Opinion: The Shift To Hybrid

Whether you love or hate it, hybrid working has become an integral part of our professional landscape. With extensive experience in IT services and consultancy, Gerry Flanagan sheds light on market trends, the impact of Covid on cloud engagements and the shift towards a more flexible, decentralised workforce.

It’s now clear that the shift to hybrid is a fixed part of the world of work today. It’s a fundamental shift in the working landscape. But, for IT professionals, there are some critical aspects of navigating the shift to the cloud.

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Gerry Flanagan

Remote and hybrid working can cause significant challenges to overcome but also some opportunities along the way. For some organisations, there are concerns about data security and vendor lock-in and day-to-day concerns about employee productivity. Working on many IT migration projects, I wanted to share my experience addressing and overcoming these challenges.

Hybrid working is now the new normal for many employees and it has transformed our need for remote collaboration and accelerated cloud adoption. Many organisations now offer new hybrid working flexibility, which brings an element of decentralisation. The days of a 9-5 desk are a distant memory. 

As this new working pattern evolves, it brings with it implications for infrastructure adjustments. One area is service level agreements (SLAs), which can be complex to navigate but there is a heightened need to examine these agreements closely and align expectations and metrics with service providers for these new ways of working. We can no longer define an SLA based on standalone metrics; we need to look at them in relation to each other and through understanding the intricacies of these SLAs, businesses can ensure that their cloud engagements are optimised to deliver better ROI.

So, the question is, how can we streamline operations and enhance efficiency for employees when hybrid working? A great place to start is by looking at the principles of service integration and management (SIAM). By implementing SIAM frameworks to focus on outcomes rather than activities, organisations can streamline operations, enhance efficiency and ensure seamless collaboration across diverse IT ecosystems, which can improve productivity and play a vital role in facilitating hybrid working environments.

Moving away from looking at people, process and technology, there is a need for IT organisations to redefine themselves in terms of the cloud, ecosystems, capabilities and platforms. SIAM principles focus on integrating multiple service providers, managing complex IT environments and delivering cohesive services to end-users. In remote and hybrid working contexts, SIAM principles provide a structured approach to managing hybrid IT landscapes, enabling organisations to leverage cloud technologies while maintaining high levels of effective operational excellence.

There are many opportunities as we embrace hybrid working and continue to navigate the ever-changing work landscape. If we leverage cloud technologies effectively, organisations can not only drive innovation and enhance collaboration but they can also stay ahead of the digital game. By putting the correct strategies in place, the future world of work can deliver many positive opportunities for organisations and their workforce willing to embrace and adapt to these changes.

Gerry Flanagan, BSc IT(Hons) CITP FBCS, is an IT Consulting Practitioner, Scopism Community SIAM Expert and Fellow of BCS: The Chartered Institute for IT.

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