Who are the ‘winners’ of Covid-19?
To talk in terms of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ around the topic of a global crisis certainly risks downplaying the human impact of the pandemic. It cannot be ignored, however, that amidst the unquestionable tragedy, there are companies, industries and indeed entire nations who have either benefited or can be expected to find themselves in favourable positions as time goes on.
It’s impossible to talk about profit making throughout Covid-19 without looking at the tech giants. At a time where business for restaurants and brick and mortar retail has been a struggle, when it hasn’t been impossible, a population stuck largely in their homes has become ever more reliant on the services of the biggest tech companies. The rapid acceleration in home working actually resulted in providing buoyancy for certain firms, in a landscape where many have found it extremely difficult to stay afloat.
Buoyancy may even be an understatement. In the last quarter alone, between just Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple, we saw $240billion in revenue, boasting an eye watering $38billion in profits across the four companies. Amazon, particularly, isn’t just doing well by Amazon standards, it is far exceeding expectations. In the quarter ending 30th September, Amazon’s profits were up 200% from the year previous. Shopping habits making a further shift online certainly play their part in this boost for Bezos’ baby. Jeff Bezos has seen his personal net worth skyrocket from $114.9billion at the start of the year to a record $202 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, as Amazon stock rose by 86%.
In terms of industry, it’s clear that Tech came out on top in 2020. The shift that multiple activities have taken to being online has put firms with a foothold in that space in a very strong position. Those with the biggest data resources and most advanced intellectual property have emerged as the powerhouses. The increase in digital transformation did not come out of the blue, while there was acceleration brought on by the pandemic, the trend did not begin in 2020. And, while 52% of companies have plans to cut or defer investments as a result of Covid-19, only 9% will make those cuts in the area of digital transformation. It’s unlikely that this trend will not continue.
An example of an area that has been bolstered particularly well is cloud computing. Alongside the working-from-home revolution taking place, employers are doing what they can to avoid future interruptions and cut costs by taking their employees’ workloads and data online. This is great news for cloud server providers, among which are Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure.