Regardless of what role, industry or business you operate within, chances are you have had someone use the ‘Covid’ excuse on you by now: “sorry we can’t xyz because of Covid”. Unfortunately, more than a year on from the first time you heard that excuse, many of the effects are only now starting to really impact our lives. One of these impacts is the current and impending global tech shortage. 

What is a tech shortage?

When we use terms like ‘tech’ our minds go straight to computers and smart phones. The truth, however, is that almost any object that has a power cord or battery in it these days contains tech components. Specifically, what we are referring to in terms of the current shortage is more accurately a ‘semi-conductor’ shortage. The stretch of semi-conductors expands far further into our day-to-day lives. These shortages will affect everything from cars to medical products.

Why is there a shortage?

There is no single thing to blame without just saying ‘Covid’. The Covid element relates to the fact that at the beginning of the pandemic many factories stopped production both for lockdown reasons, but also because demand was forecast to halt. Then we pushed into the pandemic to find that our demand for goods spiked significantly. Put simply; production decreased and demand increased. Further to that, factors such as Donald Trump’s trade war with China and global supply chain disruption simply made matters worse.

What can I do?

Ultimately, we as consumers have grown to be very comfortable. When we want something, we buy it and it is delivered shortly after. The easiest answer here is to be patient and plan ahead. Most goods operate on a 12 to 20 week turnaround time, so if you are okay with this it is unlikely that you will be disappointed. Meanwhile, no matter how good your planning is, expect price hikes as a competitive market does its thing.


Geoff Augutis is a strategic IT consultant and Company Director of Queensland Computers in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.