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Mar 27 2020

Global pandemic gives digitalisation a boost

The crisis makes it clear to all of us: simple things, such as videoconferencing or the establishment of remote mobile workplaces, are fundamental prerequisites in the digitising world.

Microsoft reports a rapid increase in the number of users on its own blog. Twelve million new Team users in just one week, bringing Microsoft Teams to over 44 million active users worldwide (as of March 19). The reason is obvious: Because of the current Corona pandemic, many companies send their employees to the home office. In order to be able to continue to work together despite the elimination of personal communication, programs and apps that enable group chats and video conferencing are currently in high demand. The figures released by Microsoft show how strong: In just one week, a total of more than 900 million minutes of meetings and conversations in teams came together every day.

Microsoft's corporate vice president and author of the blog post, Jared Spataro: "It is obvious that it is now more important than ever to enable teleworking, and that this will continue to have lasting added value beyond the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus."

In the crisis, it is always to be seen that the simple things, such as videoconferencing or the establishment of mobile remote workplaces in order to be able to work independently of location and time, are a prerequisite in the digitising world. In order to be able to offer such alternative possibilities in the future, the IT infrastructure must be equipped accordingly. Working outside the offices requires that servers, networks, devices, or other IT components be accessible from anywhere to enable all activities.

This development will particularly benefit those who specialise in providing companies and individual jobs remotely. Basically, it's all about mobile devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones. Especially in companies where the home office has been the exception until now, the majority of employees still have a permanently installed computer workstation. Now that the home office has become the norm, this means a complete conversion or a costly purchase of a second set for the home office as well as possible adapters.

But the digitisation process encompasses much more than corresponding hardware. Although almost all households now have a working Internet connection, additional network components may be needed. Connectivity in the home office must also be ensured. This is where video conferencing tools, for example, come into play. In the current Corona crisis, some providers have recognized the chance to attract new users and make their programs available free of charge for a limited period of time.

Another important point is cloud computing. In order for employees to access company data outside the office and work with colleagues, it must be accessible via the Internet. As a result, demand for cloud solutions and services has also risen sharply. Due to the current trend towards the home office, providers in the cloud business such as Amazon will emerge as potential profiteers from the Corona crisis, according to the market research institute Blueshift-Research.

Not to mention the establishment of additional security measures for remote access to enterprise systems and data, as the potential attack surface for cybercriminals grows. "In addition to an increase in home office activity, we have also found that cybercriminals have tried to take advantage of the excitement surrounding the virus by hiding malicious files in documents with a predetermined connection to Corona," the statement said. Kaspersky security researcher David Emm in a blog post.

The current situation forces all companies that have not yet dealt with the issue of digitalisation to follow suit as quickly as possible in order not to lose their connection to competition or even to lose their economic footing. Here, the Corona crisis is likely to lead to a further boost around digitalization.

 

This article is part of the "Game Changer Corona Crisis" series.

 

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