Businesses turn to cybersecurity and cloud computing to overcome COVID-19 challenges


According to a survey by GlobalData of more than 1,700 senior executives, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, automation, cybersecurity and cloud computing were identified as technologies that would play a critical role in keeping operations running during this period of unprecedented disruption. Of these, cybersecurity and cloud computing came out on top with a respective 52% and 48% of respondents saying these would play a significant role.

GlobalData reports that a large share of company executives surveyed believe that cloud computing and cybersecurity improve efficiency (49% and 51%, respectively) and support business development (47% and 51%). In this way, these technologies benefit over technologies such as augmented reality and blockchain, the potential use cases for which may be less evident to businesses. These technologies were only selected by 35% of senior executives as playing a significant role.

Filipe Oliveira, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “When the pandemic hit, businesses across the globe told their staff to work from home. While this move helped protect employees from being infected with COVID-19, it increased the risk of phishing and cyberattacks.

“UK and US cybersecurity authorities reported an increase in cyberattacks when the pandemic hit. Social distancing and a shift towards online retail have increased the risk as people spend more time online. As they navigate the current crisis, companies are relying on cybersecurity to protect themselves and their customers. Cybersecurity continues to be one of the most important themes facing organizations, both public and private. GlobalData defines a theme as ‘something that keeps the chief executive awake at night’. While they may be currently tossing and turning over the business impact of COVID-19, they should be worrying about both the virus and cybersecurity. None of them are immune from the havoc a cyberattack can wreak on an organization, invading its systems and putting its very reputation and stability at stake.

“Furthermore, a digitization strategy will invariably need to consider cloud – as evident that cloud computing is second only to cybersecurity in the ranking of technologies that will be key to business in the recovery phase.”

Elsewhere, 5G emerges as the technology more likely to impact companies in the next year.

Oliveira adds: ‘‘As 5G rolls out across the world, businesses will be upgrading their networks and equipment. Almost half of all businesses surveyed said they planned to increase investment in 5G in the next year. Cybersecurity and cloud computing are helping companies survive 2020, but 5G could help them grow in 2021.”