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At the heart of the digital transformation and with the rise of data and the cloud, ICT systems are the leading providers of bespoke modular solutions.

Visible in infrastructure, buildings, offices, smart cities and more, modularity is currently the most agile – and often the most effective – solution to organisational and energy-related challenges. This sense of tailor‑made flexibility can also be found in  ICT services – a sector that does not spring to mind so quickly, despite the fact that these qualities are the basis of how it operates.

From the cloud to data architecture, businesses’ IT departments and systems are already experts in the design and implementation of flexible modular solutions.

Whether public, private or a hybrid, the cloud offers agility, high performance and responsiveness. “Ultimately, the cloud environment is a resource, like water or electricity, that each of us uses according to our needs. It is very malleable,” points out Hermann Dupré, Global Business Development Manager – Cloud & Datacentre for Axians, VINCI Energies’ expert ICT brand.

This flexibility is essential for any company looking to rapidly adapt to changes in its business environment, for example. “The public cloud, which makes an almost infinite architecture available to all, enables new services to be implemented quickly and at a low cost. Meanwhile, the private cloud makes it possible to internalise certain infrastructure linked to critical data for security reasons,” says Hermann Dupré.

A sky full of benefits

The first benefits offered by the cloud are of a commercial nature. For example, the ability to quickly adapt services in line with clients’ requirements is a competitive advantage. Moreover, the agility of the cloud makes it easier to roll out new solutions. Businesses can also quickly test ideas in the market, gather feedback and make the necessary modifications to meet their clients’ needs.

Hermann Dupré explains that, “for a client specialising in the e‑commerce of kitchen utensils, we connected their private cloud to the public cloud in order to create enough capacity to absorb their excess seasonal demand.”

The cloud also offers financial benefits. In addition to the savings created by only using IT infrastructure and resources where needed, costs are also cut as a result of the time saved by using the cloud. For another client, KPMG, Axians installed a hybrid cloud with automation tools, reducing the time needed to implement a new service by five or six times.

ICT systems are already experts in the design and implementation of flexible modular solutions.

But the cloud has many other strengths; it helps makes organisations more agile. Its flexibility boosts employee productivity, for example by making it easier for them to work remotely.

And Hermann Dupré explains that, within VINCI Energies, “the Safe Place project, developed by Axians since early 2020, hosts all of the VINCI Energies France business line applications with a hybrid cloud connected to Microsoft Azure, making communication smoother while following the Group’s security standards.”

He also referred to the possibilities presented by Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (otherwise known as DaaS, Desktop as a Service) which, via the cloud, enables employees without computers for professional usage to use other devices and connect to the company network in complete security. In short, the cloud is the perfect example of a modular solution.

Moving towards adaptive data architecture

Another area where ICT and flexibility are key is data economy, which has become essential to the digital transformation. More and more data is available, stored on traditional databases or Big Data platforms, cloud applications, and simple internal files as well as on blogs, social media, and more.

These numerous data silos are a challenge to integrate, but all companies and organisations have now understood the need to manage and best use this enormous wealth of information. They are seizing all of the potential commercial value that could improve their business line and decision-making processes.

Unfortunately, current IT systems can no longer keep up with this immense workload. They were not developed for this intensive data usage and therefore need to be updated, expanded and modified. But a major overhaul of these systems may be long and costly and in a competitive environment, time is crucial.

Businesses need IT systems with a modular, adaptive and extensible architecture – in other words, systems that are easy to modify and expand.

“This scalable architecture already exists,” explains Alexander van Helm, Lead Architect at Axians Business Analytics. “By using technology such as data lakes, data vault modelling, microservices, the cloud, data virtualisation and data warehouse automation, this adaptive architecture can manage huge workloads and develop at any moment in line with requirements.”

With data architecture that is simple to extract and replace, it is even easier to adapt as the business develops. According to Alexander van Helm, the finance sector has a real need for this.

It’s often by going off the beaten track that we can bring about the digital transformation more quickly. Designing modular IT solutions is therefore a way of enabling ICT systems to keep up with a business world that is evolving increasingly rapidly.