Today, infrastructure is everywhere. Rather than staying static, it has seen significant disruption spurred by the rapid growth of the cloud and the shift to hybrid IT. But how do you harness the power of infrastructure services during the new decade? Read on.
Defining Infrastructure Services
We’ve previously addressed the importance of workplace and infrastructure in the digital age, as well as the future of workplace and infrastructure solutions. According to Investopedia, infrastructure includes networking equipment and servers due to the important function they provide within specific business environments. If businesses do not have IT infrastructure, businesses struggle to share and move data in an efficient way within the workplace. And when IT infrastructure fails, many business functions are not able to be performed.
Infrastructure services include communication services, networking, data processing and storage, platforms through which businesses can share content and media, knowledge management, systems, applications, IoT, user devices, resilience. Most importantly, infrastructure services provide a help desk to support end users with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees a level of service.
Top Trends Impacting Infrastructure in 2020
Gartner predicts that the change of pace for infrastructure and operations (I&O) will only increase in 2020 as IT leaders face pressure to more quickly create, deploy, manage and govern dynamic application environments. Here are the top ten trends that I&O leaders should focus on as they look ahead to 2020:
1. Automation Strategy Rethink
At present, many I&O teams have taken an opportunistic approach to automation, which has resulted in automation capabilities varying greatly between I&O teams. Yet, as digital business scales up, Gartner predicts that demands on I&O automation will increase, which will threaten independent automation tools. I&O needs a strategic approach to automation. By 2025, more than 90 percent of enterprises will have an automation architect that guides investments through an automation strategy that ensures automation is scalable to digital business needs, addressing use cases that align with business strategy.
2. Hybrid IT vs. disaster recovery confidence
Disaster recovery has become significantly complex thanks to hybrid infrastructure. In a landscape that encompasses distributed applications and complex integration, I&O professionals are realizing that if catastrophe hits, heritage recovery strategies likely will not address the full extent of operating scenarios. Rethink disaster recovery strategies and account for workloads in public and private clouds, at the edge and traditional data centers. Resilience requirements need to be evaluated at design stages and opportunities to enhance resilience. They also need to be achievable and work with other business leaders to decide how to close resilience planning gaps.
3. Scaling DevOps agility
More and more enterprise product teams are working in DevOps environments. Practical challenges of scale need to be addressed in order to ensure the skills needed are available to scale and that teams do not end up duplicating efforts in similar ways. Gartner predicts that by 2023, if enterprises do not create a shared self-service platform, 90 percent will fail to scale DevOps initiatives. A “digital” toolbox of I&O capabilities is provided by a shared self-service platform, which helps multiple DevOps teams manage, create and release products, while ensuring streamlined efforts at scale and consistency.
4. Your Data is Everywhere thanks to Infrastructure
A hybrid world means that infrastructure is located wherever the business needs it, which means data is easily as accessible. Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than 50 percent of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the cloud or data center. Data impacts will certainly accompany this growth and I&O teams may struggle to provide the protection and management needed. Gartner recommends that in its early stages, mandate a data-driven infrastructure impact assessment. Pinpoint where data is being stored, how it will be consumed, and how important factors like its growth rate could impact I&O’s ability to manage and protect it.
5. Impact of IoT
It can be difficult to understand which team is responsible for each piece of the IoT. Gartner recommends getting I&O involved early on in IoT planning discussions to evaluate the proposed service and support model at scale to avoid unforeseen service gaps.
6. Distributed cloud
Distributed cloud refers to public cloud services that will be available in different physical locations. In the meantime, the provider remains responsible for the operation, governance, updates and evaluation of the services. This model is likely to appeal to organizations that have been limited by past physical cloud services. Yet, it is important to note that this trend is in its early stages so I&O leaders need to dig deep by identifying the right use cases, vendors and architectures needed, as well as the implications of “Day 2.”
7. Immersive Experience
Users expect different needs today, including seamless integration, immediate feedback, and high levels of availability. If executed well, I&O’s contributions to these systems can positively impact mind and market share over time. But, if these systems do not work, the impacts will be felt immediately and could have deep implications for the organization’s reputations beyond customer satisfaction.
8. Democratization of IT
Users are able to quickly build applications using minimal code approaches thanks to low-code and no-code platforms. As a result, “citizen development” can arise, which saves time and resources. Yet, a poorly executed approach that does not consider the use of the outputs of these tools scaling can increase the complexity of the IT portfolio, which increases the likelihood of requests for I&O support. Users are seeking easier options that are supported by well-built governance and support offerings. I&O leaders might alienate their customers if they do not take advantage of low-code or no-code approaches now, but they must figure out what approach is necessary for each use case and scenario they encounter.
