In this issue

Issue 7 • February 2021

More than a year has passed since reports first emerged of a cluster of strange pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. Now, in February 2021, the business world is a very different place. Organisations have been forced to adapt to disruption at breakneck speed, embracing digital tools, remote working and cloud computing. Company processes have been reshuffled, at times changing organisations’ very DNA.

While there is no clear end in sight for the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccine rollouts are now in full swing across many advanced economies. Many tough months lie ahead but despite this, businesses are cautiously starting to think beyond the worst of the pandemic – whenever that may be. In this issue of Verdict Magazine, we hear how technology companies have altered their business operations to survive and even thrive. In some cases, these changes have been minor, from beefed-up digital infrastructure to new collaboration tools. In others, it has required a pivot to new business models and product offerings. Some of these changes look set to be permanent, such as more flexible remote working. And despite widespread uncertainty, organisations ranging from startups to established corporates are keen to ensure lessons learned from 2020 lead to a stronger business on the other side.

Conferences have been forced into online formats and the benefits they offer look set to lead to a long-lasting shift to hybrid events. Yet the two-dimensional nature of virtual events has left many attendees craving more. Could virtual reality be the missing ingredient? We explore whether the pandemic could be the catalyst virtual reality has been waiting for.

Looking ahead, we map out the major events that look set to shape the technology industry throughout 2021 – from President Joe Biden’s policy shifts to Huawei’s final roll call in the UK. Bitcoin has also been back in the headlines after a recent bull run. We dive into why 2021 might be the wildest ride yet for cryptocurrencies and look at the UK’s new National Cyber Force to ask what it will do and whether it will make businesses any safer. 

Read on for all of this plus the usual analysis and comments in the latest issue of Verdict Magazine.

Robert Scammell & Ellen Daniel, co-editors