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Service delivery methods: The key to Anywhere Operations

For Anywhere Operations success, businesses must focus on service delivery methods -- but it's not IT's decision. Business value must be the focus.

With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations had to scramble to ensure they could support customers and employees everywhere as they transitioned to working from home. Many were successful in addressing the issue, but now the standard has been set. IT must continue to deliver services anywhere and as fast as possible -- there's no going back.

At the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations and Cloud Strategies Conference, David Cappuccio, vice president analyst and chief of research for infrastructure at Gartner, led a session on how to create an effective, just-in-time Anywhere Operations strategy to help IT admins deliver workloads anytime, anywhere.

As DevOps delivery times and planning windows decrease, IT must meet the demand of market changes and rapid deployments and release cycles. To avoid chaos, business and IT teams must work together to form a strategy for service delivery methods to ensure IT can adapt to meet business needs.

Create IT guardrails

To provide customers and employees complete access, IT must build a workload placement strategy that focuses on what drives business, rather than on the technology for specific workloads.

"IT must change their mindset. Workload placement is not driven by IT rules but by business needs. Cross-group collaboration is the key to success," Cappuccio said. A standard strategy enables teams to work quickly in a controlled and manageable environment, which helps reduce complexity and promote rapid adoption.

In a workload placement strategy, define the number of delivery options, as well as how and where to deploy workloads. Standard delivery guardrails should help guide delivery processes -- not control them -- so nothing gets out of hand. "The speed to deployment equates to business value," Cappuccio said.

IT must change their mindset. Workload placement is not driven by IT rules but by business needs. Cross-group collaboration is the key to success.
David CappuccioVice president analyst and chief of research for infrastructure, Gartner

Plan globally

Customer experience plays a major factor in workload placement and service delivery methods. IT must consider who the customers are and the business solution or problem they must solve as they plan their service delivery strategy. This could range from latency to region or compliance, and systems must be based on these delivery factors, rather than on the technology. Customers could be located in many different regions, and businesses might need multiple locations or certain levels of redundancy to run the same workload type.

One aspect to address is the location from which your team will deliver its work, i.e. on premises, in the cloud or via software as a service. Organizations must choose which delivery method will be best for their customers and evaluate every relevant option to ensure the greatest business benefits.

Map out a service delivery method for infrastructure

All the components of an infrastructure must be compatible and adaptable. When choosing workload types, locations or nodes for Anywhere Operations, consider different factors such as risk, cost, agility, innovation, availability, performance, proximity and regulation -- all in relation to business value.

Can each node interconnect, and will there be room for flexibility to change in the future?

The infrastructure mesh of all the different possible nodes a business could use connect across a web chart.
David Cappuccio presenting 'Anywhere Operations: Building a Just-in-Time IT Strategy' at the IT Infrastructure, Operations and Cloud Strategies Conference.

Asking these types of questions helps IT create a clearly defined ecosystem that outlines how to deploy and integrate workflows. So when the time comes to add new resources, workloads or business functions, IT will already have a game plan in place.

The market changes constantly, and IT teams and businesses must be able to transform at the drop of a hat. To keep up, define the rules and expectations with an Anywhere Operations strategy built around service delivery methods so IT can adapt quickly to what the business needs and plan for the unknown.

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