The cloud: a cornerstone of business continuity

Throughout the COVID-19 health crisis, companies and healthcare institutions have relied on the cloud to set up remote working arrangements for their employees and to cope with spikes in connectivity. Orange Business supports these organizations with solutions adapted to their needs and their existing IT infrastructure.

The cloud, enabling the massive adoption of remote working

Network gateways, virtualized desktops, VPNs, backup, disaster recovery planning: the demand for cloud resources is reaching unprecedented levels. Along with cybersecurity, the cloud has become one of the top post-crisis priorities on the agenda of CIOs. According to Gartner, the adoption of cloud videoconferencing services is expected to grow significantly in the near term, as the cloud's flexibility allows employees to connect quickly and remotely to their work environments – a prerequisite for a massive shift to remote work.

"Some organizations have had little or no previous experience with the cloud," said Abdellatif Arrazi, VP Sales Director of the Cloud Division at Orange Business. "This is especially the case for companies that operate call centers with sedentary telephone advisors and organizations that work with critical data stored in their internal data centers."

Lockdown measures have changed the game: to respond urgently to countless requests from its customers, Orange Business has developed a secure solution enabling employees to access the work environment remotely via a cloud portal. This enables organizations to significantly increase the number of remote workers over a short period of time, with no need to install complex and costly devices.

A rapid increase in computing and data processing capacity to absorb spikes in activity

"For companies that were already using the cloud for a limited part of their business, recent events have become a strong catalyst," explains Abdellatif Arrazi. “CIOs who were already mature didn't hesitate to manage the crisis by opting for a widespread switchover of their data and workloads to the cloud."

The flexibility of the cloud and "as-a-service" pricing makes it possible to quickly adapt capacity to demand, whether for infrastructure (IaaS), software (SaaS) or applications (PaaS). For example, the insurance expert Saretec, which was already using virtualized desktops in the cloud, increased its existing capacities to expand remote work to 90% of its employees. In less than a week, Orange Business doubled Saretec's work capacity thanks to the flexibility of the cloud. The number of virtual servers increased from 90 to 150 and storage space from 20 Tb to 40 Tb. That expansion proved sufficient to support demand spikes.

The post-crisis period begins today for CIOs

During the crisis, companies had a chance to observe the cloud's efficiency, ease of deployment and scalability, often for the first time.

"Desktop virtualization and the growth of multi-cloud services will undoubtedly emerge as a top priority for many CIOs after lockdown, especially if remote working becomes common practice," says Arrazi. During this next phase, Orange Business will provide support to adjust their customers’ capacities as best as possible, while helping them pivot from the temporary systems set up during the health crisis to solutions that are more permanent and structured. This will involve a complete migration of their infrastructure to the cloud, virtualization of all desktops and security services adapted to each activity.

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