As business leaders around the globe find their infrastructure and operations (I&O) tested by the fallout from COVID-19, many are discovering “cracks in the armor.” Unlike a cyberattack or natural disaster, a pandemic can affect operations globally for unknown periods of time, threatening the workforce directly. So, what can businesses do to ensure that their I&O is ready for the next global event?
An article published by Gartner just three months ago already seems like ancient history in light of the current environment. But the points made are still valid, and when viewed through the lens of the pandemic, can provide a helpful roadmap going forward.
Before most of us had even heard of COVID-19, traditional I&O tools were becoming overextended by the need to service a vast range of data-processing locations, and Gartner posits that it has now become necessary to move beyond legacy mindsets to adopt the trends that will impact I&O teams going forward.
The best practices for I&O leaders are even more relevant in light of the current crisis. Luckily, there a number of ways that they can refocus their efforts during this time and beyond:
Rethink disaster recovery strategies
Many I&O leaders are beginning to realize that hybrid infrastructures are making heritage recovery strategies less effective in times of crisis. For this reason, it’s important to account for workloads in public and private clouds, in traditional data centers and at the edge.
Plan for data impacts to your infrastructure
IT infrastructure is now located everywhere businesses need it, resulting in data that is equally dispersed. Gartner estimates that this year, more than 50% of enterprise data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud, meaning that I&O teams will need to mandate a data-driven protection infrastructure assessment in the early stages of design to provide the protection and management needed for the future.
Become involved in IoT planning discussions
IoT projects are complex and transformative in nature, which means that the sooner I&O can be involved in IoT planning discussions, the easier it will be for the entire team to determine which pieces they are responsible for, and the less likely they will be to experience future service gaps.
Build governance and support offerings geared toward users
I&O leaders that do not want to risk alienating their customers may utilize low-code or no-code platforms in order to allow users to quickly build applications. The challenge associated with this strategy is that it can dramatically increase the complexity of your IT portfolio. For this reason, it’s crucial for I&O leaders to find a balance between the two approaches based on one use case at a time.
Take calculated networking risks
The key word here is, “calculated.” Gartner predicts that future network innovation will be focused on operational simplicity, automation, reliability and flexible business models; however, networking teams that are not prepared to tackle the technical debt of innovation may find it difficult to move ahead.
What can you do to prepare for the next major event?
Nobody can predict the impact that this major world event—or the next—will have on their I&O. This is why ensuring your I&O is as agile, scalable and responsive as possible today is essential to your team’s success tomorrow. If your business’s IT strategy is prepared for as many infrastructure-impacting scenarios as possible, it’s much more likely that your I&O team will be ready for anything that comes next.