruptible power supply (UPS) when working from home will provide power protection that can ensure continuity of remote operations.
Remote Monitoring and Asset Management
Large and medium enterprises typically have a mix of cloud and edge IT infrastructure. These corporations are now realizing the importance of being able to remotely track and monitor their assets – both off-premise and on-premise, including laptops/desktops used by employees. This trend will likely drive more investments in remote tracking and monitoring tools.
Technology enables teams to collaborate while working remotely. Indian telecom and broadband players have invested heavily in providing high speed networks and fibre at home in both urban and semi urban areas. Rural India is not very far behind with both central and state governments investing in laying fibre optic networks to connect rural India. This has brought high speed internet to most homes in the country and has enabled enterprises to keep up with their business continuity plans during these trying times. The various online communication tools – telephony, meeting tools, and video conferencing –are making business leaders and employees accustomed to technology and thus causing them to view the tools as “non-mandatory.”. Even after the lockdown eases, intercity travel is likely to reduce among sales and other functions as they use technology to engage with customers, while keeping SG&A costs low for the enterprise.
Education, Healthcare and Telecom Growth
As schools, colleges, and universities remain closed for an extended duration of time during this crisis, there will likely be a rise in e-learning and delivery of online training content. Many schools have started their new academic year with virtual classrooms. Many professional trainers, speakers, and thought leaders have increased their frequency of conducting webinars and online classrooms for students and professionals wanting to acquire new knowledge and skills. This trend will create terabytes of new content that would need to be created, stored and delivered.
Another growing sector is likely to be healthcare. India has approximately one bed per 1,000 people. In this crisis, the Indian healthcare system has scaled up the number of beds required to cater to its larger population. Going forward, government and private players would continue investing in augmenting these facilities. The government of India has launched the “Aarogya Setu” app, which is a first of its kind. It can help with virus contact tracking, predicting the likelihood of infections, and generating data and reports to aid government management of the crisis. There is an opportunity for developing similar health apps, not only for use during pandemics, but also for normal health and disease tracking.
A third emerging sector is telecommunication and fibre optic networks. With explosion of data usage and need for remote communication and networking, investments will happen in support of last-mile connectivity. There could be a need for an interconnected nodal hub at the network edge in every area where connections converge. This regional nodal hub will likely need to speed deployment with integrated edge systems and other edge equipment.
As Architects of Continuity™, our Vertiv team is available to help you navigate this crisis and execute your business continuity plans.