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December 6, 2021

Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference 2021, Americas: 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. 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 the fundamentals of distributed cloud. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Gartner Opening Keynote: Adaptive Resilience to Empower the Anywhere Business

Presented by Dennis Smith, Douglas Toombs and Julia Palmer, VP Analysts, Gartner

The Covid-19 pandemic showed that infrastructure & operations (I&O) professionals can satisfy fast-changing business needs, but the future will be even more dynamic as businesses move quickly to exploit new opportunities. In the Opening Keynote, Dennis Smith, Douglas Toombs and Julia Palmer, VP Analysts at Gartner, explained how to transform I&O into an adaptive and resilient organization that can empower the anywhere business.

Key Takeaways

  • “Your mission in I&O can be summarized in three goals: 1) work hard to retain talent and staff; 2) seek out new talent where you may find it and 3) support and nurture talent beyond an environment where they can grow and evolve.”

  • “Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is fundamental to an adaptive organization.”

  • “Organizations in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 36% more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians.”

  • “Talent availability is the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies.”

  • “Building seamless integration can be a struggle. I&O leaders must be building towards having APIs everywhere. Any system that stores or processes data for your organization has a comprehensive, robust and well-documented API.”

  • “As an I&O leader you must be aggressive in making automation a first class-discipline in everything that you do.”

  • “I&O must evolve to adaptive operations. Adaptive operations bring together your talent and your platforms in multiple new ways, to support constant business change.”

  • “I&O leaders will have to learn to work towards adaptive operations, to focus on multiple business models, by automating everything to create efficiency while prioritizing elasticity.”

    Learn more from the Gartner Opening Keynote in the associated Gartner press release.

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The Top Trends Impacting Infrastructure and Operations

Presented by Jeffrey Hewitt, VP Analyst, Gartner

Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders are expected to be able to deliver more adaptable and resilient service from anywhere — and for an increasingly distributed workforce. In his session, Jeffrey Hewitt, VP Analyst at Gartner, identified the top emerging trends that are impacting I&O over the next 12 to 18 months.

Key Takeaways

  • Just-in-time infrastructure: Putting the right infrastructure in the right place - colocation, data center, at the edge and more - is just as important as how quickly the infrastructure can be deployed.

  • Digital natives: There is an opportunity for traditional I&O organizations to lead with innovation and leverage their digital-native counterparts that thrived during the pandemic to also produce highly agile and competitive offerings.

  • Management confluence: I&O is increasingly moving toward integration and operations, or how all of the required management capabilities, such as ITSM or AIOps, can be brought together in a single tool to drive agility. This also drives the need for composable technologies.

  • Data proliferation: Data is going to continue to multiply in variety, velocity and volume, and the onus is put on I&O to support its storage and access.

  • Business acumen: I&O leaders are guiding their functions through a rapidly changing and distributed technology environment, driving the need for new I&O hires to have less of a technical background and more of a business-based mindset.  
  • Career leaders to career lattices: Similar to the business acumen trend, I&O is moving away from single domain career paths driven by workloads and legacy technical skills, and more toward learning agility and cross-domain expertise.

Read more in the associated Gartner press release.

 

The Blurred Line Between Cloud, Data Center and Edge: What Is Distributed Cloud?

Presented by Angelina Troy, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Cloud providers have become increasingly interested in penetrating the customer's data center and edge environments. During this session, Angelina Troy, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, explained the state of the distributed cloud market and how this technology can enable customers to have local cloud capability while the provider handles operations, governance, maintenance and updates.

Key Takeaways

  • “Today we tend to use cloud as an adjective to describe a service and in the context of a particular method of delivery, rather than as a noun and a technical description.”

  • “The edge is, ultimately, a location — the location where people and things connect with the networked digital world. Edge computing is a distributed computing topology that takes advantage of the edge.”

  • “Distributed cloud takes the basics of these two terms and blends them into a single concept. Distributed takes those cloud services and pushes them to other locations, while the provider maintains responsibility for operating those services.”

  • “Solutions are widely available that require the user of the service to maintain and operationalize it, but far fewer are available where the burden is undertaken by the cloud provider.”

  • “One way to interpret the goal of distributed cloud is that it delivers efficient, cloud-native services to end users wherever they happen to be.”

  • “Where you begin with public cloud services will have a huge effect on what your options are and what path you have towards distributed cloud.”

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