“Trends like Anywhere Operations and Core Modernization have been moving to the forefront of the I&O organization for years, but the pandemic rapidly accelerated them to the point where they’ll have a transformational impact shortly,” says Jeffrey Hewitt, Research VP, Gartner.

Traditional I&O processes can make businesses vulnerable to countless challenges in the face of disruption. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of flexibility, agility, and resilience to ensure continuity and smoother transitions. The I&O leaders look for Gartner to shed light on the latest trends every year. This blog will discuss the most awaited Infrastructure And Operations Trends of 2021, such as Anywhere Operations, Optimal Infrastructure, Operational Continuity, Core Modernization, Distributed Cloud, and Critical Skills vs. Critical Roles as highlighted by Gartner.

Trend 1 – Anywhere Operations

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to remote work environments and new workplace realities that otherwise wouldn’t have been favored. It is believed that a significant part of the workforce continues to work remotely, even in the post-pandemic era. Anywhere operations facilitate companies to make seamless arrangements in the workforce and operations to keep the business running smoothly. It is pivotal for IT personnel to make organizations flexible and resilient to embrace Anywhere Operations. Anywhere Operations allow organizations to widen the talent recruitment landscape for I&O teams and bring along cultural revolution by challenging the traditional mind-sets of having the infrastructure in a central location.

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Trend 2 – Optimal Infrastructure

Optimal infrastructure considers data center and edge infrastructure. It involves a strategic shift in I&O from “infrastructure and operations” to “integration and operations.” It is one such trend that facilitates I&O and business arrangements by ensuring a solid ROI for infrastructure. A business approach and viewpoint can empower I&O leaders to optimize infrastructure with the lens of cost-effectiveness. I&O leaders need to assess the feasibility of every business unit to enable Anywhere Operations. The summary of optimal infrastructure is, Anywhere Operations develop programmable infrastructure that allows the right amount of work in the desired place at the designated time. 

Trend 3 – Operational Continuity

Traditional IT roles are evolving. In 2021, IT services are heavily dependent on automated deployments with minimal-touch support. It is crucial to support clients and employees situated across the globe as and when workloads increase. Automation tools enable businesses to deploy modern compute resources, minimize deployment time, and provide more agility. If executed right, operational continuity can improve efficiencies and deployments. However, operational continuity needs new tools and processes, which may give rise to challenges or complexities. It is pivotal to analyze continuity requirements as per the business requirements and strategize to shift the IT organizations to operational continuity.

Trend 4 – Core Modernization

Modernization of core infrastructures has become a priority of C-suite decision-makers. Infrastructure modernization minimizes technical debt and accelerates agility to manage business requirements if done under realistic timelines. Forward-looking businesses need to make maintenance of key operations an ongoing process. Modernization is advantageous as it improves legacy drag by making businesses efficient and resilient. It is crucial to collaborate with application leaders to finalize the business areas wherein modernization can benefit the most, keeping the priorities under consideration.

Trend 5 – Distributed Cloud

By 2024, most cloud service platforms will provide at least some distributed cloud services that execute at the point of need, says Gartner. Distributed cloud implies the decentralization of cloud resources. It moves the support to cloud service providers, reduces the issues related to latency, and enables flexibility in the business’s physical location. I&O leaders need to prioritize the distributed cloud as it is continuously evolving to become more mature to become a preferred infrastructure model. The distributed cloud can be considered as the next-generation of cloud computing.

Trend 6 – Critical Skills vs. Critical Roles

In 2021, the I&O skills requirements will evolve as businesses continue to thrive in the new dynamic environments. The attention will shift from infrastructure roles to collaboration, collective efforts, and critical skills. As this trend can bring cultural changes, Gartner believes that the I&O leaders must consider these changes beforehand to strategize accordingly. I&O organizations will focus more on critical skills as compared to essential roles. It will enhance resiliency as teams will possess the skills to accomplish business-critical tasks. 

To Wrap Up

Hopefully, these trends will gear you up by getting your head wrapped around, preparing for some of the major shifts that the I&O landscape is likely to face!

As we have seen in the above Infrastructure and Operations Trends 2021, amidst the pressure on IT leaders to keep pace with the dynamic environment, infrastructure has evolved like never before. As a result, the I&O leaders are on their toes to decipher digital businesses, cloud computing, and hybrid information technology to ensure their core capabilities are aligned with the business and deliver quality. 

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Zymr blogger

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