Highlights From Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference

By Alexis Wierenga | December 06, 2023

Executive Insights from Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference

The Role of the Manager in Building a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Organization

Managers can make or break DEI strategy, but few truly excel in this important role. Lisa Pierce, Gartner VP, Advisory, shared what the best managers are doing differently to help translate their organizations’ DEI strategies into real outcomes.

Lisa Pierce Speaking at IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference

“One in two candidates who experience bias in their interactions with hiring managers discontinue their application process.”

Lisa Pierce, VP, Advisory at Gartner

To drive DEI outcomes as an evolved manager:

  • Take ownership for addressing systemic bias. Identify existing biases in talent recruiting processes and get involved in employee resource groups.

  • Advocate for underrepresented talent. Educate managers about the emotional toll of being treated differently than one's peers and how being constantly on guard impacts employee well-being and productivity.

  • Incorporate inclusion into day-to-day activities: Help the team find and use resources that support their work while making decisions in a consistent and transparent way.

Leadership Actions to Take for I&O Automation Success

Successful automation is imperative for I&O leaders to meet expectations for service quality and sustain the pace of operations. Gartner Sr Director Analyst Chris Saunderson covered how leaders can address these challenges and deliver cost improvements by strategically planning for automation.

Chris Saunderson Speaking at IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference

“By 2027, heads of I&O who focus on enterprisewide automation delivery will double the value delivered by service quality and cost improvement efforts.”

Chris Saunderson, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner

Embed these principles in your organization to adopt an automation-first approach:

  • Treat automation as a product. Practice iterative development and rapid innovation, and test, release and validate with your customer — even if you are your own customer.

  • Develop a phased strategy. Pilot cross-domain I&O automation, communicate the value returned and continue to deliver.

  • Sense and adapt to changes in customer needs. This is how you ensure you’re delivering value to your customer and spending resources wisely. 

  • Be value-focused: Identify the value and the beneficiary of an automation activity, then confirm that the product you deliver generates that value.

  • Constantly adjust and adapt. Respond to changes in your business, technology and people topologies.

Opening Keynote: Empowered People and Groundbreaking Innovations Deliver Your Future

As generative AI and platform engineering practices promise to accelerate decision making and enable an adaptable infrastructure. Gartner Distinguished VP Analysts Thomas Bittman and Dennis Smith and Sr Principal Analyst Autumn Stanish shared how to empower your team with the capabilities needed to transform your I&O future.

To embrace generative transformation:

  1. Use GenAI. Build a plan with skills development at the forefront to multiply the productivity of your staff and transform how they do their jobs.

  2. Apply infrastructure platform engineering principles. Treat users as customers, leverage software engineering practices and invest in automation and orchestration skills.

  3. Foster a generative mindset. Hire for capabilities, facilitate creative skills growth and build a culture of experimentation.

“Generative transformation is about continuously transforming; continuously improving performance, efficiency, and service delivery; and continuously adapting to new technologies to meet new business objectives — all at the speed of business.”

Thomas Bittman, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner

Infrastructure and Operations Leadership Recommendations for 2024

To enable growth, you must help scale initiatives throughout the enterprise, even amidst significant external and internal challenges. In this session, Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Nathan Hill highlighted the key issues and trends impacting I&O and outlined leadership actions for success in 2024 and beyond.

Nathan Hill Speaking at IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference

“The goal is not balance between supply and demand. The goal is to meet the most profitable and mission-critical demand with the resources available.”

Nathan Hill, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner

Take these actions to meet challenges, prioritize resources and align to top business priorities:

  • Use resilience to manage technical debt. Increase reliability, tolerability and recoverability to minimize debt in new services and remove it from existing ones.

  • Attract and retain top talent. Attend to overlapping attraction and attrition drivers while upskilling employees, especially when it comes to their critical thinking.

  • Pursue top I&O GenAI use cases. Focus on content generation, knowledge discovery and conversational AI to better support the business and empower an augmented I&O workforce.

Check back later this week for more live coverage from Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference.

About Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference

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Thomas Bittman is a Vice President and Distinguished Analyst with Gartner Research. Mr. Bittman has led the industry in areas such as cloud computing, virtualization, and edge computing. He was an early pioneer for the concept of private cloud computing and invented the term "real-time infrastructure" in 2002 (a precursor to private cloud computing). Mr. Bittman served for three years as a member of Gartner's Senior Research Board. In 2005, he earned Gartner's Analyst of the Year Award. He has served as Gartner's Lead Analyst covering IBM, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. His primary focus of research is edge computing and the future of infrastructure.

Dennis Smith is a Distinguished Vice President, Analyst in the Infrastructure and Operations organization. He is responsible for research in the areas of cloud computing, infrastructure platform engineering and container technologies.

Autumn Stanish is a Sr. Principal Analyst with Gartner in the I&O Digital Workplace Transformation group. Her research addresses IT sustainability and the role of I&O in corporate ESG initiatives. In addition to sustainability, she also supports IT leaders with employee device trends and procurement strategies, including DEX tools, lifecycle planning and vendor selection.

Nathan Hill is a Chief of Research with Gartner's Infrastructure & Operations (I&O) Research. He researches and sets the direction and framework for research across all I&O domains, including Cloud and Edge Computing, AI & Machine Learning, Automation, Infrastructure Agility, Continuous Operations, and DevOps, Digital Workplace I&O, and IT Service Management. He has been the Global Conference Chair for Gartner I&O events (physical and virtual). He frequently works with and advises executives, globally, in large and small enterprises, investors, governments, technology and service providers.

Chris Saunderson covers automation and orchestration methodologies at Gartner, with a primary focus on the life cycle of systems from build to run to retire. Mr. Saunderson has 10 years of experience as an automation architect, architecting task and process automation solutions to address IT needs. His coverage includes the impact of automation and orchestration on the I&O organization. He has an emphasis on improving the programmability of infrastructure elements, and the improvement of system availability and maintainability.

Lisa Pierce is a Research Vice President providing coverage on Network as a Service (NaaS), U.S. broadband infrastructure and remote work connectivity, managed WAN, LAN/WiFi and SD-WAN, NFV/uCPE, 4G/5G mobile and WAN services (US and European MPLS, Ethernet, Internet); public and private WAN-cloud connectivity (SDCI, cloud hubs); UCaaS and SIP trunks. During her tenure at Gartner, Ms. Pierce has served as the Managing Vice President of the Enterprise Network Systems and Services research team, and of the Enterprise UC, Network Systems and services team.

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