2020 was a year of new challenges, with implications for work and life, brought on by a global pandemic, but with those challenges came tremendous opportunities for growth for those companies ready to rise to the occasion. For many organizations, this meant not only moving to a completely remote mode of work but also a change in their core beliefs and way of doing business. Limitations on commonplace activities like shopping and dining out led to companies rethinking their business models and coming up with creative solutions.
2020 was a year of unprecedented growth for the tech industry
While many traditional businesses struggled in 2020, there were tremendous opportunities for growth in certain industries. “Tech companies were already more familiar with the idea of teleworking, so they were in a better position to move online compared to the retail sector, not only because of the adaptability of developers, but also because they had the knowledge and the means to make it happen, and at the same time they saw their sales rise because of the need for more technology and automation,” stated Maria Pedoulaki, Group Chief Financial Officer of SoftOne Technologies.
What’s more, certain departments within companies were better equipped to handle the challenges of remote work. Developers, for example, are used to working on a laptop from anywhere, so it was easier for them to adapt to this new reality. However, departments like HR and accounting had a hard time coping with all the extra demands coming from governments that required more reporting or compliance on their part, according to Pedoulaki.
Cyber and fin-tech were two industries that saw huge growth in 2020. Agri-tech and food tech powered along as well. On the investment side, the high-tech industry had an amazing year in Israel, according to Erez Ezra, Partner and Managing Director at Clear Future, raising more than $15.4 billion compared to $9.9 billion in 2019. “We saw less money invested in seed rounds and A rounds, but much more money invested in later stages. Another thing to mention is that there was even more focus on B2C investment, one out of every seven investments went to B2C, which was something that we hadn’t seen in previous years.”
The bigger question is whether this boom will continue or whether organizations will settle into old routines now that there is an end in sight to the pandemic, thanks to the growing availability of the vaccine in most of the world. “Technology companies that were able to help their customers meet the demands of the pandemic and provide the services that they needed most, such as going virtual, being in the cloud, being able to work from home, as well as automation, were able to grow exponentially. We grew in double digits, despite the pandemic, in the last three quarters of 2020. I think this is the kind of trend that we will be seeing going forward. I anticipate that there will be exponential growth in these sectors and technology,” said Hiren Kotak, VP & Global Practice Head of Intelligent Automation at R Systems. “Overall, as more and more clients or industries realize that going forward there could be more disruptions, they will start preparing in terms of being more virtual, more global, and having robust business continuity programs as well as strong cybersecurity. That's going to be at the top of everybody's mind as we see an end in sight to this pandemic,” he added.