The covid-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. The social restrictions have transformed the way consumers and businesses interact, learn work and play. This has affected every sector of the Nigerian economy including the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) Sector. A new survey found that responses to Covid-19 technology have sped the adoption of digital technologies by several years and that many of these changes will be here in the long haul. According to a McKinsey global survey, companies reported that the pandemic has accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply interactions and their internal operations by three to four years. The respondents also expect most of these changes to be long lasting and are already making the kinds of investments.
There has been a rise in the use of teleconferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype as these platforms have seen a skyrocket in the daily and monthly average usage. This is due to users having to look to technology to stay in touch for business, educational and social needs. Businesses have also had to rely on these services to keep remote working protocols.
Telecommunications services have seen an increase in demand since the start of the pandemic. There has been a huge increase in the demand for data and voice-related services. As consumers now have to depend on these services to work from home, keep in contact with friends and family, entertainment and education.
Customers are opting to use mobile payment solutions and banks are even encouraging customers to utilize all alternative channels for their transactions. Banks have also introduced video calling and audio banking options to provide even more options to customers thereby limiting the number of customers willing to use the banking. Before the pandemic, people had already turned to use digital methods of payment due to convenience. Some banks had reduced the number of branches they have and allow their customers to cash cheques using mobile banking apps. With the pandemic, the number of people using mobile banking apps has surged as there is a move to a cashless society. Retailers in the UK have advised their customers to use cards and contactless forms of payment instead of cash.
The increase in remote working calls for a greater focus on cybersecurity, because of the greater exposure to cyber risk. According to Deloitte, this is apparent, for example, from the fact that 47% of individuals fall for a phishing scam while working at home. Cyber-attackers see the pandemic as an opportunity to step up their criminal activities by exploiting the vulnerability of employees working from home. Organisations will have to figure out how their workers can keep their data safe while working from home.
The Covid-19 crisis will spark further creativity and innovation with IT departments playing a larger role in the future. There have already been introductions of forms of technology like the digital contact tracing which has already been used to effectively slow the spread of COVID-19 in East Asia.
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