COVID-19 threw the world into turmoil in many ways. While things are slowly returning to normal in many countries, the pandemic has left its mark in more ways than one. While most of the fallout from the virus has been negative, certain industries have benefited from worldwide shutdowns and quarantines. Namely, the tech industry, which has progressed significantly during the last 18 months or so.
As COVID continues to fall away, its legacy will be the way it has shaped technology, with experts saying that the famous “new normal” will be a far more tech-driven world. But why has the coronavirus forced businesses to speed up their digitization, and how can businesses adapt to this, post-pandemic?
COVID’s impact on the tech sector
In the wake of the outbreak, we all had to adapt – whether at an organizational level, or just socially or at-home. Schools went online; we cleared out rooms to set up ergonomic home offices; doctors appointments went virtual; our fitness routines moved to our garages.
According to a McKinsey Global Survey, companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain processes, as well as their internal operations, by three to four years in the space of a few months. Many companies realized they were able to think up short-term solutions to meet changing demands faster than they had thought possible prior to the crisis.
Professor and digital transformation researcher Arun Sundararajan of NYU School of Business described the crisis as an accelerant, saying it can be “a catalyst, or can speed up changes that are on the way.”
That’s certainly true for the tech industry, where COVID-19 has inspired technological changes, mostly in the form of the speeding up of existing trends and forecasts.
Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center asked 915 experts about what they expected to see following the COVID-19 outbreak. Respondents mirrored our thoughts, saying that we’ll transition into a “tele-everything world”, where people will become even more integrated with technology.
Some key points of the research included:
- Economic inequality will worsen, as those that are connected to access to digital tools and training will advance further
- Quality of life will be enhanced, with workers enjoying more flexible workplace arrangements
- Technology will progress especially in AI and AR, allowing people to live smarter and more productive lives
- 39% of respondents said life would be mostly better than it was pre-pandemic
- 86% of respondents expect the evolution of digital life to continue, bringing about both positive and negative consequences
The worldwide talent shortage
With COVID pushing the tech sector forward faster than anyone was really ready for, the demand for skilled workers now heavily outweighs the supply, and businesses are scrambling to find talent that can meet their post-pandemic needs.
Businesses that had previously been delaying their shift to a digital world have come up against pressure to digitize in order to sustain. This has, in turn, put pressure on supply both locally and globally, and has meant that many businesses now have to grow development teams – or even build them from scratch. According to a study by Learning and Work, ¾ of organizations say a lack of digital skills impacts their bottom line.
The talent pool in countries such as New Zealand and Australia is slim. It only continues to dwindle as demand rises and Silicon Valley companies poach local talent. With companies worldwide at risk of losing $8.4 trillion in revenue thanks to a lack of skilled talent, it’s time to rethink the way we hire. If supply is already low, how will businesses source talent in order to keep up with a digital world?
How businesses like yours can look further afield for a solution
Borders are closed in many countries, and are particularly tight in New Zealand and Australia. Of course, companies that need to hire software developers and other tech experts are faced with a problem caused by a simple economic imbalance – demand has increased while supply has stayed the same. That means we’ve got a marked shortage of local developers on our hands. And, to move towards digitization, companies need developers.
So, what’s the solution? Well, businesses have slowly come to realize that remote working is a feasible solution that doesn’t reduce productivity. If your staff can work from their homes in New Zealand or Australia, why can’t businesses have workers based anywhere else in the world?
Organizations are hiring contract, freelance and full-time overseas workers to close the gaps in their operations. It all starts with a diagnostic to help you understand which skills you need – consider the skills your workforce has right now and those it will need in the future. Then, be strategic in the way you close those gaps, getting a helping hand from a dedicated off-shore development team that works specifically with businesses in New Zealand and Australia.
Dissolving the borders and looking overseas can make a huge difference to businesses in a number of ways:
- Reduce training time for your on-shore workers.
- Unlock access to skilled graduates around the globe.
- Broaden your talent pool.
- Get prepared for expansion.
Build your remote team with Double Yolk
A significant growth in businesses building off-shore teams is fueling confidence in the option, with 70% of Fortune 500 companies now offshoring some or all of their software development. It’s clear to see that the answer to the current software talent gap lies in sourcing talent from other parts of the world.
If you’re interested in building a remote team, reach out to Double Yolk. We’ve helped over 40 businesses in NZ and Australia to build offshore software centers in India, and we could play a key part in getting your business ready for the post-pandemic shift.