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Looking AHEAD: 2022 Operations Trends

As organizations determine how to navigate today’s business world, enterprise leaders are constantly looking for new ways to streamline operations, leverage new tools, and align technical strategies with business value. But with so much to take into account, how can enterprises feel confident in their decision-making while continuing to push boundaries and innovate?

Below, AHEAD experts discuss some of their predictions for the future of operations as we enter the new year and offer their unique perspectives on where organizations should be focusing their time and effort.

Tim Curless, Chief Architect

Prediction: Insights, Observability & Action

AI/ML Operations will play an increasingly vital role in DevOps in 2022 by helping teams bolster automated testing, modeling, platform engineering, security, alerting, and feedback loops. Historically, teams have struggled to identify important metrics and take appropriate action based on those metrics, but observability tools are beginning to close the gap. What’s more, organizations such as DevOps Research & Assessment (DORA) are providing the gold standard list of key metrics, giving teams a better indication of what they should be looking for.

The next step in the process will be to determine how those metrics should influence strategy and priorities as well as the tactical prioritization of automation tasks. Observability tools tied to ServiceNow will provide application owners, DevOps teams, and the overall business with the visibility they have previously lacked. Concurrently, feeding observability data to a machine learning model will enable teams to further address operational support, increase scale, and create feedback loops to ensure better business and project outcomes.

Pam Coffey, Field CTO

Prediction: Better Business Alignment & Financial Transparency in IT

Technical strategies cannot be created in a vacuum, but too often, the IT organization doesn’t have a seat at the table when product or service strategy and decisions are made. This makes it difficult for technical leaders to map their strategy to the broader goals of the organization. That said, I think 2022 will be a year where CTOs become much more business aligned. The role will become even more involved in business strategy discussions and take on more of the responsibility to map technology back to business value and enablement.

The majority of IT spending forecasts strongly suggest that companies are going to continue investing in digital innovation and technology. According to AHEAD’s 2021 State of Digital Transformation Report, 70% of organizations were in the midst of a full digital transformation, with an additional 26% undergoing a limited transformation in select parts of the business. While more IT investment is a positive indicator for the trajectory of the industry at large, it is critical for organizations to understand what they’re spending money on to ensure success well beyond 2022.

IT projects should be focused on helping organizations generate revenue, so it is critical for these projects to align with and provide value to the overall business goals and objectives. A key consideration for organizations looking to increase IT spend in 2022 is to first work toward achieving IT financial transparency to illustrate how IT spending on projects and resources add value to the business. This transparency also helps to minimize non-value-added spending and can drive additional cost efficiencies within the IT organization. Aligning IT spend to business value will be critical for digital innovation in 2022 and beyond.

Ryan Hale, Director, Specialty Sales Engineering

Prediction: Employing End-to-End Asset Management & Soothing Integration Pain Points

In 2022, technology and business alignment will become a much more significant differentiator for enterprises. As the level of integration between apps and infrastructure increases, the effort to tie that data to business decisions becomes easier to accomplish. Most customers talk about implementing value stream mapping, and those that do that well will have a key differentiator in their business. Taking this same thought a level deeper, end-to-end asset management will become more prevalent for a few reasons:

  1. The cost benefit of doing so is too advantageous, particularly in terms of software asset management
  2. Robust hardware management can help organizations reduce down time while protecting themselves from risk on a variety of fronts (e.g., vulnerability management, risk and compliance, cost avoidance)

As we enter 2022, integration and automation remain as key pain points for organizations in nearly every industry. Most often, businesses have little-to-no integration strategy for their ITSM platform and don’t have a way to maximize their technical landscape, leading them to work in operational silos. By developing an integration strategy with governance baked into the process (i.e., standard changes, request management, etc.), organizations can deploy to production more quickly. Further, we will continue to see an increase in email-based processes (legal, HR, etc.) becoming structured workflows that organizations can track, manage, and measure. In some instances, bots will take over highly repetitive tasks via robotic process automation (RPA) as buzzwords like ‘hyperautomation’ enter the sphere of conversation.

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For more information on AHEAD’s Intelligent Operations Practice, get in touch with us today.

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