Gartner predicts that future network innovation will target flexible business models, simplicity, automation and reliability. To foster innovation moving forward, networking teams will need to take calculated risks. Automation in particular will be necessary for enabling networks that are simpler, responsive to change, and more reliable – yet that’s not all automation is needed for. In order to make progress and surmount technical debt, the right technical support is needed. While investment in new network technologies is a step in the right direction, culture hacks and calculated risks are needed to take advantage of it.
10. Hybrid digital infrastructure management
It’s 2020 and that means that I&O leaders need to seek tools that challenge silos of visibility. Yet, emerging tools are not able to solve every problem posed by hybrid digital infrastructure management, so I&O leaders must be careful when evaluating challenges posed by hybrid digital infrastructure management.
When it comes to workplace and infrastructure, Stefanini offers five categories. They are as follows:
1. Cloud Services
Our Cloud services and support include Cloud migration, Sharepoint Management, Skype for Business, and on-premise/Cloud synchronization, among others. Our end-to-end Cloud Services approach can benefit your enterprise thanks to our industry expertise, strong capabilities, and wide breadth of experience. We are in a great position to help your company navigate the challenges associated with cloud solution deployment and achieve the maximum number of value. We are a Microsoft Gold partner, whose cloud services range from start to finish, beginning with the design and architecture. Our services also include management, administration, support and decommissioning. We use the “shift-left” approach for our customers and their end users, which has allowed us to reduce costs and provide faster solutions for our customers. Repetitive processes are reviewed and given to the service desks and escalation keeps a keen eye on the services being provided for the “shifted-left” items.
2. Infrastructure Services
To ensure your organization’s entire infrastructure is monitored, managed, and secured in order to yield best business operations, Stefanini offers comprehensive services like 24/7 proactive monitoring (quickly and effectively identifying issues and substantially reducing costs associated with downtime through rapid resolutions and problem prevention), preventative maintenance (correcting problems, detecting trends and implementing scripts to prevent problems), traffic analysis and resource management, among others. Our infrastructure services are designed to support Linux, Windows, VMware, network, storage, backup, and Unix and can increase your ROI with affordable pricing thanks to our service delivery model. We customize your organization according to your needs, resulting in better management and maintenance.
3. Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
Our UEM offers reporting, software metering, patching, imaging and automated management of software. This also includes self-service options that empower both end users and support staff across mobile devices, servers and workstations. By simplifying patching, imaging, automation software and installations, our support staff is able to reduce downtime for end users – saving every business valuable time and money – which allows our staff to do more in less time and focus on providing a higher level of customer service. Integration with Microsoft technologies like BitLocker, Intune, Office 365, ticketing systems and asset management software extends the abilities of these tools. Thanks to our in-depth knowledge and experience across multiple organizations, platforms and projects, our team is able to take innovation and automation to the next level to support your business. Our UEM capabilities focus on Operating System Deployments, Total Device Management, Bring Your Own Device, Security Patches, Driver Updates, New Deployments and License Metering.
4. Security Services
Minor breaches in network security can be catastrophic, which is why we take security seriously. Every fault or hole in your network makes your information vulnerable and can be disastrous for any enterprise, which is why we are active in supplying you with maximum network security. To ensure that your critical information is never compromised or exposed to unauthorized users, we work to fortify your network boundary while our Security Services team manages your IT security tools, policies, processes and security operations. Further, we provide support in security architecture, design, consultation, and implementation of security products, network security, endpoint security, vulnerability management, Security Operations (SOC) and identify access management areas. We are dedicated to improving your overall security infrastructure and we do this through attracting capable, global talent and provide our services at affordable prices.
a. Our SOC operates 24/7 and focuses on: design, implementation, and management of security processes and tools; security architecture and consulting; Security Information and Event Management (SIEM); intrusion detection and response; incident response procedures; threat intelligence and threat hunting; and security awareness training.
b. We manage vulnerabilities throughout the entire lifecycle: we provide improved OS, application patching, and validation; automated remediation solutions and tiered implementations, a review and comparison against DISA National Security Technical Implementations Guides (STIGs); and penetration testing.
c. Our well–rounded endpoint security solutions are made up of: DATA Loss Prevention (DLP), which is comprised of DLP implementation and administration, workflow management, and policy management; endpoint encryption, which includes compliance management and reporting, third-party encryption tools, and BitLocker, MBAM implementation and administration; and finally, Endpoint Protection, which is made up of compliance management and reporting, incident response and antivirus implementation and administration.
d. Through our Network Security, we deliver: incident response procedures, configuration, event monitoring, web security gateway, VPN – remote access gateway, firewall management, and IDS/IPS management.
e. Access Management includes: privileged access management, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which includes Certification Authority management and SSL certificates lifecycle, and Identity and Access Management (IAM), which includes single sign-on, multi-factor authentication and federation.