Covid-19 has gripped the world and continues to cause mass disruptions in all areas of life. After the initial blow to lives, businesses and travel, many companies and organisations are now evaluating the impact of Covid-19 and planning how to move forward in times of uncertainty. Here at Web Theoria, our team’s aim is to turn massive challenges into meaningful change, closely observing, studying, and adapting to the needs, challenges and impact on the web design and development industry.

A Changing View of the Internet’s Value

With shops, offices and schools having been closed for almost two months, and with the danger of the restrictions being re-imposed probable in the near future, the world has been pushed to move the majority of activity online. This shift has created a wide recognition of the value of information technology as it is now a vital aspect of most people’s everyday lives. The move online has led companies to rapidly operate in new ways and IT is being tested as never before.

Locally here in Cyprus, there was an increase of up to 55% in internet usage through landlines and up to 46% through mobile networks during the lockdown. Furthermore, according to European statistics there was an increase of up to 57% on online purchases. Increases of 26% in participation on online classes, 37% in online banking and 24% in virtual tours were also recorded. Many online news portals recorded an increase of up to 150%, Facebook recoded an increase of up to 27%, Netflix was up 16% and YouTube 15.3%. These developments push the need for digital transformation even for governments with many of them, including the one in Cyprus, mulling to switch all of their relevant services online as soon as possible. Physical meetings were and still are being replaced by online ones, with services such as Zoom recording a 300% increase in traffic.

Of course, all of the above commotion has had business scrambling to adjust. Switching activities online is no easy feat. Businesses now face a vast range of new system priorities and challenges such as business continuity risks, sudden changes in volume, real-time decision-making, workforce productivity and security risks, quick decisions must be made so as to address immediate system resilience. To cope with these changes and issues, many companies are now seeking ways to maintain and improve operating systems to ensure they can successfully survive this period.

The Impact on Ecommerce

The aforementioned move online has naturally led to businesses making transactions online as previously mentioned. One notable example is supermarkets. Previously, the majority of people purchased food in their local supermarket but now with fears of Covid-19, supermarkets have seen a sharp increase in online orders and payments. This increase has led to assessments and improvements of payment systems along with user experience to handle increased demand and traffic.

It has also seen small local businesses who once operated solely in a physical capacity move online, from pet shops, florists, clothing to even bars delivering cocktails! These companies are now incorporating Ecommerce into their business strategy and thus building an online presence providing customers with informative websites some of which featuring improved user experience. This has now become a vital practice for businesses as they strive to survive by remaining relevant, accessible and in contact with their customers.

The Impact on Security & Privacy

The increased activity online unfortunately comes along with a downside. A drastic increase in cyber attacks has been recorded during the outbreak of Covid-19. Checkpoint reported that “71% of security professionals have noticed an increase in security threats or attacks since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak”. These attacks most commonly appear in the forms of E-mail phishing, fraudulent web pages, malware and ransomware.

The intense attack is leading organisations to rethink and assess security set-ups. Kristen Poulos, Vice President/General Manager at Belden Industrial Cyber Security confirmed that “Our customers are much more concerned about security now than they were a few months ago”. The need for stricter security is leading to an upcycle in cybersecurity as extreme events usually lead to new security standards.

Web Theoria’s Experience

With these new developments and changes in the web development world, we at Web Theoria want to share our personal findings and experience with Covid-19 as a company. Like the majority of people here on the island, as soon as government restrictions came into place our team began to work from home. As a web company we were prepared with electronics available and a strong security system allowing us to operate efficiently and safely from home. Since easing of government restrictions, we are happy to now all work together in our office, and what a lot of work we have to do.

Many of our clients are eager to address the issues and concerns of their customers regarding covid-19 or in general share their news via blog and social media posts with communication and business updates in this uncertain time essential. Newsletters are another medium via which many businesses have switched to, in order to keep in touch with their networks, associates and clients.

We have also found that many existing as well as potential clients, who found themselves with some extra time due to the lockdown, were able to rethink the design, content and functionality of their websites or seriously consider proceeding with a new one. We have held many online meetings with clients concerning the design and creation of new websites, optimisation of functionality, re-branding, re-designing, improving security as well as on ways of marketing their services online.

We are happy to work along with our clients to ensure their companies respond, adapt and improve in this difficult time.

Published on June 04, 2020