To respond to the crisis and adapt to teleworking, having an internal IT infrastructure with its own servers is a solution. However, it requires skills and investment. However, to preserve their strained cash flow, companies have alternatives.
The crisis and the need to set up teleworking to maintain activity were experienced differently from one company to another. Enabling remote work requires additional equipment, remote access, agility, and sometimes security concessions as well.
VSEs and SMEs do not always have the skills and adequate infrastructure. For the vice-president of Digital Business Innovations at PAC, Olivier Rafal, organizations using the cloud, therefore, benefited from an advantage during the period.
Know precisely its uses before choosing a server
The crisis has played the role of “revealing within companies that have invested in agile cloud-type platforms and collaborative tools. They were quickly able to put in place the necessary procedures, in particular for teleworking, ”he testified to ZDNet.fr.
The use of the cloud is not widespread, however. Companies thus continue to equip themselves with their own servers to deliver IT services to employees and support commercial activity. For Computers, distributors, and outsourcers, the choice of such equipment (for purchase or rental) must first be correlated with the need.
The decision will come from the answers to these main questions: why do I need a server? For what functions? What kind of software should it be able to run? Thus, it is from "these uses that the choice of the majority of the characteristics of the server will result", underlines the supplier.
But the demand for servers is there nonetheless. “More and more customers are buying servers,” confirms LDLC.pro's commercial director, Christophe Le Gosles. These are in particular NAS to manage storage redundantly and lightweight servers. The mini-servers will meet the needs of “slightly more advanced” companies, for example using ERP and specific software - or even to manage showcase sites or video surveillance cameras.
But another factor is just as decisive: the available IT skills and the existing infrastructure. “If SMEs and VSEs have an internal IT team, they can easily buy servers and set up an infrastructure for teleworking,” says Gwennhaël Audran, director of Compufirst.
Without internal skills, equipping servers is complex
The practice of working remotely seems to have to be more and more long-term. Containment imposed emergency decisions. The health crisis remains, but the period nevertheless lends itself to reflection and the lasting organization of this new organization.
Teleworking is a set of building blocks to put in place: workstation, deployment, and underlying infrastructure, without forgetting the security aspect. Employees must be able to connect to internal systems, but also save their data in a secure space.
These IT operations, therefore, require skills or, failing that, the purchase of external services. In the absence of these resources, the manager of Compufirst strongly advises against equipping himself with servers.
If VSEs or SMEs do not have the compulsory skills, they should not buy servers. There is maintenance in operational conditions to be carried out and always adjustments. The first question to ask is therefore whether they have the competent teams to manage such an infrastructure. "
An anomaly for Christophe Le Gosles when it comes to NAS technology. "It has become accessible to many," he considers, acknowledging, however, that advanced functions require more advanced skills.
Cloud or outsourcing to connect employees and infrastructure
The solution for these companies will therefore consist of relying on the services or infrastructures of service providers, outsourcers or cloud providers. These will then ensure the connection of remote users with this infrastructure via VPN access - or alternatives.
Moreover, the acquisition of servers is declining for certain uses in companies in favor of the adoption of cloud solutions. In addition to the purchase of a PC for teleworking, Compufirst thus recommends for these actors the purchase of a virtual PC.
"It connects to your infrastructure and allows you to work as if you were physically in the company", insists Gwennhaël Audran. The key is the possibility of overcoming various issues, such as local backup. " The VDI as a service contributes to the promotion of teleworking", further considers the expert.
The purchase of IT services, such as the cloud, also has an advantage in relieving companies' cash flow, which can be devoted to their core business. Rental and leaseback also respond to this cash flow issue.
Leasing, acquisition or cloud services, the priority for companies and their employees ultimately remains business continuity. “Whether it's through on-premise IT or outsourced to a data center, it's almost secondary. The expectation is for the business to continue, and this in a sufficiently agile manner to respond to crisis situations such as containment, ”concludes the manager.