The Covid-19 Pandemic hit the world by surprise, forcing every industry to shift how they produce business operations. More companies now than ever utilize the work-from-home remote lifestyle. This shift in work-life has impacted and will continue to impact businesses throughout the new year. People are creating and coming up with new ways to produce security strategies, find resource availability, and continue evolving infrastructure and operations. 

Infrastructure and operations (I&O) are ever-evolving, repositioning itself to install remote I&O teams for companies. Last year, the events forced IT professionals to adapt all processes for the influx of work from home and unforeseeable changes for all IT requirements. Here are six trends that all IT industry leaders should keep an eye on in 2021.

1. The Ability to Operate Anywhere

Many companies have found that working remotely helps save the company money by having less overhead. Companies no longer need a massive facility to house their employees because employees now work from home. This new way of working has given employees the flexibility to work from anywhere. IT executives now have to implement ways to grant customers everywhere access to services and adequately manage business services across all distributed infrastructures. 

Traditionally, I&O was managed within an organization that had one home base. Meaning employees worked out of a facility to complete their work. Anywhere operations allow organizations to utilize staff where they see fit, creating more flexibility for employees. Remote work has not only become beneficial to employees but the businesses themselves. Now, businesses no longer have to hire employees based on a geographical location. This opens the door to recruiting a larger pool of people who may have more experience. 

2. Optimizing Infrastructure

Data centers and edge infrastructures can be challenging to measure, but they can create an optimal infrastructure. A data center infrastructure includes servers, computers, networking equipment, security, storage, management software, and non-computing resources like cables and cooling devices. To optimize a data center, you must implement policies to increase operations’ efficiency without sacrificing functionality or performance. By keeping assets at the edge of the network, edge infrastructure takes advantage of cloud infrastructure. This prevents bandwidth issues with legacy networks that can not handle additional workloads.

To further optimize infrastructure, IT professionals suggest merging to a hyper-converged infrastructure or computational storage. A hyper-converged infrastructure (HPI) is an alternative to traditional three-tier infrastructures. HPI is more efficient and easier to work with. It combines x86-based server and storage resources with intelligent software programs. HPI is excellent for startups or small businesses because it allows them to start small then scale up as they need. 

Computational storage is an architecture that enables offloading host processing or reducing data movement. Utilizing this type of storage increases application performance and infrastructure efficiency through storage or between the host and the storage. Computational storage aims to alleviate constraints on existing computers, memory, storage, and IO and permits parallel computation. 

3. Operational Continuity

To remain competitive and profitable through a crisis, businesses should think about operational continuity. The main goal of operation continuity is to have the ability to shift operations if the world around you or business conditions change. In layman’s terms, your company must continue operating regardless of what is happening around the world. You can not afford to let your company be stuck without a plan to ensure its continuous protection against outside factors. 

IT services must continue to operate regardless of damages, data losses, or external critical events. With more people working from home, workloads must be available to support customers and employees who are geographically spread out. IT services have to be continuous to provide automated deployments and minimal-touch maintenance. If structured correctly, operational continuity will increase efficiencies and allow for faster workload deployment. 

4. Core Systems Modernization

Core modernization allows businesses to use new applications that better serve their customers. It is a continuously evolving process; it should never be a one-time project. Companies utilizing core modernization will have to arrange infrastructures to minimize legacy drag for both on and off-premises. These benefits include reduced cost of ownership, improved application availability and response time, improved flexibility, and higher customer satisfaction. Companies implementing a modernization plan have to develop a realistic timeline that includes the growing list of digital business requirements. 

Core modernization helps businesses to:

  • Deploy cloud migration to deliver business goals and promote growth
  • Continuously delivering personalized experiences through digital infrastructure and services
  • Provide business decisions and outcomes to create digital transformation while optimizing expenses to better improve predictability. 
  • Establish functionality to the business by migrating legacy to new applications

5. Distributed Cloud

It is time for most businesses to make the shift to cloud computing. Cloud services enable businesses to deploy flexibility with all team members regardless of geographical locations. Public cloud providers distribute cloud services to specific and diverse physical locations. This enables low-latency computing to anyone who needs operations to be physically closer to them. This also ensures the ability to control and administer the cloud infrastructure from public to private cloud with consistency across both. 

A distributed cloud can significantly improve performance due to the depreciation of latency issues and reduce the risk of global network outages. More specific advantages of distributed cloud potentially include:

  • An increase in compliance with regulatory requirements that shared data will be located in a customer’s specific geographic location
  • Allowing a network to operate without loose ends by reducing network failure risk
  • Increasing the availability of locations where cloud services can be offered

6. Critical Skills V.S. Critical Roles

With continuous culture changes and technical advances, I&O industry leaders should consider adding new team members to their business. High-priority skills will be needed in the next few years; it is wise to invest in the talent to be ahead of the curve. 

There has been a recent shift in the industry from specialized infrastructure roles to collective critical skilled roles. This will help create collaboration by establishing a new way of creating a team. These skilled workers will help develop technology and processes to deploy operational tasks while prioritizing services and support to customers. 

Ask yourself these questions when trying to find a highly skilled worker for a critical role your company must fill:

  • What expertise, skill, or ability must this person possess for this role?
  • When you find the right fit, can this person train others who can quickly step into the role if need be?
  • If they can not train others, can your company reduce its dependency on that team member?
  • Could you offer current employees transferable skills, giving them growth opportunities?
  • Do you know where to look for external skilled candidates?

Let K2 Partnering Solutions Help

IT, information services, infrastructure management are entities that continuously grow, evolve and redefine themselves. There’s no shame in admitting that you might feel a little behind the latest developments and technology. Hence, reaching out to a MSP like K2 Partnering Solutions can not only keep you up to date but future-proof your organization. With specialist technical experts and functional enterprise solutions consultants on our side, there’s no need for your company to invest significant capital into your own teams and infrastructures just to remain on the bleeding edge. K2 can help with building and maintaining a team that can assist with these upgrades, as well as software development, migrations, customization, and network security. By partnering with a managed services provider you’ll be able to find custom solutions to help address your complex technological needs.

K2 has been at the forefront of technology and talent for over 20 years, with world-class solutions at our fingertips, we help businesses to innovate and grow. Our worldwide network of locations offers local expertise with a global reach, to deliver first-class technology solutions and unparalleled industry knowledge to our clients. 

Contact us today to take advantage of our expert managed services teams

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