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December 7, 2020

Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference, taking place this week virtually in the Americas and EMEA. Below is a collection of the key announcements, and insights coming out of the conference. 

On Day 1 from the conference, we are highlighting the Gartner opening keynote, the top trends impacting infrastructure and operations (I&O), and how to tackle the I&O skills gap. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Gartner Opening Keynote: Reinvent Your Digital Foundations to Drive the Resilient Enterprise

Presented by Christopher Mixter, VP, Advisory, Gartner

As infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders emerge from COVID-19 cost optimization pressures into the Renew phase of the Reset, it is imperative they invest in innovation. In the Gartner Opening Keynote, Christopher Mixter, VP, Advisory at Gartner outlined the four components of infrastructure-led innovation that I&O leaders must embrace to reinvent their digital foundations and drive a resilient enterprise.

Key Takeaways

  • “There has never been a more important time to be an infrastructure leader.”
  • “2020 awakened enterprises to the fact that I&O is capable of far more than merely ‘keeping the lights on.’”

  • “Infrastructure-led innovation is a progressive way of thinking in I&O that helps stakeholders overcome business challenges and enable growth by using infrastructure technology and operational practices that enhance customer experiences and solutions.”

  • “The four capabilities that comprise infrastructure-led innovation are: 1) cost intelligence, 2) workforce transformation, 3) platform ops, and 4) marketing.”

  • “Effective I&O leaders aren’t waiting for the new normal; they’re capitalizing on their unprecedented visibility and positive sentiment from the broader organization.”

  • “I&O leaders should now build an innovation platform, apply cost intelligence, lower technical debt, forward-fill skills and enable anywhere operations to be relevant in the post-COVID-19 world.”

    More information can be found in the Gartner press release.

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Top Trends Impacting Infrastructure and Operations

Presented by Jeffrey Hewitt, VP Analyst, Gartner

The scenarios created by COVID-19 are influencing almost all of the trends that infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders will be facing in the next 12-18 months. In this session, Jeffrey Hewitt, VP Analyst at Gartner, identified the six top emerging trends that are impacting I&O in 2021.

Key Takeaways

  • Anywhere Operations enables organizations to decentralize staff and activate operations where it makes business sense.”

  • Optimal Infrastructure involves developing programmable infrastructure that enables the right work in the right place at the right time.”

  • Operational Continuity ensures IT services are continuous as workloads support increasingly geographically dispersed end users.”

  • Core Modernization should be viewed as an ongoing process rather than a one-time project. Enterprises will need to coordinate infrastructures on- and off-premises that minimize legacy drag.”

  • Distributed Cloud is the future of cloud computing. It decentralizes cloud resources and shifts the burden of support to cloud service providers.” 

  • Critical Skills Versus Critical Roles is the idea that I&O talent requirements will evolve from focusing on roles to skills as organizations adapt to new business environments.”

    More information can be found in the Gartner press release.

Scaling for Digital Success — Tackling the I&O Skills Gap

Presented by Ross Winser, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Through the next decade, the skills and knowledge required of infrastructure and operations professionals will bear little resemblance to those needed in today’s organizations. In his session, Ross Winser, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, shared practical advice for navigating the I&O skills gap to survive and thrive in a world of consistent, unending change. 

Key Takeaways

  • “According to respondents of this year’s infrastructure and operations leaders survey, the skills challenge ranks as the number one threat to their success.”

  • “Ground your thinking about skills in the concepts of supply and demand. We have to figure out which skills to supply in order to respond to the demands placed on our team.”

  • “Take a bit of a reset on how your management team views skills. Leaders that have come up through a classic technical path tend to focus very closely on the technical skills needed to do a job.” 

  • “Technical breadth, which is going to enable people to stretch into new areas, is really important when working on small, fast-moving projects and when working with technologies that are converging together.”

  • “Ensure that you’re assessing enough versatility for the infrastructure and operations function of the future. Things like cloud migration are as much about planning and convincing, forecasting and understanding business needs, as they are about technical skills.”

  • “Only about a third of employees think their manager can help them with skills development. Without effective line managers, we have a huge reskilling bottleneck.”

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