The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought a sea change in almost every aspect of American life. While many industries are struggling to adjust and survive, big tech is actually thriving.

How the Events of 2020 Changed Everything for the Tech Industry

In essence, the pressures of the pandemic merely accelerated things that were already predicted to happen: The mass acceptance and reliance on video conferencing, remote work, e-commerce, telemedicine, and streaming services for entertainment. 

Zoom, for example, rose to prominence in the nation’s collective consciousness because of how quickly the platform was able to accommodate people who were suddenly trying to work from home. Amazon has been hiring almost non-stop to meet increased consumer demands for groceries and other essentials.

Meanwhile, Facebook has reported massive increases in the use of Messenger and WhatsApp. Software collaboration tools made by Microsoft and Google also gained in importance. If a company wasn’t using Cloud computing as part of its software before the pandemic, it probably is now. Microsoft Teams, 

The entertainment industry has also been deeply — perhaps irrevocably — changed by the pandemic. As theaters closed, people turned to Netflix, Youtube, and other streaming services in droves. Since people are spending more time at home and looking for safe escapes, they’re spending more money on digital services and gadgets, like game systems and televisions.

Consumers are, quite often, creatures of habit. Even once the pandemic finally gets under control and the economy improves, consumers may already be wed to new patterns of behavior. That’s great news for big tech.

Why the Changes May Not Be Great for Everyone in the Tech Industry

There’s some bad news associated with all this prosperity, however, especially for smaller businesses and startups. The golden era that’s enveloped the tech industry for the last few decades may be fading. 

Soon, it may be very difficult to break into the market or maintain a young company’s growth. Why? There are a few main reasons:

  • The giants of the industry completely dominate the industry and market. They have the wealth and power to lure all of the top talent.
  • Investors are getting skittish and more circumspect about their options. Some promising companies, like WeWork, have had spectacular implosions, so investors are now looking for brands that have a clear plan and a visible road to success.
  • The public may be less trusting. Privacy breaches and a lack of accountability by industry leaders for problems managing disinformation have tarnished tech’s shiny image.

These factors may make it challenging for smaller, less-established firms to keep pace.

What’s It Going to Take for Tech Companies to Stay Competitive?

We asked Revelio Labs for their take on what smaller companies can do to gain an edge and stay competitive. Their answer: Make good use of workforce intelligence. 

“Your human capital is the key to your business stability and growth. If you can build a positive workplace culture by matching the right candidate to the right job, you’ll not only improve your public reputation but you’ll spur on creativity and innovation.”

Essentially, if you intend to ride the wave that’s spurring big tech onward, you need to find ways to keep adapting. That includes both making smarter decisions when it comes to understanding the obstacles that undermine your goals.