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During COVID-19 pandemic, IT sector showed resilience, WFH gained popularity

As India breached the landmark of 100 crore COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday, it is time to reflect on how the pandemic has changed the day-to-day working of the world. After sudden lockdowns across countries, when economies were closed and many sectors faced several challenges, the IT sector showed remarkable resilience and the concept of work from home gained popularity.

The IT sector has proven its ability to grow and transform to face the COVID-19 challenges due to its response strategy of keeping people-centricity, collaboration, and agility at the centre displaying exemplary progress on its road to recovery.

According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), during the COVID-19, the IT sector shifted from a cost advantage to a customer advantage approach, keeping the emergence of a more customer-centric operational focus.

“The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for digital transformation, adopting newer technologies like cloud, blockchain, AI, machine learning, IoT and robotics. The industry is witnessing a solid deal pipeline of USD 15 billion in first-quarter in the financial year 2021-22 and twice the growth in digital spending in tech services, BPM, ER&D, GCC sectors,” NASSCOM said.

“Valuations of listed companies have also touched new highs of almost half a trillion due to increased digital spending and increasing focus on new sectors like healthcare. The industry has been operating under a remote working model since March 2020 and helped create best practices that reimagine the hybrid workplace of tomorrow by adopting online collaboration tools and embracing proactive planning in collaboration with clients to accelerate the transition to an innovative operating model,” it added.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said, “The sub-sectors like hardware/ software, IT services, semiconductors and network equipment, like increased demand of remote working technologies, increased IT spending on security software, increased demand for laptops, mobility devices to support remote working, the potential increase in spending on cloud infrastructure services and specialized software, increased focus on network equipment and communications for faster access to data and automation, disruptions in supply chain and fulfilment in the electronic manufacturing value chain to name a few.”

The CII DG said that the IT industry is expected to have an enormous market boom from USD 131 Billion in 2020 to USD 275 Billion in the next five years by 2025.

“The main reason for this increase in the economy for this industry is the increased demand for software and social media platforms such as Google Hangouts, WhatsApp Video call, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams,” he added.
The COVID-induced lockdown changed the way the IT sector has been working. According to the experts, work from home or remote working has proved as a critical weapon in our fight against the pandemic.

Banerjee noted, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought work from home and remote working concepts to the mainstream that was once thought to be future constructs. The remote working culture, which the organizations were quick to adopt, is here to stay and has added a fresh perspective to innovative working dynamics.”

“Owing to the positive experiences with remote working during the pandemic, organizations are open to continuing with a hybrid working model which would reduce the overall physical space needed with fewer workers coming to the office each day. A huge impact posed by remote working is on the reduction in business travel owing to the extensive use of teleconferencing and virtual meetings across continents. It has also blurred the lines between home and work leading to increased employee stress and diminished overall well-being,” he added.

Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer and Head – Marketing, Tech Mahindra, said, “Hybrid working has become the norm for corporates today as they are increasingly leveraging new-age technologies and solutions to ensure seamless connectivity and collaboration at work. Tech Mahindra associates have the flexibility to work from anywhere and till December 2021, they have been advised to choose their work location as per their convenience.”

There is no doubt that work from home and remote working provides a huge opportunity in the ways of functioning by providing flexibility to work, but it has also come with its challenges in the long run. Hence a balanced hybrid working model would be the key to enhanced employee productivity, efficiency and well-being. ANI

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