Catalyst for change

The rapid outbreak of Covid-19 and the accompanying lockdown measures have dramatically changed life as we know it and transformed the business outlook for 2020 and beyond. The crisis has provided a catalyst for change, with technology and data more critical than ever.

The role of technology

A striking feature of lockdown has been the need for a sudden shift to living and working online, and our continuing dependency on digital services for everything from healthcare to groceries, education to entertainment. The crisis has forced a change in behaviour and in some cases, required a change in law to facilitate new arrangements, protect national interests at a time of crisis, or to support those suffering financially.

The new normal

The "new normal" presents an evolving landscape with opportunities and challenges for the tech sector. Countries are emerging from lockdown measures, employees are returning to work and there continues to be the prospect of future outbreaks. By 8 June 2020 U.S. stocks, led by tech companies, had recouped losses from the lows of March. In the following week, global stocks began to fall after a rise in new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and China. Big U.S. and Chinese tech companies have out-performed the market. However, growth across the wider tech sector has faltered and many organisations have experienced disruption and difficulties. Economic recovery is unequal and unpredictable.

Challenges ahead

Organisations will continue to grapple with the new normal for an extended period of time: overcoming new challenges where they seek to raise funds or make investments; protecting their innovation and intellectual property; adapting to a changing legal and regulatory environment; navigating an employment minefield; responding to significant changes to supply and demand; and addressing increased risks such as cyber threats. This presents a number of risks and legal issues for organisations to navigate.

Seven key trends

In this publication, we explore seven of the key trends likely to shape the technology sector in 2020 and beyond. Many of the trends originated before the pandemic: digital technologies have been transforming sectors, cyber-risk has been increasing, governments have been increasingly protectionist in their approach to foreign investment and increasingly seeking to regulate the digital economy. What is different is the pace of change.

Commentators suggest we have achieved in months what would otherwise have taken 5-10 years. Further, there is likely to be a change in political, regulatory and social attitudes as people come to terms with the pandemic, the gathering momentum of the #blacklivesmatter movement and the evolving landscape of the new normal.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.