The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered our world in many ways – none more so than in the way we work. The emergencies brought to the fore by the sudden crisis has laid bare the capabilities and limitations of our current business infrastructures. Talking about the way forward for organizations in 2021, Gartner has predicted that operational resiliency and organizational plasticity will drive organizational reform going forwards.
The remote work paradigm will not dissolve with the pandemic. Rather, it’s expected to mutate and transform itself into a hybrid (blended virtual and physical) infrastructure wherein all participants in a business – employees, partners, stakeholders, vendors and more will not be bound by geographical boundaries and participate in the work place seamlessly from anywhere and at any time.
People centricity, location independence and resilient delivery (as proposed by Gartner) are the three themes tying into the concept of Anywhere Operations – the organizational paradigm that will increasingly shape the workplace as we know it by enabling connectivity and operations delivery anywhere going forward from 2021.
What is Anywhere Operations?
Broadly speaking, anywhere operations encompasses an organizational paradigm that enables anywhere customer support, employee activation irrespective of geographical location and deployment of products/ services anywhere. But, in practice, anywhere operations are much more than just enabling work from home, virtual customer support or remote deployment of products/ services. It provides unique new value additions across areas such as collaboration and productivity; truly secure remote access, increasing automation, use of cloud and edge infrastructure and more.
Anywhere operations can essentially be encapsulated as:
- Supports remote work (not just WFH) through secure access to proprietary business applications and information
- Support remote deployment of products/ services across a distributed infrastructure
- Supports business partners, stakeholders and customers with anytime, anywhere support
Gartner estimates that we can expect to see the impact of anywhere operations as soon as 2023 with close to 40% of organizations using anywhere operations to deliver optimized and blended virtual and physical total experience (TX) across customers, stakeholders and employees.
Challenges to implementing anywhere operations in a business context
While the premise of anywhere operations sounds highly promising and exciting, most businesses are nowhere close to bringing it into fruition in day-to-day operations. Many businesses continue to use legacy tools, such as using VPNs, SaaS and cloud applications and more, but the scope of these tools are limited. They are intended as a piecemeal solution to specific problems and tend to be limited to just that in daily functions.
Even piecing together several legacy tools remain a far cry from even approaching the level of integrated operations experience that anywhere operations promises to deliver. Now factor in the complexity of managing hundreds or thousands of geographically dispersed workers, vendors, customers and stakeholders and you start to get a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
None of the legacy tools offer a one-stop solution for managing both workers and operations delivery remotely. Solving for anywhere operations often scares businesses away simply because of the level of complexity, cost and disruption potentially involved in reorganizing set business processes.
However, despite the complexity of the problem that businesses face, the strident demand for seamless operations – both from customers and workers – is likely to push anywhere operations forward.
Most businesses will need to deploy technical solutions that can manage a decentralized enterprise network as well enable secure access to highly sensitive business data and applications to a spectrum of users, including employees, vendors, customers and more. This delivery will by necessity need to be both location and device agnostic to ultimately enable a highly flexible and resilient business operations culture.
This will also benefit businesses in terms of making a much wider talent pool of workers available to work on projects.
Relevance of the Anywhere Operations Model in 2021
With the digital-first, remote-first model here to stay for the long run, businesses should be looking at plugging gaps in customer experience with digital solutions for anytime, anywhere convenience. The same applies for the convenience of managing a remote workforce or delivering your business services virtually anywhere in the world.
Physical stores are likely to survive and thrive – with digital enhancements to improve the customer experience. Physically remote environments should cease to matter entirely as business operations get streamlined and designed for anytime, anywhere access.
This means enabling all users on your platform with unrestricted secure access and single sign-on capabilities to all applications that should be available on any and all endpoints/ devices. To reduce the concomitant increase in IT workload, much of the processes will need to be automated and managed through a single, unified administration console.
Moreover, applications will need to run independently from the back-end to ensure a smoother user experience and reduce downtime to near zeros. Most importantly, the more unified and integrated the operations console proves to be, the more it can save businesses from running up unnecessary costs to deliver and access all applications.
Anywhere Operations can add value in 5 core areas of business operations
Apart from ensuring infrastructure resilence and seamless operations delivery, anywhere operations can also help businesses achieve additional value in 5 core areas according to Gartner. These include:
- collaboration and productivity
- secure remote access
- cloud, and edge infrastructure
- quantification of the digital experience
- automation to support remote operations
Over 25 years, TGVT has specialized in crafting bespoke experiences in managing customer and employee experiences. We credit our success to business intuition honed over several decades of cross-industry experience and our skill in developing integrated solutions that transform to ‘plug and play’ experiences for businesses trying to address a critical technical problem.
We can help your organization usher in a much-needed digital transformation through the implementation of future proof tools and concepts, such as, Distributed Cloud, Anywhere Operations, Hybrid Cloud, Hybrid Office and more. TGVT is Vermont area’s trusted partner in delivering Enterprise IT solutions that encompass total experience across customers, workers, vendors and stakeholders through single, integrated solutions.