- The coronavirus appeared not that big an issue for the technology sector, which is a very diversified sector.
- IT and technology jobs have dominated the whole employment sphere in terms of the active number of job postings.
- The businesses in the UK are now fine-tuning their existing business processes for the digital age.
The novel coronavirus whose outbreak was realised in early January has impacted every aspect of life, whether it be social, political, or economic. UK’s broader equity benchmark index, FTSE 100 has undergone some real hammering due to the economic impact of the pandemic, and it slipped below the 5,000 mark in the mid of March. Since then the Footsie index has recovered by nearly 20 per cent; has been strong until today living with the novel coronavirus.
The coronavirus appeared not that big an issue for the technology sector, which is a very diversified sector. The sector is immune to supply chain disruptions and halt in different manufacturing operations. During the unprecedented crisis, software companies, information technology firms, and internet companies were able to carry out their operations seamlessly. Remote working, self-isolation, and social distancing, which are the new norms in our present-day society, supported the technology sector.
During the unprecedented crisis, the technology sector has been up and running. The employees of the tech companies were encouraged and empowered to work from home. The technology sector largely remains unperturbed by the onslaught of the novel coronavirus.
According to a release from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the number of active job postings in the UK topped over a million (1.05 million) the week of 6-12 July. As the lockdown measures were eased by the British government earlier this month, the number of job postings across the UK continued to rise.
IT and technology jobs dominated the whole employment sphere in terms of the active number of job postings. The UK has a long way to go in terms of recovery, and business confidence has just started to pick up steam. Most of the job postings were announced for the north-west of England. The number of active job postings in the region increased by over 17 thousand to 125 thousand during the initial days of the month.
Earlier this month, job postings increased by 37.4 per cent in the Lancashire region. Notably, most of the job adverts were from the IT sector, comprising of postings for web developers and designers, programmers, and software developers. The surge in demand for these technology jobs can be attributed to strong growth in online and e-commerce platforms during the unprecedented crisis. According to REC, the job adverts for web developers and designers were up by 15.5 per cent. In addition, the coding and software development job adverts increased by 6.6 per cent. A significant spike of 11.3 per cent was seen in demand for graphic designers.
During the last week of June, UK witnessed surge in job posting to 990 thousand. As pubs and restaurants were set to re-open in England from 4 July onwards, Bar staff, waiters, and waitresses were in demand. As the British government allowed the construction sites to re-open, bricklayers, glaziers, and roofers were also in demand.
Other professions such as sales professionals, apparel designers, carpenters witnessed single-digit growth in job adverts. Demand for teachers, dentists and fitness coaches was negative and continued to plunge further. Schools/ Colleges have transitioned to recorded lectures or live classes with the use of technology. Therefore, teaching jobs have declined. Gym instructors and fitness coaches is another profession where social distancing is still a challenge.
The businesses in the UK are now fine-tuning their existing business processes for the digital age. The pandemic has taught businesses to maintain a solid digital presence, which empowers the businesses to acquire and service the customers. The businesses are now emphasising on setting up e-commerce websites to sell goods online and devising appropriate marketing strategies to fit in the digital age.
Technology could be used to transform the supply chain
In today’s world, the technology sector is transforming the supply chain, benefitting everyone, from farmers to diamond merchants. The deployment of technology allows the businesses to record all the transactions in an efficient manner which consequently help them to access easy credit and other government backed schemes. For instance, deployment of blockchain technology could allow the businesses to access the log of sale transactions by just a tap of a button on their mobile phones. This can help businesses in securing loans and win contracts. The use of technology in conventional businesses could also empower corporate buyers and consumers to discover more about the sustainability and the ethics of their purchases.
A secure digital ledger uses blockchain sensors and scanning technologies to track and authenticate several types of valuable assets such as diamonds, art sculptures and many others. The digital ledger could be used by businesses to see the assets at every stage in the supply chain and work with certification houses to give assets such as diamonds, a digital hallmark or certification.
Nowadays, several businesses are deploying Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and blockchain to capture and share information along the supply chain. This allows them to get rid of the inefficiencies and optimise their resource utilisation. In addition, any loophole in the supply chain can be easily identified, and faulty products can be recalled easily.
Most of the businesses have slashed/ cancelled dividends to preserve cash and ensure liquidity to weather the storm caused by the pandemic. As it is difficult to ascertain the impact of the Covid-19, and people have started to live with it, there is a need for the businesses to re-establish their presence in the digital world. This would require a lot of human resource in the form of technology professionals to help businesses establish in the digital arena.