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Companies around the world are now bracing themselves for massive disruptions expected from the effects of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This is according to a recent study carried out by CNBC Global CFO Council. The report states that things will not return to normal at least for three to six months. The study found that the pandemic has had a far-reaching effect on the supply chain leading to adverse impacts on overall business operations. Other areas that have been extremely affected apart from the supply chain are IT resources, strategic planning, and human resources, most of whom have lost a lot to the disease.


Although the full extent to that the virus has affected different businesses is yet to be known, 40% of businesses state that the supply chain can take between three and six months to get business back to normal. 25% of the companies, according to the CNBC survey, say that it could take six months. Some organizations have not fully experienced significant disruptions yet. Owing to this challenge, companies expect to spend more on critical areas of technology. In preparation for disruptions, most companies are now expected to invest more in employee communication tools and collaboration technology. Similarly, mobile devices and their respective services are also expected to gain during this crisis. Bandwidth, network capacity, and information security that is necessary due to the increasing need for remote work are expected to receive a lot of investment.

Extended delays

Companies say they have already delayed or completely halted their strategic plans due to COVID-19. The areas that have been halted include the hiring of staff, rollout of new products and services, investment in new IT hardware and software, and investment in new IT infrastructure. Those that have IT resources already in place are not having it any better. According to a similar study by S&P Global Market Intelligence, companies’ internal IT resources are already experiencing more strain than before, and this could be worse in the coming days. COVID-19 is likely to have a permanent impact on how work is done on different fronts as work-from-home policies take center stage. While some companies might reverse this after things come back to normal, most of the remote work policies will remain in place permanently.

As it emerges, the economy is driven by the happenings in public health. This means that as long as the health challenge that is currently being experienced remains, the supply chain and other critical drivers of the economy will remain affected. As the virus continues ravaging the economy, companies want supply chain and the economy in general to return to normal. This is what has informed the decision of many corporations to join the fight again the novel coronavirus. Companies such as General Motors and Tesla, among others, are now helping the government in the production of medical supplies such as ventilators that have run out in hospitals. On the other hand, Apple and Facebook are donating face masks in large quantities to help curb the spread of the virus.

With China now slowly coming back to normal, there seems to be some hope despite the damaging impact that the virus is having on other countries. However, the damage has already been done on many fronts and companies.  This may take time since many people are still skeptical about the eradication of the virus in the territory of China. The question is, how long will it take to normalize things? Only time will tell when operations will return like they were before the outbreak. The truth is, the confusion around the current order of events is causing many inconveniences, and many businesses will suffer because of this.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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