Sony releases 2020 report detailing COVID-19 impact
The report details the progress of the company’s three year plan, which began last year, to manage the company more sustainably and diversify its businesses.
In his opening remarks, CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, said: “Sony is a ‘creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology.’ As COVID-19 substantially changes the state of our society and the way people live, the approximately 110,000 worldwide employees of the Sony Group are committed to driving our businesses forward and our social mission of delivering Kando (emotion) to people, while keeping in mind Sony’s Purpose & Values and the Group’s shared management direction of ‘getting closer to people.’ Going forward, we will continue to manage Sony with a long-term view, and create value through our diverse businesses and operations.”
Financial results saw sales down 5%, and the same true for operating income - though it attributed this in part to COVID-19.
The company estimated the COVID-19 pandemic had had a ¥68.2bn (US$650mn) financial impact on its operating income in FY2019, ending 31 March 2020. The company’s CFO, Hiroki Totoki, said: “the impact of the pandemic goes beyond the short term. It is likely to significantly alter the social and economic environment worldwide and offer an opportunity to rethink current norms.”
Totoki also hailed the growth in importance of services, a factor common to many technology companies, such as . He said: “A notable achievement in terms of business model has been the expansion of network services in the Game & Network Services (G&NS) segment. Previously known for its hardware businesses, Sony has never before achieved this level of growth in its services business. Our strategy to grow recurring revenue from direct to consumer services has been a success.”
Non-IT experts ‘to build majority of tech products by 2024’
80% of technology products and services will be built by non-technology professions by 2024, says research firm Gartner.
This is according to a new report from Gartner, which claims a new category of buyers outside the traditional IT organisation is now responsible for a growing share of the overall IT market.
“Digital business is treated as a team sport by CEOs and no longer the sole domain of the IT department,” said Rajesh Kandaswamy, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “Growth in digital data, low-code development tools and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted development are among the many factors that enable the democratistion of technology development beyond IT professionals.”
COVID-19 Accelerating Technology
Technology has started expanding into all areas of business, creating demand for products and services outside IT departments. In 2023, Gartner anticipates that US$30 billion in revenue will be generated by products and services that did not exist pre-pandemic. Gartner analysts said the rapid expansion of cloud services, digital business initiatives, and remote services opened the door for new possibilities in integrations and optimisation.
The research found that COVID-19 also reduced barriers for those outside of IT to create technology-based solutions by providing an entry point for anyone who was able to serve pandemic-induced needs. Gartner said technology providers are now finding themselves increasingly entering markets related to, or in competition with, nontechnology providers, including innovative firms in financial services and retail.
Gartner expects high-profile announcements of technology launches from nontech companies to proliferate over the next 12 months.
“The availability of business technologists provides new sources of innovation and the ability to get work done. Thus, technology and service providers will need to extend their sourcing of ideas and technology development into new communities, whether they are based on citizen development, their own customer communities or other sources,” said Kandaswamy