Anywhere operations are one of the most transformative tech trends to follow in 2021. Learn how cloud can enable your business to work anytime, from anywhere.
The way we work continues to evolve. And with the necessity for and normalization of the virtual workplace, new technologies are being sought to support remote collaboration and communication.
As a result, this year’s technological trends largely center on one of the biggest trends left in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – anywhere operations. Identified by Gartner as one of its top strategic technology trends for 2021, anywhere operations is made possible, in part, by the cloud.
How does the cloud enable teamwork between globally distributed coworkers? That answer is likely to evolve as we continue to move past the pandemic that necessitated the need for anywhere operations in the first place.
Recently, Gartner predicted that in the next three years, 40 percent of businesses from all industries will have put into place the anywhere business operations model to ensure a blended virtual and physical experience for employees and customers. This model embraces a trend that was already occurring pre-COVID-19 – global, 24/7 support for clients that also allows for the delivery of business services from anywhere in the world.
As companies prepare to head back into the office, 82 percent presume they will let employees work from home at least partially. This approach, called hybrid working, raises the need for hybrid workspaces in which employees use their office as a business hub, but can also work from home as efficiently and productively.
Operational resiliency in the post-COVID-19 reality is also dependent on the ability of business processes to operate with the help of digital tools. This reality, in turn, requires serious transformation of IT infrastructure, including safer cybersecurity solutions, remote IT support, and apps and devices that blend virtual and real experiences.
Anywhere operations, therefore, have three aims: support clients everywhere, supply employees with all the tools they need anywhere, and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructure.
Gartner defines anywhere operations as an IT operating model designed to support customers everywhere, enable employees everywhere, and manage the deployment of business services across distributed infrastructures.
As soon as COVID-19 hit, businesses suddenly needed new tools like visual collaboration platforms to help teams create and share content in real time, track projects, train employees, and track shared learning and documentation. Some organizations even integrated augmented reality and virtual reality into remote working. With a digital first approach, anywhere operations go beyond enabling employees to work from home or virtually interact with clients – they enhance collaboration and productivity, secure remote access, cloud and edge infrastructure, quantification of the digital experience and automation to support remote operations.
Without the cloud, anywhere operations isn’t possible. To start, the cloud ensures secure 24/7 access to development and project management processes. It also guarantees 100 percent effective business continuity and faster, more resilient disaster recovery. In terms of smart repository usage, cloud solutions are much more cost-effective while also being flexible, transparent, and secure.
In a post-COVID-19 world, resources must be used wisely.
1. Cost-Efficient Operations: when using the cloud to enable anywhere operations, your business saves costs in both the short- and long-term. Thanks to fewer hardware requirements on-premises, you pay less up-front costs and can skip maintaining and upgrading on-premises architecture. You can also manage your infrastructure anytime, anywhere, and directly from the cloud.
2. Automated Deployment: the cloud enables businesses to manage and automate (via artificial intelligence) the deployment of products and services across distributed infrastructures while also decreasing risk. Teams are able to perform real-time, rigorous testing and provide quick feedback on the product’s quality.
3. Seamless Customer Support: when companies can easily employ workers in different time zones, they can easily enable 24/7 customer service, which is assisted by easier access to needed materials on the cloud. This access helps employees be even more effective in their roles, which translates to an improved total experience and boosted brand loyalty.
4. Better Productivity and Collaboration: by accessing company and personal data and systems via the cloud, teams are able to collaborate more frequently and productively, which leads to increased efficiency and output.
5. Empowered Employees: with anywhere operations, employees have the power to become decision-makers who can work from anywhere in the world, which extends the talent pool beyond geographical boundaries. At the same time, necessary skillsets become even more accessible to employers, making the company that much more competitive.
6. Secure Remote Access: an important feature of the cloud is its built-in security features. Anywhere operations, then, automatically become secure when using the decentralized enterprise network enabled by the cloud. The cloud also enables businesses the ability to troubleshoot from across the globe. For instance, help desk workers can take calls from customers and quickly address issues with remote solutions that grant them access to the customer’s device. This ability allows them to uphold an important part of service level agreements (SLAs) – solving problems quickly and efficiently. Therefore, anywhere operations enabled by the cloud will allow even more businesses to honor and maintain their partnerships.
COVID-19 has shown us we have the potential to adapt to anything life throws at us – even a global-wide pandemic. Yet, many companies were not prepared to support their suddenly-remote staffs. And they need to – the resolution of COVID-19 will lead to a market that is even more competitive and increasingly relies on transformative workforces like the gig economy, requiring companies to be more agile, flexible and creative.
Stefanini’s customized cloud services can help you build a Digital Workplace that is accessible 24/7 and enables your business to adopt an anywhere operations model.
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