Greetings, everyone! Each month, the infrastructure and operations (I&O) team writes incredible research. As a research director, I get to not only see the final outcome but also all of the work and client insights that went into its creation. For those who know me, I am quick to call these out via inquiry calls — but I’d love to capture this on a more permanent platform. For 2021, I’m hoping to blog each month, highlighting a few of my favorites and including links to the full body of work published that month.

On August 2, 2021, we launched Forrester Decisions — so there’s a ton of new research that hit the website in July and August. Simply put, I should never have consolidated July and August because there are so many excellent reports I want to feature. Normally, I pick two reports to highlight. This time, I’m going to highlight three. Here are my favorites for the months of July and August:

It’s Time To Rethink Shared Services — Shared services has a less-than-flattering reputation. Often, employees do everything in their power to avoid shared services whenever possible. They are associated with being gatekeepers or the “office of no,” while suffering from dated technology approaches. As companies think about breaking down siloes as they enable agile and DevOps, operations leaders often ask: What should we do with shared services? Forrester wholeheartedly believes that shared services will — and must — have a future. Why? Deep expertise must still live in our organization, and there still is value for shared, key platforms across multiple groups from an expense and expertise standpoint. But the modern shared services organization must evolve. This report digs into how to pivot shared services to the meet the needs of the modern enterprise.

Hot Desks Or Ice-Cold Employee Experiences — As companies — including Forrester — plan to return to the office, many are considering a hybrid approach. Although the concept of hot desks is not new, it is reemerging amid the global health pandemic as a way to facilitate an increasingly hybrid workforce and new forms of collaboration in the workplace. Those planning this approach not only have to face the typical challenges of change and hot desks but also new concerns for health and safety. This report pushes organizations to consider a more organized format than hot desks, with hoteling and the associated technology that can help facilitate a more intentional workspace.

The Rise Of JWCC Is A New Hope For Multicloud — The last report I’m highlighting is fun. If you’ve been following the US Department Of Defense’s (DoD) JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract, you know that it was a battle between multicloud and single-cloud strategies caught in the complexities of government contracting. At a time when multicloud was the predominate strategy, the DoD boldly came to market with a single-cloud strategy, seeking a single-cloud provider. Not only was this extraordinary for the cloud world at the time, it was extremely unusual for government. Their cloud leaders stated that it would allow them to move more quickly and be more successful at facilitating the modern war fighter. Simply put, rather than replicating skills and operations across multiple clouds, they could get really good at one cloud and standardize on a single set of APIs. This approach faced multiple rounds of lawsuits, complaints, and delays. Fast-forward a few years, and JEDI officially fell. Rising from its ashes is JWCC (Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability), which embraces a multicloud approach. Not only does this approach embrace much of the work done by the US Air Force and its Platform One rollout, it also pushes public cloud providers to enable a new level of portability that could change the market. This development is extremely exciting. All of this is then paired with a long list of Star Wars references (e.g., JEDI, Kessel run, and even the Baby Yoda Air Force logo holding a Kubernetes block). This might be the coolest cloud development in the last decade.

Our New Cloud Research:

Modernize With Cloud And New Computing Architectures — This is the new flagship report for Forrester’s cloud research, which also gives a brief introduction to our Cloud Strategy Fundamentals Model.

The Forrester Cloud Strategy Fundamentals Model — This report goes into depth on the Forrester Cloud Strategy Fundamentals Model. It outlines the major cloud platforms with the modern market nomenclature, the changes necessary to your practice (across your core operations and what you do with cloud [i.e., build, migrate, modernize, buy]), and the partners you will lean on to accelerate and support your strategy.

The Rise Of JWCC Is A New Hope For Multicloud — Highlighted above.

Modernize Core Applications With Cloud — This is a refreshed report on modernizing workloads. First and foremost, it tells you where to start and three steps to follow as you create a modernization strategy.

The Forrester Guide To Cloud Modernization — This is the follow-up to the report above that digs into the five approaches to modernize apps and the pros/cons of each.

Forrester’s Public Cloud Buying Guide, 2021 — Decide which public cloud platform is right for your organization.

Understanding Public Cloud Pricing Strategies To Save Money Today And Tomorrow — This report outlines the pricing strategies of the major platform providers today.

The Forrester Guide To Cloud Standards, 2021 — This report outlines the standards world and how it applies to the cloud market.

Don’t Let Capex-Based Budgets Dampen Your Cloud Plans — If you’re a capex-focused business, this report outlines how to best approach cloud, including FASB-86.

The Forrester Wave™: Hybrid Cloud Management Software In China, Q3 2021 — This is an evaluation of the hybrid cloud management solutions that serve the Chinese cloud marketplace as the “global” players often don’t support the major Chinese cloud platforms.

Fire Up Cloud-Based High-Performance Computing To Stoke Innovation — This is a refresh on the high-performance computing (HPC) report published in 2020.

Our New Tech Operations Research:

Deliver Modern, Resilient Operations — This is the new flagship report for Forrester’s operations research, which also gives a brief introduction to our Modern Technology Operations Model.

The Forrester Modern Technology Operations Model — This report goes into depth on the Forrester Modern Technology Operations Model. Think employee- and customer-centricity, continuous learning, breaking down communication and collaboration barriers, and refreshing classic practices like change, incident, and knowledge management.

Beware The Automation Paradox — This is a refresh from 2020.

Build The Foundation Of Proactive Technology Support — This report digs into the tools necessary for enabling a proactive help desk. Most of these solutions focus on comprehensive data collection, integration, and analysis to better understand the needs of your employees or to better anticipate or resolve outages.

Build The Business Case For AIOps — This is a refresh from 2020.

Digital Experience Is Part Of Your Job — This is a refresh from 2020.

Build Your Modern, Resilient Operations Plan Now — This is a refresh from 2020.

It’s Time To Rethink Shared Services — Highlighted above.

Hot Desks Or Ice-Cold Employee Experiences — Highlighted above.

The State Of Employee Computing, 2021 — This report, and its upcoming companion report on the future of employee computing, is the culmination of 40-plus interviews with operations leaders on their employee computing and device strategies in the modern world.

Design Your Future Fit Operating Model Around Leadership, Strategy, And Operations — This report gives specific advice around how to take your leadership, strategy, and operations context into account as you build out our operating model.

Is Your IT Operating Model High Performing? — This work stems from 20-plus interviews with key innovation leaders on how best to foster innovation. Ultimately, it requires a new operating model. Forrester has dedicated significant time to building out this new research. This report is a maturity assessment to help your team measure your current operating model against the demands of the modern enterprise.

Service: Services Enable The Customer Moment Of Truth — As part of our new operating model research, we are building out deep dives into each module of the operating model framework. This one digs into services.

Bios And Recent Research For Each Of Our Cloud And Tech Operations Analysts

Charles Betz

Jeffrey Hammond (AD&D)

Andrew Hewitt

Bill Martorelli

Will McKeon-White

Lee Sustar

Tracy Woo

Our International Analysts’ Bios And Research

Charlie Dai, based in Beijing, China

Sam Higgins, based in Sydney, Australia

Guannan Lu, based in Beijing, China

Paul Miller, based in London, England

Danny Mu, based in Beijing, China