Many IT service providers have begun introducing new and improved solutions to address their customers’ needs during the pandemic. Those that are acting quickly and effectively can help customers adjust to the difficult situation while building greater trust and loyalty among the communities they serve.
From big tech players to telecoms, networks, and software developers
With a pincer-like maneuver, the coronavirus has encircled the Information Technology (IT) industry creating problems and issues from global supply chain disruptions, technology product shortages, delays, missed deadlines, to an increase in network traffic. Some countries like Spain have seen their traffic surge 70 percent or more during the outbreak. AT&T said its network has seen a 40 percent increase in mobile traffic and a 100 percent increase in Wi-Fi calling.
Big brands such as Apple, Intel, Nokia, and Sony have been left in the lurch due to the reliance on their supply chains in China which has affected manufacturing, production, and operations in the ability to deliver products. Other businesses within the IT sector are also feeling the pressures brought about by the pandemic such as telecoms, network providers, and software installers.
Telecom specialists are tackling a wide variety of issues right now, from the support and care of employees, delivering infrastructure and services, to managing massive increases in network traffic. These businesses are by nature people-intensive, with a specialized workforce comprised of teams in offices, out on the road, and in retail locations.
Storefronts and third-party dealer networks that are open for business are seeing lower foot traffic as more people are cautious about social distancing. As a result, they are adopting new ways to sell products and provide service to customers, with self-service becoming more prevalent has concluded that 72 percent of consumers prefer to use online self-service to resolve their support issues rather than contacting the company via phone or email.
As IT executives rebalance their marketing initiatives, the business will have to better understand and anticipate customer needs as customer churn is likely to be an issue during the coronavirus period. Executives will also need to figure out how they ensure positive customer experience, even with high pressure on their networks.
Network usage is skyrocketing
No doubt the global tech market will face sales challenges due to retail storefront closings and supply chain disruption. Customer support lines have also been affected as call center staff are required to work from home whenever possible. Many telecom networks are focused on resolving congestion and traffic spikes as peak demand and surges in traffic on fixed-line networks has risen more than 20 percent in affected regions.
If there is a silver lining in any of this, it’s the long-term outlook remains positive, as reliable connectivity becomes a critical commodity. When the coronavirus eventually goes away, millions of users worldwide will be more connected and more familiar with digital tools. Networks will have gained first-hand experience in dynamic network traffic management while businesses will have a better understanding of the challenges of homeworking.
Better poised for disruption
One business within IT that hasn’t felt the total wrath of the pandemic is the software development area. Companies are continuing to move forward with their projects but expect lower sales projections. Some software companies can travel worldwide to install or service their customers, but many are under quarantine and have limited to no travel. The SaaS sector can overcome most of the challenges presented by social restrictions. The reliance on Cloud-based services means that SaaS solutions will continue at the double-digit growth rate, seen over the last few years.
Where are the opportunities?
Building supply chains that are more resilient will become a key area of focus. Businesses within the IT sector need to start thinking of more localized solutions instead of shipping production overseas. Businesses and government leaders will need to explore regulations that prevent goods from being offshored and out of the country. Likewise, they need to better understand the steps they will take to ensure they continue to meet their contractual obligations or can seek relief from their obligations. At the center of this is the customer and the understanding of how their needs are changing and how these have been accelerated due to the COVID situation.
A gateway for new opportunities
As the IT industry searches for companies who can deliver rapid innovative solutions, sales-i can showcase over a decade of success. Since 2008 sales-i has helped many IT companies understand and develop their customer base through its sales intelligence software. The adaptability of the product has also been brought into focus as users working arrangements and needs have changed over the last few months. The benefits of access to the platform on any device has proved invaluable during these unprecedented times. As has the ability to pivot the solutions delivered to users, with the rapid roll-out of the new product features to meet the challenges of COVID.
The need for fast customer-centric responses is a demand placed upon the IT sector today and as we enter the new normal those demands will only increase as expectations and requirement change. The IT enterprises that act on these changes will be the ones to flourish.