As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working, learning, and accessing health services from home for the first time. Governments, businesses, and individuals are increasingly relying on software to help their communities thrive in the emerging remote economy.
To address these opportunities and challenges, BSA | The Software Alliance today released a Response & Recovery Agenda with recommendations for how governments in every country can support the remote economy now and in the future. This transition calls for strategic initiatives that power the remote economy, maximize public health and safety, and maintain the services that people depend on to work and live.
“BSA’s members create trusted enterprise technology platforms that power the remote economy. 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,” said Victoria Espinel, President, and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. “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.”
COVID-19 has placed enormous pressure on organizations in every sector. To mitigate public health and economic crises and ensure business continuity in the short term, governments should:
- Ensure IT services remain available by identifying IT workers as essential during any shelter-in-place orders.
- Help businesses sustain software and cloud services for continued business and government operations.
- Maintain and promote strong privacy and cybersecurity practices, including by supporting robust incident response capacity.
- Remove impediments to remote services, such as quotas and customs duties.
The immediate response to COVID-19 is only the first piece of a strong Response & Recovery agenda. Going forward, an effective and inclusive strategy must:
- Advance universal, affordable, and secure high-speed Internet access by expanding broadband access and deploying and securing 5G networks.
- Remove barriers to cross-border collaboration to advance remote health, work, and education by allowing trusted cross-border data transfers, promoting cross-border connectivity, maintaining a secure, reliable, and predictable ICT supply chain, and growing the size of the digital economy.
- Promote responsible migration to advanced cloud services. To lay a secure foundation for the remote economy, governments should adopt cloud services and modernized IT, establish accessible security guidance for cloud migration, enforce clear and consistent privacy standards, modernize regulations for cloud adoption, and support data interoperability and portability.
- Transform the global workforce with improved access to STEM 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. Together, these policies can help create tech job opportunities outside of traditional hubs.