The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered a mixture of blessings and curses to the tech world. Some companies such as those specializing in videoconferencing turned out to be saviors, making it possible for society to function — and occasionally thrive — while working at a distance. Others, however, like dev shops that build theatrical lighting control systems, have faced a world where demand for their services have dropped precipitously, sometimes to zero.
While it’s a bit early to know which shifts in usage and IT tactics will remain permanent, we can glean which companies are thriving now and are likely to continue doing so even after the pandemic fades.
One of the biggest shifts will be for those who work in offices, already a big part of the tech economy. Many companies are already reporting that they won’t return to requiring employees to report to the office each workday. They are embracing remote work, signaling that it will be the new normal. The savings of time and real estate are too large to ignore. Hybrid schedules — in which people meet in person several times per week, month, or quarter — will also be part of an experimental workplace mix.
Here is a look at which technology categories and strategies have benefitted by the shifts caused by the COVID-19 crisis, and which are likely to be rethought post-pandemic.