COVID-19 has created a stark new reality for businesses. As of the end of April, one fifth of the global population was under lockdown, with stay-at-home policies mandated by governments strictly enforced to stem the spread of the virus. For the working population, this has meant avoiding physical workspaces and long commutes and setting up shop in living rooms, at kitchen tables and in other areas of the home. While most of us are avoiding the tube or car journey and spending our days on video calls, our new working habits require an immense reliance on communications technology to stay connected with employers, colleagues, customers, partners and service providers.
According to Microsoft, its Teams platform saw a record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in just one day. Popular video conferencing service Zoom claims its user base has grown 50% to 300 million in just three weeks. Our lives – personal and professional – are now being played out online in these unprecedented times. But let’s not forget what it takes to power those online services so seamlessly, and how our reliance on them is now mission critical.
Navigating a pandemic
It’s clear to see that, for a plethora of reasons, enterprises globally and of all size and sector now face unique challenges in staying operational and profitable during and after this health pandemic. Most organisations surveyed by 451 expect a major disruption to their business within six months. For many businesses, that disruption has already happened.
In London there are a plethora of high-value enterprises, which are connectivity-dependent and rely on huge data volumes. The operation of these business is extremely latency/time-sensitive and requires the highest standards of data security. Having disparate teams relying on comms networks adds to the complexities of managing distributed architecture and maintaining business performance. Digital enterprises need partners who can be flexible and help navigate them through their current challenges.
Interxion; we’re in your corner
Nobody could have predicted Covid-19 and its far-reaching repercussions. Nobody knows how this is going to pan out. Nobody can yet deal with the unprecedented, hyperbolous nature of what has unfolded over the past five months. Yet, ICT service providers of all ilks are working almost as normal to help mitigate the impacts on the digital realm. When it comes to critical infrastructure for businesses, Interxion’s London data centre campus is fully operational. We support over 350 global clients across all industries (including financial services, carrier networks and enterprise companies), providing agile, flexible and proactive colocation, hybrid cloud and connectivity services. As CSPs and SaaS-based instant messenger/video conferencing providers report an increase in cloud-based activity and usage, Interxion’s Cloud Connect – our reliable, highly connected and secure access to multiple cloud offerings – continues to grow, adding access to Google Cloud to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
Kicking the tyres
Despite the challenges of lockdown in London and across the world, Interxion is still welcoming new customers on a daily basis. We appreciate that one of the biggest barriers to making the decision to moving infrastructure to a data centre is the possibility of ‘kicking the tyres’ – seeing the facility for yourself. While that’s practically impossible for companies outside of the UK right now, we are finding ways to deliver a complete service; planning installations in detail for customers and showing them our London data centre site using remote technologies. For companies in the UK, we are open for visits to site, while following all of Covid-19 safety procedures; including social distancing, hand washing and wearing of PPE where required. It’s not easy, but we’re committed to designing, quoting, building and delivering customer areas that keeps businesses both operational and growing in exceptional times.
Beyond Covid-19 – time to rebuild
Based on recent news reports, no one quite knows when the worst part of Covid-19 will be behind us, and we can return to relative normality. One thing we do know though, is that work patterns for many have changed permanently, and perhaps for the better. The widespread formalisation of remote working practices is one side-effect of the pandemic, so we expect robust working from home policies, as travel limitations and reduced event attendance will continue on through to 2021.
Technology plays the leading role in the continued operation of many businesses, especially with the demands of drastically changing working conditions. Right now, correctly and naturally so, businesses are most focussed on staying safe, staying home and saving lives and upon their immediate need to survive. Yet it is worth taking the time now to think about big-picture strategic moves for long-term business continuity and disaster recovery. In a post Covid-19 world, enterprises need unprecedented flexibility to flex and reconstruct their digital assets. This means working with partners like Interxion to deploy critical infrastructure that can withstand crisis, provide access which is both agile and the adaptable to whatever comes our way next.
As we manage through the crisis, we are working with our customers to deliver digital reconstruction – in the hope and expectation that good can emerge from bad.