Opinion Piece: Agile teams need the support of agile infrastructure

By Amit Singh, Solution Architect at AlphaCodes

Agility is a key term surrounding IT today. In a rapidly shifting world, the ability to adapt, learn quickly and change to meet new requirements is critical to success. However, while agile methodology has long been applied to the development of new software and services, infrastructure has tended to be left behind. This is counterintuitive, since agile development simply cannot take place without the support of agile infrastructure. Taking agile methodology into infrastructure management is crucial to the adoption of new technology and the rollout of new features, products, services and solutions.

Shifting sands

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how important it is for enterprises to be flexible, and why agile is crucial for current and future operations. One of the key infrastructure trends for 2021, according to Gartner, is the ability to support the operations of a distributed enterprise while staff are working from anywhere.

IT infrastructure needs to be always on, always available, every day and every hour of every day. This is simply not possible using a traditional infrastructure methodology – the procurement cycle alone would cause operations to come to a halt should updates or replacements be required.

Organisations need infrastructure that supports the digital business, which means that  the strategy needs to evolve to provide agile infrastructure management. Infrastructure is no longer just about the hardware and software, but about delivering services that cater to business needs. Agile teams need the support of agile infrastructure to help them meet changing needs in a rapidly shifting environment and continuous delivery is key for business continuity. The infrastructure methodology needs to change to keep the end user at the core.

Empowering the end user

One of the ways to evolve the infrastructure is to empower end-user computing, enabling users with multiple devices to access applications and data from anywhere, any time. Enterprises need to be able to seamlessly integrate users with these devices, while securely delivering and managing a consistent desktop as well as always-on access to data. This is essential to enabling a remote or hybrid workforce to be productive wherever they are, no matter how rapidly they may need to shift location.

End-user computing enables businesses not only to respond to the changing needs of the workforce, but also make business-related decisions quickly and accurately with access to the right information whenever it is required. Ultimately it is all about speed, and agility. End-user computing adds an extra dimension to agile infrastructure management, scaling resources up or down as required, on the fly.

All about the data

Agile infrastructure and end-user computing are about bringing the full digital workspace to the entire organisation. This offers various benefits, from centralised remote IT management to enhanced security, centralised data storage, improved productivity and collaboration, and support for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). With a central, agile system, the experience is seamless and consistent no matter where a user is or what device they are using.

What agile infrastructure and end-user computing both boil down to is always-on access to data. It is essential today for business users to have the ability to be agile and have access to the information they need more securely and faster than ever, so that they can make better decisions quicker. This improves confidence in business decisions as well as business visibility, and makes compliance easier thanks to a homogenous environment.

Traditional models are no longer applicable in today’s world. With uncertainty governing the state of the future, the ability to act fast, adapt and change to meet a shifting environment is absolutely crucial to success.  Agility is at the heart of this.

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