Probably, nowadays there is no industry that would not be affected by international sanctions against Russia and Russian companies. In the case of digital and creative agencies, software and online services that are almost 100% foreign become a sore spot. In a few weeks, we had to almost completely redesign our digital infrastructure, and these transformations allowed us to maintain operability, and in some cases even improve work efficiency. In a short article we will talk about our experience in working in new conditions.
Over the years, our agency has accumulated a huge archive, which is estimated in terabytes of data. For their storage and quick access, we used a business account from Google. This storage allows you to store an unlimited amount of data and provide very convenient access to files directly through File Explorer. At the time of writing, Google has not announced its withdrawal from Russia, but, as is the case with most foreign services, we are faced with the inability to pay for existing subscriptions. And if this issue can be solved with the help of alternative payment systems, then the prospect of losing access to data due to Roskomnadzor's blocking or Google's complete withdrawal from the country is already more difficult to solve.
Our solution: Yandex Disk + Service "Disk :0" from mail.ru group.
The choice of cloud storage of domestic production is not so great and we decided on a solution from Yandex. The service has a pleasant pricing policy and ease of licensing, but native integration into operating systems is not very convenient. The application does not allow you to work with files from File Explorer without downloading them to disk. However, there is a third-party solution "Disk :0" that allows you to close this functional hole. The service also allows you to combine several different clouds in one place. Works intermittently, but generally acceptable.
We are one of those agencies that uses exclusively legal software in their work. And most of the software these days works on a subscription system with monthly or annual payment. It is the payment that becomes the main problem, due to the withdrawal from the market of international payment systems. In order to maintain the functionality of the software, we urgently switched to annual plans and paid for all licenses. If you did not have time to do this, then there is an opportunity to switch to personal tariff plans and pay for subscriptions. To work under this scheme, you will need a friend abroad with a bank card.
For the hosting of the site and the work of Web applications, we used VDS hosting, which often fall under an avalanche of blockages, as a result of which our own projects and those of our clients began to work intermittently. Under these conditions, we have completely switched to the Yandex Cloud platform, as the most reliable in our market. The service is somewhat more expensive than other analogues, and is also more complicated to set up and administer, however, it provides a lot of interesting opportunities for a digital agency.
One of the first companies that said goodbye to us was depositphotos. The question of maintaining access for a prepaid period or returning money packages was not raised. Almost all stock photo services work only with international payment systems. Just as in the case of software subscriptions, we switched to annual prepaid plans for a year.
We usually used the MyFotnts service for font licensing due to the pleasant pricing policy and transparent license terms. Now we are working with the Russian company Paratype. Since the company is located in Russia, we have no difficulties with payment.
Project management system
The project management system is one of the most important components of our company's work. It allows you to meet deadlines, use resources efficiently and exchange information on projects. To solve these problems, we have been using the American ClickUp system for many years. This is a really cool, though not cheap system. Now, due to the inability to pay for foreign services, we have decided to develop our own system. However, there are already many worthy solutions on the Russian market.
Of course, international sanctions create a lot of inconveniences in the work of creative companies, but most of them can be solved to one degree or another. Today, Western software occupies a dominant position in the market, but in many (though not all) positions, Russian companies can compete with foreign products. Our example shows that most of the problems of our difficult time can be solved. We believe that the situation will normalize, and we will spend all our efforts on what we know and love — to make this world better and more beautiful.