By 2023, approximately 40% of organizations will transition to Anywhere Operations, a digital-first and remote-first operating model that supports distributed workforces. Many organizations are familiar with hybrid work models in large credit to the mass shift to remote work in 2020 to prioritize public health during a global pandemic.
In this article, we'll investigate the differences between hybrid work models and the Anywhere Operations framework. Furthermore, we'll dive into why your organization should embrace the latter to support your teams and customers.
Hybrid Work Model vs. Anywhere Operations
The hybrid work model is arranged to serve your staff's ability to (1) work remotely for some days of the week and (2) come into the office on other days to accomplish tasks. In contrast, the Anywhere Operations framework encompasses hybrid work models, yet it also goes beyond.
Gartner defines Anywhere Operations as "a digital-first, remote-first operating model that enables greater operational efficiency, improves worker productivity, and democratizes access to a diverse and geographically distributed workforce."
Anywhere Operations is people-centric and location-independent, allowing organizations to empower their employees to work from anywhere, while serving clients everywhere. With the increasing shift to more online work and business, this framework positions your company to fluidly respond to industry-wide changes and establish greater dominance in the marketplace.
How Anywhere Operations Goes Beyond
Key advantages to leveling up from a hybrid work model to Anywhere Operations:
1. Harnessing Digital-First & Remote-First
Simply stated, hybrid work models are not fully location-independent. With a dualistic focus on work-from-home or office-based work, hybrid business models often neglect accounting for unique circumstances like client-site visits or on-location work arrangements. The digital-first and remote-first approach of Anywhere Operations prioritizes securing your company's digital assets and your customer's sensitive information from anywhere.
As Gartner advises in its report of Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021: Anywhere Operations, when "digital becomes the default experience and remote the default delivery model," several enablement technologies must be prioritized, including secure access. For example, one key Anywhere Operations priority will be provisioning protected access to your internal network via a VPN connection. We've shared a few pro-tips on how to optimize your VPN for Anywhere Operations.
2. Eliminating Risks with Enablement Technologies
The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement re-surfaced with a new wave of interest during 2020's global shift to remote work. We have since seen a massive explosion in how organizations are innovating solutions to achieve business continuity. However doing so on non-corporate networks or non-corporate devices has considerable risks. Most businesses have at least considered BYOD for various reasons, including the driving assumption that BYOD delivers cost-savings.
However, the cost-savings argument seldom holds up once you consider the cybersecurity risks associated with BYOD. In practice, BYOD also means that your employees are the ones who provide the operating systems and applications; and typically at a lower function tier than is appropriate for your company. Furthermore, deploying security agents and policies are seldom carried to 100% completion in most BYOD situations. This exposes the reality that BYOD equipment can easily be exploited by bad actors as the foothold into your network.
Most hybrid work models do not fully account for or address BYOD risks. The Anywhere Operations framework closes this gap with the emphasis on equipping your distributed workforce with standardized enablement technologies to build organizational resilience.
Anywhere Operations harnesses distributed cloud technologies, collaboration and productivity tools, and secure access solutions to maintain a decentralized infrastructure that supports your operations.
3. Promoting Disaster Recovery Planning
In 2020, remote work models were largely adopted out of necessity and in reaction to the challenge of a global pandemic. However, Gartner predicts "organizations that emerge successfully from the pandemic will have an anywhere operations foundation."
Anywhere Operations establishes a proactive posture that promotes disaster recovery planning for unexpected incidents in your future, such as power outages, natural weather, cyberattacks, and other disruptive events. The degree of business continuity planning orchestrated within an Anywhere Operations framework will enhance your company's organizational resilience and safeguard its marketplace position and profitability.
4. Improving Contactless Interactions
With an emphasis on a digital-first and location-independent infrastructure, many organizations have discovered that Anywhere Operations also unlocks greater cost-savings around physical building and utility expenses, yielding significant opportunities to invest in other areas of the business. Nevertheless, it's not necessary for businesses to fully eliminate their office or commercial real estate when adopting Anywhere Operations. Many customer interactions, research, manufacturing, and value-creating work require a defined physical space for the business.
The key takeaway is that when your customers and staff are at your place of business, they should not experience different outcomes from your business' services or systems. No one wants to interact with a business online and then discover at the storefront that the staff there are unaware or unable to provide the services you requested from their website or mobile app. No staff member should have to follow an entirely different set of procedures to access the same data or applications they use at the office vs. away from the office.
If the experience for your staff and customers are different when they are at your premises or remote, it would suggest you are dedicating unnecessary or inconsistent resources to maintain two different operations. With customer and employee expectations clearly trending towards Anywhere Operations, we strongly recommend focusing on digital-first, remote-first technology investments.
Anywhere Operation's digital-first emphasis promotes the efficiencies of contactless interactions, while preserving the value of personal interactions delivered across virtual and physical environments. Furthermore, Anywhere Operations focuses on digitally enhancing physical spaces wherever they are required in the business plan.
Embracing Anywhere Operations
Anywhere Operations offer several advantages for your organization. Net Friends is your expert Managed Services Provider and trusted IT partner. We will help you seamlessly optimize your work model to support your team and customers from anywhere. Contact us today to get our expert assistance in adopting Anywhere Operations and reap the rewards for your company.