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Covid and the IT Industry

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Lauren James A Career in IT, Career Advice

How Covid impacted the IT industry in 2020

The IT industry, like all sectors, has felt the impact of coronavirus over the last year. There are few events that could hit every country in the world almost simultaneously like a viral pandemic. We all watched as the global economy slowed to an almost standstill, and experienced limitations on our personal freedoms that have never been experienced in our lifetimes.

For many areas of the IT industry, however, demand suddenly surged. Millions of office workers were sent home to work, with few companies having robust enough remote operations in place to facilitate this rapid change in the workplace. While flexible working  was already common in the modern working world, with many people able to carry out some or all of their role from a remote location, there was always the safety net of a central, physical office. The novel coronavirus, however, saw businesses have to figure out how to adapt to working in a digital-only capacity.

The need for remote working systems and collaborative tech escalated, and IT systems had to be configured with exceptional speed to allow for business continuation. The world of business has changed, quite likely, forever. The impact of Covid on the IT industry will continue to shape and evolve the sector even when the pandemic is resigned to recent history.

Long-term changes to the IT industry

In a publication for The Computer Society, Andrej Kovačević writes about the most important ways that coronavirus will change the IT industry, with his top point being the increase in requirement for network-wide stress testing. “It’s going to become necessary to make sure that WAN-side services can handle a complete traffic reversal like the one that many businesses have now been forced to accommodate,” he writes. “It’s a scenario that many never planned for, and the cost of failure in a situation such as this one could deal a death blow to many businesses.”

Other key, long-term changes within the IT industry will include a fast acceleration to more cloud-based business storage. While we might upload most of our personal life to cloud-based services, many businesses still store essential operational materials in on-site hardware storage, making it difficult to quickly give remote employees access to what they need to carry out their roles effectively. It’s likely that in the coming months and years, companies will need to review these kinds of practices and ensure that essential workloads are available remotely.

Likewise, businesses will be looking for bespoke systems to facilitate project collaboration, to automate tasks, to host virtual meetings, to enable shared storage and access, and so on. This will place an increased demand on IT contractors and professionals, developers and SaaS providers, among others.

Increased demand for IT professionals

As companies evaluate what they need to future-proof against potential further pandemics, opportunities will continue to increase for IT professionals. The need for a better, more robust remote business model means recruiting for an experienced IT team who can develop and maintain these complex systems. Those working in cloud services, infrastructure, site reliability and system development may find their skills more in demand than ever.

According to LinkedIn’s Talent Blog, the top 10 jobs with the most demand overall (as of November 2020) include Software Engineer (third), Javascript Developer (fourth) and Cloud Engineer (seventh, up 12 places). Similarly, in the top 10 jobs with the fastest-growing demand, IT roles show strong growth, including Application Developer (up 49%) and User Interface Designer (up 74%). In LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report UK, the UK’s top industry employing emerging jobs is Information Technology & Services, followed by Computer Software in second place.

View the latest IT vacancies in the south using our Job Search or find out more about our candidate services can help you find the perfect IT role. If you’re a business looking for the best IT talent to help develop your business for the post-Covid world, find out how we can work with you to source IT professionals who meet your exact requirements.