Kelowna tech companies adapting to lifestyle, business changes from isolation | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna tech companies adapting to lifestyle, business changes from isolation

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The massive increase in online traffic while so many people are confined at home has a Kelowna online security company working overtime.

Two Hat Security works with gaming companies, governments and social networks to prevent harassment and abuse online. More traffic means more demand, said senior content specialist Scott Valentine.

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"People are using these things to stay connected. It’s important that these services stay up and continue to provide those experiences. So people turn to these things and it’s creating traffic for our clients and that’s creating work for us,” Valentine said.

As life and business across the globe is disrupted by the response to COVID-19, few industries are better positioned for the shift than tech and there’s plenty of it in the B.C. interior. The long-term habits people form while in isolation remains to be seen but for now Two Hat knows many of them are online — some communities are up two- to three-times their normal traffic.

“We need to be dialed in right now because things are actually quite busy,” Valentine said.

That doesn’t mean every tech company is going to ride the wave. Early start-ups might close their doors and shelve their ideas, Brea Lake, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan said. But well-established tech companies will only become stronger once the pandemic has ended.

QHR Technologies, for example, founded and based in Kelowna, has been creating technology for the healthcare sector for 17 years and bringing patients and healthcare providers together in different ways. (The company declined an interview request this week).

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One company that was developing online wine clubs has taken off since the pandemic, with almost too many inquiries to handle, Lake said.

Other companies will be forced to adapt and develop new business models, she said.

“I think for any business there definitely will be an impact,” she said.

While employees work from home, “I think it will become more common and some companies will assess if they even need an office,” Lake said.

She believes co-working and flexible desk spaces will become even more popular.

“Overall, for tech, we’ve been the most adaptable to the current situation,” she said.

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