«Anywhere Operations»: Providing Business Continuity from Any Location

By Andrés Santamaría, General Manager for Latin America of Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.

The health and economic crisis that began in March 2020 forced all organizations in Latin America to adapt quickly to the new working and market conditions. The companies that had not yet digitized their processes and relied heavily on face-to-face work had trouble getting their business off the ground, but those that already had technological tools and a more advanced digital culture kept their business afloat. For this reason, the «Anywhere Operations» model is now high on the priority list of CEOs and CIOs.

Anywhere operations focuses on using information technology (IT) to support employees and deliver services to them, no matter where they are; support customers regardless of their location; and manage all services across distributed infrastructures. According to a report by Gartner Research, this model has a «digital first», «remote first» approach and can make operations more efficient, in any industry, and improve productivity.

«Digital first»: All work should be done digitally and virtually. This should be the default way of doing business. Paper-based or analog solutions should be avoided.

«Remote first»: The default service delivery model for the company should be remote working. Technology should focus on delivering, primarily, remote solutions for workers and customers.

Gartner estimates that in just three years, 40% of companies across all industries will have implemented an «Anywhere Operations» model to ensure a perfect experience, both virtual and physical, for their employees and customers.

«Anywhere Operations in Banking and Retail

Anywhere Operations improves the experience of employees, customers and business partners, regardless of whether they are in physically remote environments (even IT can work remotely). This is possible because the model allows enabling, accessing and delivering services from anywhere. Let me show you an example of how Anywhere Operations would operate in the banking sector.

Imagine a bank delivering a convenient, unified experience to all of its customers, with real-time, interactive features, while eliminating all interruptions for its account holders to use their payment methods as they see fit. This means that the bank could create accounts, hand out cards and give instant access to its customers to start making purchases.

If you were a customer of that bank, you could create an account from your phone, quickly, easily and without physical interaction, and access digital versions of your credit and debit cards, to start shopping in physical stores or online. You would only have to load your digital card through an application on your phone and that’s it: pay!

If your physical card is lost or stolen, you can still use the digital alternative to continue shopping while the replacement plastic arrives.

Remote customer service, like the one in this example, is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come. Anywhere operations can also include physical spaces with digital innovations, to offer unique experiences and added value that cannot be delivered remotely. This is the case with physical Amazon Go stores. There, customers can shop without waiting in line to pay. Shoppers simply open an Amazon account and download the Amazon Go app on their phone. When they enter the store, they are prompted to scan the app; then they can shop and check out without paying.

Using technology, products are automatically detected when they are removed or returned to the shelves and tracked in a virtual cart. When the customer checks out, he or she can leave the store. Amazon Go will charge their account afterwards.

These are just two examples of the potential for on-the-go transactions, and companies should prepare for this business model, which is predicted to grow rapidly over the next two to three years.

To achieve good results with Anywhere Operations, companies will have to implement technology that automates all operations, gives traceability to all processes and manages all requests and requirements from different areas quickly and efficiently.

To achieve good results with Anywhere Operations, companies will have to implement technology that automates all operations, gives traceability to all processes and manages all requests and requirements from different areas quickly and efficiently.

If you are the CEO or CIO of your company, I invite you to examine the business impact of supporting employees, customers and digital infrastructure from anywhere, but keep in mind that this model goes beyond enabling workforce with mobile devices and remote access. It describes an organization that uses technology, team structures, processes, skills and tools to empower a dispersed workforce, leverage a distributed infrastructure and serve a ubiquitous customer base.

«Anywhere Operations is designed to reach customers, empower employees, and use digital technologies to deliver business services from and anywhere.

As a business operating model, Gartner believes Anywhere Operations offers a huge competitive advantage by enabling growth in new markets, building organizational resilience, and supporting workforce security and productivity.

Remember that in the new normal, it is no longer necessary to be in a specific location, interacting face-to-face, to maximize value and efficiency.