In his book Need, Speed, and Greed (How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness and Tame World’s Most Wicked Problems), Vjay V. Vaitheeswaran highlights some of the impactful efforts of Nathan Wolfe, a renowned virologist and founder of the epidemic data and analytics company Metabiota, who has dedicated his work towards saving the world from the ‘next deadly wave of HIV, SARS or influenza’ through technology and data. In the past few years, many researchers like Nathan Wolfe have heavily relied on technology to detect and prevent diseases and pandemics that could threaten the entire human race and have advocated for ‘pandemic prevention’ over ‘pandemic response’. Unfortunately, notwithstanding some of these recognizable efforts, the outbreak of Covid-19 coronovarius (which was recently declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) a pandemic), appears to have caught the world unaware and unprepared. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Covid-19 may trigger a global recession in 2020; and undoubtedly, the pandemic has negatively impacted the fortunes of industries across the world, the tech sector inclusive.
In this article, we examine the specific impacts of Covid-19 on the global and local tech sector, how tech giants have responded (through products and innovations) to the pandemic and the expectations for the role and future of tech in a post-Covid-19 world.