It has been noted time and time again that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world into disarray, with the predictions for 2020 disrupted in lieu of the requirements necessitated by the coronavirus.
As Calvin Collett (pictured below), MD of local ISP Supersonic, it has resulted in a far different internet now than the one predicted at the beginning of the year.
Videoconferencing platforms, for example, have seen tremendous growth, as for more technology service providers pivot to tailor their solutions for those working from home (WFH) or remotely.
It has also meant that companies responsible for the backbone of internet connectivity have has to work hard to ensure their networks could handle the additional demand, along with working on improved broadband standards and quality of connectivity at the same time.
“The ‘future’ we anticipated has been thrown into the present day as the world continues to navigate its way around the COVID-19 new ‘norm’,” says Collett.
“We are being forced to up our game by building infrastructure quicker, expanding and upgrading network capacity sooner than planned and look further than just internet connectivity and come up with solutions that focus on meeting the need of future internet and connectivity usage behaviours,” he adds.
In 2021, the Supersonic MD believes that will see an indirect formalising of the hybrid working model, with a mix of physical office and WFH scenarios.
He notes that businesses will need to subsidise the setup of effective WFH environments, along with adding robust backup solutions. Added to this will be an increased demand for IoT and AI technologies, particularly when it come to automated scheduling and interactive video conferencing.
“What will be interesting to see is how businesses learn to manage this hybrid model from a productivity perspective,” Collett emphasises.
With companies employing a number of digital tools moving forward, he also predicts a rise in specialised services and training facilities to analyse and interpret the data with regard to optimising workflow and reporting efficiencies.
“We have seen a significant increase in the level of productivity across our team since March despite global sentiments about how individuals were going to manage to continue to work amidst their domestic circumstances,” he says of Supersonic.
“What we have identified, however is the skillset shift that is separating and underscoring the self-starters within our business. Meetings have become succinct and turnaround times have reduced,” he concludes.
Looking at the above, it seems as if much of the internet of 2021 will be driven by what occurred in 2020, as companies and employees alike aim to refine and perfect their digital experiences.
This of course, all flies out the window should another COVID-19-esque watershed event occur.