The Post Covid-19 world & new opportunities for the Tech Channel

18-May-2020 01:27 PM

Posted by Prashanth GJ, CEO, Technobind

As businesses globally grapple with Covid-19 disruption, we have come to terms with many new world realities. On one hand, the pandemic has been a major blow for many brands. But on the other hand, it has proven to be a blessing in disguise for quite a few.

Interestingly, the tech industry has been on a roller coaster ride literally. But it has also shown its influence on changing the narrative in the post-Covid world. IT has been the single largest enabler for some of the biggest shifts that happened during the lockdown—be it the remote working paradigm, business continuity efforts or boom in digital services space. Some market reports highlight that, while tech spending is expected to decline in 2020, there are new opportunities that have emerged due to the Covid situation and will continue to drive fresh investments throughout the year.

There is a clear shift in spending in the market. From traditional solutions, firms are shifting their focus to technologies that equip them with the kind of agility that the post-Covid world demands. As organizations look at new business continuity and contingency plans to deal with the uncertain future, tech vendors need to revive their key messaging. Organizations are going to minimize their engagement with IT vendors and cut down on their investments.

How does one ensure a seat at the discussion table?

In our experience, there are four key areas that will help channel partners gain better mindshare and even reduce their sales cycles in the current scenario.

Remote collaboration technologies: Irrespective of when we will all get back to our offices, remote collaboration will be a sustainable option for enterprises in the new world order. Covid-19 will probably change some of our travel habits and aspirations permanently, leading to a lot of restrictions in global as well as inter-state movements. This doesn’t however mean that organizations will stop working closely with their customers, partners and stakeholders spread across various countries. And technologies that enable a seamless adaptation to this new normal will see significant growth. During the lockdown period, the Technobind team has not only used some of these tools extensively, like the GoToMeeting by LogMeIn, we have also seen a huge surge in demand for these products from our clients. And for many of them, remote collaboration is a long-term strategy.

Remote access technologies: Thanks to Covid-19, most organizations saw a substantial part of their workforce shifting to a work-from-home model in a short span of time. This was an inevitable decision during the lockdown, but many organizations are making policy-level changes to embrace a long-term WFH culture. Tech giants like Facebook and Google have already extended their WFH policies until 2021. A Gartner survey conducted among business finance leaders found 74 percent of respondents expecting at least 5 percent of their workforce who previously worked in company offices becoming permanent work-from-home employees after the pandemic ends. Practically every organizations will look at providing their employees with remote access to corporate networks and data in a secured way.

Secured access solutions: As more users access data remotely, companies are realizing that just having username and password is a very static form of protection. Unfortunately, there has been a sharp uptick in cybercrimes and phishing incidents targeting the new WFH paradigm. As a result, organizations are becoming more security-aware, which is a great market opportunity for multi-factor authentication technologies that promises to stop majority of network compromises. Our experience in the past one month itself has been quite encouraging as we enabled more than 75 customers with MFA solutions from Thales. In many ways, Covid-19 could be a tipping point for adoption of MFA across markets and partners should not let this opportunity pass.

End-point backup: The WFH wave has triggered a domino effect at this stage. As more employees are working remotely and are not in the structured corporate network, the more the chances of data getting compromised and lost. At the same time, IT support is not available all the time in the current scenario. Uninterrupted access to data is critical so that work goes on. I have personally experienced the importance of end-point backup strategies during the lockdown period. With classrooms shifting online, my daughter went through a tough time when her laptop crashed. With all the critical data and school projects stored in her personal laptop, moving to a stand-by device alone did not solve her problems. If a school student can face a challenge of this magnitude due to lack of end-point backup, imagine the plight of a corporate worker!

There isn’t a more appropriate time for channel partners to position these solutions and align them with the unique business problems that their clients face due to Covid-19 crisis. In all possibility, the impact of Covid-19 is going to last longer than we initially assessed. For now, we need to collectively focus on ensuring business continuity and innovation, while following the personal hygiene protocols. Hopefully, the herd immunity strategy will help in the long run and we will be in a ‘near-normal’ business world sooner or later.