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The move to a home working environment for many has underscored the importance of software, to collaborate, be productive and to keep sales coming in.
Already thoughts are turning to what will happen after life gets back to its “new normal” and the software industry is already laying out its hopes, with the BSA|The Software Alliance sharing its Response & recovery agenda.
The industry organisation wants governments across the globe to learn the lessons of remote working and take steps to provide more flexibility going forward into a post-Covid-19 future. Many workers are expecting to remain working from home for some time to come and the use of software and cloud tools needs to be extended to as many people as possible, both now and in the future, according to the organisation.
“BSA’s members create the trusted enterprise technology platforms that power the remote economy,” said Victoria Espinel, president and CEO of BSA|The Software Alliance. “People across the globe rely on software to work, learn, run their business, and stay connected with their loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Building a resilient, accessible remote economy must be a top priority for policymakers working to address the impacts of Covid-19. This agenda offers concrete recommendations to help governments respond to and recover from the pandemic.”
The response part of the agenda relates to the current situation with the BSA|The Software Alliance urging governments to ensure that IT services remain available through the indentification of IT key workers. There should also be support for those businesses looking to keep their operations going by using software and cloud services.
The industry group is also urging more promotion of privacy and cyber security practices. Finally, there is a hope that any red tape blocking remote services, such as customs and quotas, will be removed.
Those recommendations cover the here and now and the next few months for most countries. But there are also calls for more efforts to be made to keep the flexible working that has been a feature of the lockdown an option for workers in the future.
The BSA|The Software Alliance is calling for governments to make universal, affordable and secure high-speed internet access something more people can get through the expansion of broadband and 5G networks.
This is also seen as a moment to help customers migrate to cloud services and for governments to lay down a foundation for a remote economy.
Thinking even more long-term, the lobby group is also calling for improved access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) education, new models to retrain and upskill workers, support for industries to adopt technologies that facilitate remote work, and promotion of smart, long-term remote work policies.
The BSA|The Software Alliance is also calling for more cross-country collaboration and for efforts to be made to maintain “a secure, reliable and predictable ICT supply chain”.
Many in the industry have expressed the view that the coronavirus has accelerated digital transformation moves and shown customers just what can be achieved in a short space of time when the pressure is on.