5 Ways Coronavirus Continues To Impact The IT Industry

In the U.S., the CDC now says COVID-19 is a “serious public health threat.”

It’s been nearly two months since the coronavirus disease was first reported in Wuhan, China, where the death toll has risen to more than 2,500 people.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 79,000 cases of COVID-19 confirmed globally, as of Feb. 24.

Of the thousands of reported cases, 715 are new within the last 24 hours.

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The coronavirus outbreak continues to weigh on the IT industry, from travel plans to manufacturing.

1. Down Goes The Dow

Technology stocks from the likes of Apple, Dell Technologies, Nvidia and AMD all fell as the Dow plunged more than 1,000 points Monday, followed by a drop of nearly 900 points Tuesday. Dell, for example, saw its stock drop more than 12 percent across the two days, from $52.70 to $46.22.

2. Tech Conferences Canceled

The GSM Association, the organization that runs the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, called off the 2020 event scheduled to start on Feb. 24 due to coronavirus concerns.

The cancellation came after companies such as Cisco, Intel, Amazon and Facebook pulled out of the show, citing health concerns for its employees and partners.

3. Virus Travel Restrictions

Instead of traveling internationally, many solution providers are turning to videoconferencing and collaboration solutions with colleagues and clients around the world to hold remote meetings.

Phillip Walker, CEO of California-based, Network Solutions Provider, travels often to China, partnering with Chinese tech vendors, but has reconsidered his Asia travel plans for the time being.

"We've always used tools like WeChat to interact with people in China and we are doing a little more conferencing, but the reality is, business has slowed down," Walker told CRN. "People are working [in China], but many aren't working outside of their houses."

The CDC says COVID-19 is a “serious public health threat.”

More than 30 countries have confirmed coronavirus cases, raising the level of concern that it could spreads to the U.S.

4. Economic Impact

The impact of the coronavirus can also be seen in some tech companies’ financial results.

Nvidia said it expects its revenue to take a $100 million hit in its first fiscal quarter 2021.

As a result of the lower revenue forecast, the company said it expects sales in the first quarter of its fiscal 2021 year to be $3 billion, plus or minus 2 percent.

Apple said it no longer expects to achieve its latest revenue guidance on iPhone production and sales in China.

"Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated," Apple said in an investor update statement posted on its website.

5. Supply Chain Delays

For IT manufacturers that feed the world's insatiable demand for PCs, displays, mobile phones, semiconductors, and more, the coronavirus has meant disruption of manufacturing and supply chains.

Businesses are warning that, if restrictions on travel are not lifted soon, manufacturers will not be able to get enough workers and the transport system will disrupt supplies.

One of Lenovo’s largest factories is located at the center of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

“Like the rest of the industry, Lenovo is inevitably facing some short-term constraints and delays as the supply chain is ramped back up after the extended Chinese New Year factory closures,” Lenovo said in a statement.