Gartner unveils vision for the infrastructure and operations revolution

Hear from the CIO, CTO and other C-level and senior executives on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit on January 12, 2022. Learn more


The next generation of Internet technology will be inspired and managed by the Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) teams. This week, Gartner launched his conference on IT infrastructure, operations and cloud strategies, with plans to organize the next generation of digital infrastructure.

“I&O leaders need to push for change, not just assimilate it,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, Gartner’s vice president of research.

To that end, Gartner says, presenters will engage in strategic negotiations, which means I&O leaders can take the lead in defining a strong, fast and secure future for the Internet. Sessions address many pressing issues that will define how the cloud can effectively deliver streaming data and web services to a world that continues to demand more data at a faster rate with more reliable emergencies. The sessions also focus on adding flexibility, confidence and speed through better architecture, design and planning.

Four trends in digital infrastructure

Hewitt sees many key trends in filling the agenda for CIOs, managers and staff.

First, teams will increasingly be called upon to use “just-in-time infrastructure” such as cloud machines and edge-hosted functions to deliver computing when needed. Instead of investing heavily in on-premises machinery, I&O teams can tap into the ease of deployment in on-demand cloud hardware.

Second, the next generation of AI-powered management systems will make it easier for I&O teams to respond quickly to changes in demand. These new tools are custom-built to support I&O functions, such as tracking virtual machines, APIs, storage and more. Many common jobs, such as responding to growing demand, can be made as simple as either automated or require only minimal manual attention.

Third, I&O teams will be called upon to make more complex decisions about data retention and data destruction in an environment where rules for compliance and user privacy compete. The next generation of IoT devices is generating more data than ever before, and the smartest organization will find ways to retain the appropriate bits that the user must have, while setting aside data that carefully destroys junk or sensitive records. Hewitt said the I&O workforce needs to work closely with their chief data officer to expand data literacy and effectively support data management across the enterprise.

Finally, Gartner predicts that the I&O world will need to grow as it assumes more responsibilities for essential assets. Many new companies claim to be “digital native” and much of their core business success depends on getting the right infrastructure.

Data management is a business need

Good teams will curate both the data and the skills to manage it properly. The world of data storage is changing rapidly, and teams will need to manage increasingly complex environments. While the operations team was once responsible for keeping only backup copies, they are now building complex data ecosystems that support a wide range of reporting and analytical capabilities. Many of the first and best applications for new AI algorithms are found in these large data collections, and the I&O team must move forward to understand their capabilities, as they are often the ones who must deliver ongoing solutions that generate functional insights. .

“The shelf life of technical skills is getting shorter,” Hewitt said. “As the I&O function is asked to provide more business justification for what they do, organizations are looking for new I&O jobs to have a business background rather than a rigorous technical degree.”

The virtual conference lasts until Wednesday.

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