In the digital age, this year has flown by very quickly. With the advent of the pandemic and lockdowns, the IT landscape is changing even faster than usual. A significant part of this process of change is in response to the demand for emergency digitization, where the forced adoption of new business practices as a result of an almost total shift to "remote working" has brought with it an exponential expansion of IT infrastructure. This is also especially true for services such as hosting.
Jeroen de Bie is CEO of the international hosting provider HOSTKEY. In this interview, Jeroen talks about the challenges and approaches in the host market, in addition to the changes that apply to his company HOSTKEY.
What new challenges did the hosting market face during the pandemic?
“First, the transition to remote working, which required a sharp increase in capacity, was a major transition for companies. At the same time, there was a boom on the cryptocurrency market. This caused an unprecedented demand from miners for powerful servers and especially servers with GPU cards. Finally, there were problems within the supply chains for hardware components and a huge shortage of microchips in the global market. The backlog of hardware supplies, and in fact of computing power rentals in general, led to long delivery times with waiting lists reaching several months. Add to this the sharp rise in electricity prices in Europe, which has a significant impact on the cost of data center services. It is no surprise that the price of hosting for customers has skyrocketed.”
That seems like a lot of challenges. What new approaches to organizing IT services did these changes require?
“Most importantly, the speed of change has increased rapidly, time to market requirements are getting tighter. Where there used to be offline or hybrid solutions, now all solutions are online. This has fueled globalization: international companies have been forced to develop infrastructure in different regions to ensure the reliability of their business processes. Medium-sized and small companies, with the almost complete shift to remote working, had the opportunity to hire remote staff. This meant that the organization of IT infrastructure also had to be taken care of outside the main business building. In addition, more than ever, companies must be able to count on uninterrupted operation and rapid launch of new processes, all while maintaining service quality and at a reasonable expenditure of time and money.
The pandemic has accelerated processes that were already developing before the pandemic broke out, and of course many of these new practices will continue as new operating standards after the pandemic is over. The hosting market is no exception. Under the new conditions, the usual suite of services offered by hosting providers is simply not enough for customers. They are complex services that are becoming the de facto standard for today's market.”
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