As companies and organizations discover the benefits of remote work, they also discover the limitations of current work-from-home practices.
This article will discuss a strategic technology trend that solves these limitations and is bound to become a standard for many organizations: Anywhere operations.
What are anywhere operations?
Anywhere operation is an organizational model that allows IT companies to fully operate remotely while supporting customer service, enabling employees, and managing the deployment of products/services from anywhere in the world.
This is possible thanks to cloud technology and a decentralized infrastructure independent of one location, server, firewall, etc.
The anywhere operations model might sound like work from home; however, it goes beyond its capabilities. Work from home allows companies to continue operations without the need for employees to be at the office.
And while it is undoubtedly a functional model for some businesses, it presents limitations for many organizations, especially IT companies.
This is where anywhere operations come in to solve the management limitations of work from home. It can be considered as the next step of work from home.
The anywhere operations model utilizes new management solutions and a decentralized infrastructure to allow IT companies to be genuinely independent of physical location.
What are the differences between anywhere operations and work from home?
It’s important to fully understand the differences between these two models to successfully implement an anywhere operations strategy.
So, let’s take a look at some characteristics that set anywhere operations apart from work from home:
- Decentralized infrastructure
- Remote access model that supports employees, contractors, and customers
- Secure remote access to information protected against cyberthreats
- Improved automation capabilities
- Access to a broad talent pool
These differences are also some of the benefits of this operational model. We will explore them further in the following section.
Benefits of anywhere operations
Thanks to the constant development of new technologies and software, the world of IT and tech companies advance faster than any other industry.
This presents CTOs with the challenge of staying up to date with new advancements to support the company’s growth while managing the high costs of upgrading and maintaining an IT infrastructure.
Anywhere operations reduce costs of aging hardware, improves employee and customer experience, and give companies access to a broad talent pool of experts ready to join the team.
Let’s take a closer look at these benefits:
Anywhere operations are not just for employees. It also allows companies to offer better customer experiences. One example of this is customer service.
Providing the best customer service has always been a challenge. Every year the quality standard gets higher, and customers get used to that. If there is no advancement in a company’s customer service, then they get left behind no matter how good the product is.
In fact, 33% of Americans report they will consider switching companies after a single instance of poor service. With that in mind, it’s not difficult to understand why $62 billion are lost annually by U.S. companies due to poor customer service.
Anywhere operations allow companies to solve this issue by giving them the capability to employ workers in different time zones. Thanks to the decentralized infrastructure, workers can collaborate and share information as if they were in an office together and offer quick customer service at any time.
Now customers don’t have to wait until the next day to get a solution for their problems.
Collaboration and productivity
The COVID-19 pandemic rushed companies into a work-from-home modality, and many of them adapted well to this change. Mainly because of remote work tools and because eventually, they would go back to the office.
They thought of work from home as a temporary solution because they know these tools have limitations.
Limitations that are solved by anywhere operations. This model lets employees access company data and systems at any moment from any device, boosting collaboration and productivity.
In addition, anywhere operations empower employees by allowing them to work in their own schedule while achieving the company goals. It’s not surprising that 77% of telecommuters report being more productive than in an office.
Secure remote access
We’ve mentioned secure remote access before, but what does that mean? It means that people in an organization can access any relevant data from any device at any moment from anywhere in the world with protection protocols against cyber threats.
Some examples of cybersecurity strategies that work with anywhere operations are multifactor and password-less authentication, Zero Trust Network Access, and Secure Access Service Edge.
Having secure remote access is a priority for any remote work, and cloud infrastructure is the only way to achieve it.
Another thing that secure remote access helps with is disaster recovery (DR). Many external factors can impede a business from running properly. Factors like natural disasters or even the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many unprepared companies to change into a work-from-home modality. Resulting in disruption of business.
With the cloud infrastructure of anywhere operations, a DR plan becomes simpler. Since physical factors don’t affect and everything is remotely accessible, businesses can continue operating smoothly.
Another benefit of having a decentralized cloud infrastructure is that it allows the automation of various processes. Companies worldwide are automating as many processes as possible because they have figured out that employees spend a lot of time on repetitive manual tasks.
These tasks can become frustrating and even lead to human errors. Automation eliminates that factor. A company can automate transactions, approvals, and workflows, among other processes, to free employees from manual tasks that only waste time.
In addition, companies are also able to automate product and service deployment. Automation in combination with AI is a great tool to let your employees spend their time solving complex issues instead of doing mundane tasks.
Migrating from the current system to a cloud-based, anywhere operations model can seem like an expensive project. However, in the short and long term, it is cost-effective.
What really is expensive is hardware. The costs of upgrading and maintaining an aging IT infrastructure are much more expensive. Now add the fact that as the IT equipment ages, its performance drops considerably. This is due to the fact that software is based on current technology, giving hardware a short lifespan.
Since you don’t have to worry about these costs, anywhere operations end up being a lower-cost alternative.
One of the biggest limitations for businesses that are not using an anywhere operations model is talent acquisition. For a person to be hired, they don’t only need the proper qualifications, but they also need to live in the same city as the office. This fact reduces the talent pool significantly.
While this might sound like a problem work from home solves, it still has limitations compared to anywhere operations.
Oftentimes, a work-from-home role still requires that the employee is near the office for many reasons. Usually, this is the case for companies who had to adapt to this modality due to the pandemic, which is still location-dependent.
With anywhere operations, workers should be able to literally be anywhere and still be able to access relevant information for their work.
Companies that apply this strategy successfully have no geographical limitations for hiring. They can focus on building the right team and not worry about relocation or sponsorships.
A great way for organizations to handle talent acquisition once they are free of geographical limitations is through nearshore staff augmentation.
We will tell you more in the next section.
What is nearshore staff augmentation?
You might have heard this term in recent years, especially as IT companies are starting to employ remote work modalities more and more.
So, what exactly is staff augmentation?
Staff augmentation is an outsourcing strategy that allows companies to hire tech talent from anywhere in the world and manage them directly as your team. They can be hired for the short or long term, depending on the company’s goals.
With this in mind, nearshore staff augmentation means the same thing, but the company chooses candidates in neighboring countries. The purpose of doing this is that neighboring countries expand the talent pool while having similar time zones and language.
This might sound similar to project outsourcing; however, the main difference is the following:
Staff augmentation firms handle everything from recruiting, hiring, and training to management. Allowing companies to quickly add skilled talent to the current team and work directly for the CTO or manager.
This talent acquisition strategy is great when you want to add skilled tech professionals quickly to your team.
Benefits of nearshore staff augmentation
Now, let’s explore the specific benefits of building your IT team through nearshore staff augmentation. Some of the benefits include:
- No infrastructure investment
- Less time spent on recruiting
- Less expensive than in-person staff
- Similar time zones
- Easy integration with your team
- Full control over developers, project, and budget
Over to you…
An anywhere operations model provides a modern solution to many challenges IT companies face nowadays. And while it might sound easier to stay with the current management model, in the long run, it might make your company get left behind.
According to Gartner, by the end of 2023, 40% of organizations will have applied anywhere operations. Will your company be one of them?