Fight or flight are the only ways to respond to change in the natural world. However, as we like to call in the tech world, change or disruption is always at a constant. We can't battle or evade change, especially when it comes to shifts in I&O.
So, what choice does that leave us? We simply need to learn and adapt so our businesses can survive through the most challenging times. With time it may even be possible to thrive. But, it all starts with staying in touch with the trends that shape the near future.
2021 promises loads of change in the realm of edge computing, cybersecurity, infrastructure management, and other operations.
Here are five trends that will affect IT infrastructure and operations in 2021:
5 Trends Affecting IT Infrastructure and Operations In 2021
1. Anywhere Operations
Remote work is slowly becoming the "new normal" for enterprises across the globe. It's a good thing since it's helped employees meet their bottom line. But, It's reveals chinks in conventional I&O structures and processes.
“The traditional, structured processes within I&O made organizations fragile when it comes to the flexibility of location,” Jeffrey Hewitt, VP of research at Gartner. Aside from enhancing flexibility, such operations need to support recruitment initiatives for diverse geographical locations.
This all starts from a command center that supports anywhere operations. Then I&O teams can deliberate on which departments can work remotely. This plan should also be dynamic enough to allow diverse teams to work seamlessly, whether onsite or remotely.
2. Infrastructure Optimization
The role of I&O teams will continue to shift from overseeing infrastructure and operations. This is because we're moving from a dependency on physical data storage to cloud, edge, and newer technologies such as virtual desktops.
Now, I&O is slowly shifting to integration and operations. So, it's upon I&O teams to determine what type of virtual infrastructure fits a certain business model. This trend is unlikely to stop as it's allowing new businesses to attain higher returns minus the risk of acquiring loads of expensive hardware.
3. Modernization of Core Infrastructure
Companies are waking up to the benefits of updating to next-gen core infrastructure. This helps eliminate the inefficiency and drag of dealing with legacy infrastructure, especially as more I&O legacy hardware specialists retire. Such a measure also ensures your infrastructure can keep up with emergent trends causing waves in data and digital transformation.
However, it's not merely a question of logistics and technical aptitude. Funding also comes into play, so any upgrades should have a positive ROI value. There's also the fact that I&O practitioners need to learn a few new skills.
The decision on whether to upgrade or not needs to be reached after considering many variables. It starts with identifying aspects of the business that could benefit the most from modernization. Then it's a matter of coming up with a reasonable timeline and managing the clients' expectations.
4. Cloud Decentralization
Cloud migration initiatives are never straightforward for businesses and cloud providers. Distributing data and other core digital assets causes latencies for organizations. It also burdens the cloud service provider. So, we’re likely to see a shift towards distributed cloud models.
This promotes flexibility for remote workers as they access assets from their company's physical location. But, it comes with a set of complexities and challenges. For one, the cost may be prohibitive for some organizations. There's also an elevated risk of lock-in, so some organizations may be worried about committing to such models.
However, I&O practitioners should keep an eye on this trend. This is because many developers are working the kinks out of distributed cloud models. It shows some growth potential, so it may be wise for I&O firms to consider how they can integrate it into a company's existing hybrid cloud network.
5. Operational Continuity
Containerized workloads need to support remote workers and customers from disparate geographical zones. So, it makes sense for IT services to work uninterruptedly and seamlessly despite the prevailing external factors. They should support automated decision-making and deployment. It also helps if they have a minimal need for maintenance.
According to this report, 60 percent of companies will depend on automation tools to deploy digital assets by 2025. This will encourage agility and reduce the time needed to deploy computer resources. The only drawback is the complex tools and learning curves involved. With time, I&O experts will find ways around it, so it may be wise to stay in lock-step with this emergent trend.
How Should IT Infrastructure And Operations Leaders React To These Trends?
We've highlighted various specialties and technologies that haven't been harnessed to their full potential. This gives I&O leaders some time to recruit IT practitioners with these new skill sets. It may also be wise to access the potential cultural shifts that will proceed with these trends to plan accordingly.
Infrastructure and operation skills will always evolve to stay in step with advances in software and hardware. So, it’s the best time to think collectively rather than based on the role you play in an I&O firm.
At House of I.T, we’ve helped businesses transform their organizational functions through comprehensive technical support and award-winning IT solutions. We have a global client base with partners across Oceania, UK, the US, and New Zealand. Reach out today, and we'll help ensure your infrastructure and operations stay ahead of the current trends.