"The average YoY growth of Softline’s cloud business is 50%. This year, we expect this threshold to be reached by autumn. Due to the high influx of new customers and growing demand from existing ones, we had to upscale our capacities in our data centers, even though we had already been preparing for a growth in requests,"—says Yuri Novikov, Head of Cloud Technology Development Unit, Softline. In Moscow, the growing demand for cloud services became apparent in late March, while regional companies hoped to maintain their offline operations until the last moment and started to migrate only in April. The computing resource rental and Virtual Office have been the most popular services among new customers.
"As concerns existing Softline customers, now is an excellent time to fully appreciate the benefits of cloud services, in particular, cloud infrastructure flexibility. A portion of our customers (less than 5%) suspended their work and reduced their capacity consumption while fully retaining their infrastructure ready to resume operations. We stay in touch, and, as soon as they decide to continue their operations, they will be able to do this without any hesitation. Other customers are reallocating their cloud resources and reinventing their virtual infrastructure according to the new business needs,"—comments Yuri Novikov.
The demand for collaboration software and remote access security services is also higher than ever. Our data show that the usage of Microsoft Teams in March became four times as high as in February, and it is expected that in the next months these dynamics will persist. The same trend is seen for Windows Remote Desktops and other popular applications such as G Suite, Slack, Zoom. "The new realities have accelerated customer decision-making speed dramatically. Previously, converting an opportunity into a closed deal could require several weeks. Now customers want to implement the product as quickly as possible: they test it for a couple of days, make a final choice, and implement it,"—says Alexandr Ivlev, Head of Cloud Solutions Division, Softline.
Companies continue to implement information security solutions for remote work. Remote access security solutions, DLP, user monitoring and time-tracking systems maintain their popularity among Softline customers. "Russian companies are rebuilding their cybersecurity infrastructure to support an increased number of remote connections. Most experts forecast that even after the end of lockdown, many Russian companies may continue working in home-office mode, which means that they may need to change their approaches to cybersecurity fundamentally. We expect that after the implementation of critical projects on intrusion and data leak prevention, the demand will rise for education projects (raising the staff awareness in terms of digital hygiene), cybersecurity audit, and penetration testing and vulnerability analysis,"—comments Dmitry Kovalev, Head of Technological Expertise Division of Information Security Directorate, Softline. He also says that the workload on cybersecurity teams has increased dramatically in many companies, so we have every reason to expect that in the near future, many companies will switch to security as a service. Various options are available depending on corporate infrastructure maturity and the number of in-house cybersecurity professionals: from technical support to managed services, or even full outsourcing of all cybersecurity tasks and the use of a Security Operation Center.