COVID-19, 9 MONTHS ON AND STILL SO MANY CHALLENGES
Its around 9 months since Covid-19 became a hot topic and we are still experiencing the symptoms of the response to the virus. It has had a massive effect on the world as a whole and continues to do so. I won’t speculate as to the global effects of Covid-19, or focus on the economical, social and environmental impacts too much. All I can comment on with accuracy is how it has affected us as a company and how we plan to adapt to it in the future.
Taking a very broad view, our industry hasn’t changed too much – people will still need to upgrade their infrastructure and refresh technology to keep up with the pace. That in turn will still lead to the need to dispose of IT equipment and do so in a secure, environmentally responsible way. The problem comes with whether traditional offices survive this pandemic. All over the news we see empty offices in London and other cities lying dormant with no one working from them. Even if the offices are big enough to adapt to social distancing, the issues of travel remain the biggest hurdles to overcome – the train journey in, the walk to the office or the elevator to your floor are all concerns for your employer to consider when making a plan to come back to the office.
However, the world keeps on turning and we are a resilient bunch, so we will find a way to keep making progress regardless of what we have to go through. There is no doubt in my mind that the world from this point will be more mobile than ever which in turn creates even more problems. Our reliance on cloud technology and internal networks will be far greater, requiring more investment into speed, capacity and security. We will be reliant on the internet/wifi so much more so than we are today and dependant on the telecoms industry to support and maintain this.
We have noticed a huge increase in the amount of data centre related projects we have worked on this year but cannot deny the retraction of office/desktop projects which have either been postponed or cancelled altogether.
By far, the biggest hurdle for the desktop side of the ITAD industry going forward will be secure logistics. You can send a new laptop to an employee with any courier, but most companies would not accept the risk of a contaminated device being sent back.
There are so many problems associated with long-term remote working and Its far too early to draw any meaningful conclusions but we are already looking into what’s possible/feasible so that we are in the best position to support our clients throughout each stage of this pandemic.