However, it also has its pitfalls, which companies must get prepared for to ensure company data and internal IT systems are secure and safe when accessed by employees virtually from anywhere. We talked to Lukáš Koller, Sales Director for Corporate Customers at SWAN, on how the mindset towards cloud services in Slovakia has changed.
Do you think home office will become permanent?
Working from home has become a common standard today and we can see from current surveys that it may no longer be perceived just as a benefit for employees. It is simply today’s reality. We see that well-designed IT systems and IT infrastructure can help companies significantly reduce operating costs when shifting to home office. Flexibility that working from home provides is a great benefit that can be a deciding factor when choosing a job position for many employees. Yes, I believe that home office will not disappear even after the pandemic and work from home will become a standard, at least in the form of so-called hybrid model or shared workspaces.
Are companies ready for such a model?
From our experience, we can say that over the last two years, we have seen a significant increase in the use of cloud solutions not only in the segment of corporate customers, but also medium and small-sized companies which are increasingly preferring work from home. The growth of cloud services has been here before, but the ongoing pandemic situation has significantly accelerated this trend.
Companies are simply forced to deal with the situation and adapt their IT systems accordingly. The ideal solution is therefore a transition to cloud solutions, virtual data center or managed services, and this does not necessarily mean increased costs. Our team of IT specialists can advise the customer and offer the ideal solution with regard to scalability and possible growth of the company in the future.
What are the biggest challenges companies face when moving to cloud solutions?
One of the downsides we often face with companies is lack of connectivity. Reliable connectivity is crucial for ceaseless operation of cloud IT services from multiple locations. And this applies not only to the company’s headquarters, but also to individual branches and, last but not least, employees who need a quality Internet connection to work from their homes in order to access the company’s systems without any complications. At SWAN, we provide fixed connectivity via state-of-the-art technologies, whether it is our fast optical network or fixed LTE business internet, which, unlike the competition, we provide on a separate licensed band of 3.7 GHz, which guarantees high quality service. LTE internet is suitable for ensuring connectivity for branches and also for employees when working from home and is available in hundreds of towns and villages throughout Slovakia.
What role will 5G networks play in terms of connectivity in the future?
We leverage from our experience running fixed LTE internet for thousands of households and businesses in Slovakia for several years now. This technology proved the concept of fixed wireless internet services. If we compare these two generations of technologies from the fixed internet point of view, we can say that new 5G technology has been created with fixed internet in mind. So 5G has several benefits making fixed wireless networks even better with four times higher bandwidth per spectrum with virtually unlimited number of connected devices and really low latencies suitable for business applications. These are all qualities that have been associated mostly with fiber networks, but now are available also for fixed wireless connections. We have recently introduced residential 5G internet in Bratislava, providing unprecedented internet speeds comparable only with fiber network. We plan to cover two other large cities in the west of Slovakia early next year and will continue to upgrade our network in other locations in the near future.
In addition to connectivity, what does the company need when moving to the cloud?
Today, the cloud is a very broad concept, including connectivity, software and data center services. At SWAN, we provide a comprehensive portfolio of cloud services (SaaS, IaaS and PaaS), which allows us to tailor solutions for companies. At SWAN, we provide companies with the entire outsourcing of server infrastructure, security, operation of operating systems and databases, so that our customers can focus on their applications and core business.
Lukáš Koller, Corporate Sales Director at SWAN, a. s.