One of the effects to come from the corona crisis so far, is that it has accelerated our move online.
Express has certainly seen that in the last three months in terms of the strong growth in our online appetite for news and current affairs coverage, retailers are reporting a surge in online ordering, and there can't be many office workers who aren't now proficient in video conferencing as a way of staying in touch, and coordinating teams.
In the next of our series, which first featured in Connect Magazine, on how the different economic sectors might recover in 2020 from the effect of covid-19, today we get the view of Digital Jersey on how the tech sector is shaping up...
"I’m sure I’m not the only CEO in Jersey to be looking at their 2020 business plan and wondering just how the ambitions at the start of the year will marry with the reality, by the time we reach the end of it.
It’s very easy to say “oh, all our plans have changed and we’re having to do things from scratch,” but that’s not actually the case for Digital Jersey as we see increasing numbers of businesses in the island seek digital solutions to help them trade through the pandemic.
As the rules around lockdown change and ease, there’s a greater physical return to workplaces – particularly for retailers, but all are assessing their business models and learning from the sudden and sharp shock caused to the system by the ‘Stay At Home’ order which was made at the end of March.
For Digital Jersey, it means we’re focusing our efforts right now on two key areas: restore and revive, and renewal and diversity.
We’re supporting those businesses who quickly battened down the hatches at the start of lockdown, by helping them restore their business functions and revive their business models, in some cases by pivoting to completely new ways of working.
When it comes to renewal and diversity, we’re working with local businesses to identify all the opportunities that will inevitably be thrown up by the events of recent months, and many more in the months to come. It’s about ensuring our thriving tech sector is geared up to support other sectors, making sure they’re plumbed into new public and private sector developments as they emerge, and continuing to do what we’ve always done – helping businesses cut through red tape and bureaucracy so they can focus on their creativity, innovation and game-changing developments for the good of the island, and for people way beyond our shores.
We’ve seen a sudden enforced work-from-home culture thrust upon many people in Jersey. But we’ve also seen those who don’t have that as an option look at how technology can help their businesses survive and thrive.
Digital Jersey intends to share all the best practise and fresh learning from what’s happening right now, from the creation of work-from-home policies to the digital transformation of public and private sector processes. We’re also acutely aware that Jersey’s economic recovery will require access to capital, and start-ups may be looking for additional support to build their confidence in uncertain times.
These are all things Digital Jersey has been doing, day in, day out, for years, but suddenly our purpose feels like it has come of age.
I suspect we will all look back on 2020 and recall the shocks and the low points, but also to appreciate the way people rose to the challenge, the way this island’s history of entrepreneurial spirit was channelled to find fresh solutions, and to be reminded Jersey has the wherewithal to act fast to ultimately recover and thrive."