While concepts such as “remote working”, “online communication” and “e-commerce” have become a part of human life with COVID-19, the introduction of cloud services, video conferencing and many platforms that provide online Offer services, accelerated.
Lockdowns and social distancing practices around the world have also rapidly increased internet usage. Due to the new audiences and usage habits that accompanied this increase, technology companies began to innovate more intensively.
On the other hand, the increasing demand as economies open up after the falling demand due to the epidemic and the subsequent rapid increase in inflation stands out as a factor slowing down the “explosive growth” in the technology sector.
While central banks accelerated interest rate hikes to curb inflation and took measures to cool the economy, companies have had to lay off tens of thousands of employees, especially in 2023, to keep pace with the slowing economy.
Even as the impact of COVID-19 continues in the technology space, technology companies will face challenges in the coming period such as market saturation, concerns about people’s privacy, changes in user behavior, and new regulations.
Meetings have been moved to a digital environment
Online meetings and interviews are among the applications whose popularity has increased rapidly during the epidemic period. US-based Zoom was one of the companies that stood out the most in this surge.
While the number of Zoom users increased from 10 million in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020, the company’s market value rose to over $100 billion during the epidemic period.
However, due to increasing competition and the partial return of people to their offices, the company was unable to maintain these growth figures and the company’s market value fell to $20 billion by the end of 2023.
While other platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet and Zoom have seen significant user increases, as competition has increased, there has also been an increase in initiatives to improve image and sound quality.
On the other hand, online meetings and meetings, which are rapidly increasing due to their user-friendliness, have also led to changes in the employment issue with their impact on office use, employee productivity and transport, as well as the preoccupation with “hybrid work models”.
In addition to conferences and meetings, another sector that moved to the digital environment was cinema and television series, while there were significant increases in the subscription-based payment models of broadcast platforms such as Netflix, HBO and Disney.
E-commerce spread rapidly
The sector that benefited the most from the closure of physical stores during the COVID-19 epidemic was e-commerce. Consumers used the Internet for almost all purchases, from groceries to electronics, resulting in rapid growth and a significant increase in sales on these platforms.
While e-commerce companies like Amazon and Shopify are increasing their popularity on a global scale, companies like Getir in Turkey are operating in many countries abroad with the growth they experienced in the domestic market.
Millions of new users, especially older people and from small settlements, have also adapted to e-commerce, so e-commerce companies that have expanded their customer base have had a chance to expand their potential markets.
While this growth also contributed to economic growth and recovery through the creation of new jobs in both the technology and logistics sectors, it also increased demand and investment in digital payment methods such as online shopping, e-wallets, mobile and contactless payments.
Concerns about the spread of the virus through physical contact have increased demand for payment methods such as contactless payment cards, mobile wallets and QR codes, and such systems are becoming increasingly common in retail, services and public transport.
Rapid technological change was a cause for concern
While rapid technological change during the epidemic heightened concerns about privacy and online security, questions about the data companies collect and cyber threats came to the fore.
Because of these concerns, governments have also resorted to stricter regulations. Topics such as data protection and user privacy are now more on the agenda.
The potential for companies like Apple, Meta, Amazon, Google and Microsoft to create monopolies also poses various risks. Among the topics that are increasingly being discussed is the possibility of reducing competition and options.