Anywhere Operations is a model for organizing an IT organization that provides support for customer service, virtual worker and employee access, employee support and motivation, and product deployment from anywhere with no regard to the physical location of assets or people.
As a result, anywhere operations can provide the fundamentals for enhanced services, such as collaboration and productivity across teams, secure remote access for all, cloud enablement, enhanced automation and autonomy, and other novel features. Anywhere operations is rapidly gaining traction in the marketplace in response to the workforce shift that started as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.
To explain the Anywhere Operations model, here are the key requirements of adoption:
Despite the many benefits of anywhere computing, there are two major hurdles that enterprises must overcome.
First, there is the fear that adopting anywhere operations will be disruptive, will add complexity to the current environment, and that it will incur substantial expenses. There are risks in any major restructuring of business processes and IT procedures, however, these are more than offset by the gains to be realized.
Second, many organizations are still saddled with legacy tools that solve point problems, rather than taking a holistic view of access to systems, networks, and clouds. However, cobbling multiple legacy tools together falls far short of the integration that anywhere operations deliver across the enterprise. Adhering to legacy point-product tools greatly limits the organization’s ability to scale both geographically and to support new constituent users such as partners, customers, or distributors. There is no legacy toolset that can support both employee access and operations delivery efficiently.
Organizations need to look no further than the COVID-19 pandemic to understand how anywhere operations can impact virtually every business. The year 2020 brought major changes in the way business operations function and how their customers interact with them.
Even when the current crisis has passed, employees will continue to seek those organizations that will offer flexibility in their workplace. As businesses re-think the workplace at a macro scale it is clear that a remote workforce will be the new normal from now on.
Additionally, customers who have been demanding a better user experience including a richer digital experience from the companies they deal with will continue to do so. Customers expect to engage in a multi-channel, virtual manner, and to do so anywhere, anytime, from any device. Thus, businesses must provide enhanced digital services, and the underpinnings of anywhere operations will become increasingly important.
Many systems will require modernization or changes. For example, if a customer-facing mobile application is designed to allow self-service checking on order status, the back-end system that handles order processing must be able to communicate with the systems that power the mobile applications, even if they reside in different data centers or clouds. This can be achieved by moving on-premises infrastructure into the cloud or by adopting a microservices, API-based link between the disparate applications to enable seamless communications between them.
Anywhere operations are a superset of remote work, however, the anywhere operations model goes far beyond employees working from home. Some additional benefits of anywhere operations are:
Because anywhere operations goes beyond the workforce to embrace customers, there are opportunities to automate a broad range of processes and functions, bringing together information from multiple previously siloed applications to enable self-service for a broad range of customer interactions and transactions.
Anywhere operations encompasses new management solutions that can couple decentralized infrastructure, grating teams that include employees and customers access to information from any location, regardless of where people are accessing that information from. In this manner, anywhere operations enables a more resilient and flexible business, provides more choices for both employers and customers, and takes away geographic boundaries.