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Pandemic Response for I&O – Sometimes There is a Better Model!

by Bob Gill  |  April 21, 2020  |  2 Comments

Over the past few months, one thing we are all getting accustomed to are frameworks and models that attempt to predict the future. Every day, whether on television or online, we are exposed to a growing number of health and economic models that, much like a roadmap, detail where we are, and given a set of variables, where we are likely to arrive. In my past few blogs, I’ve described a series of three phases, starting with 1) Triage, progressing through 2) Stabilization/Reassessment, and a brighter future in 3) “Accelerating Out of the Turns”, or setting ourselves up in such a way that we not only rebound, but emerge stronger, faster, and better than before (a little like the old TV show, the “Six Million Dollar Man!”) But sometimes, particularly in models, someone does it better, and you just must get onboard.

My colleagues, Hung LeHong and Tomas Nielsen, have introduced the model shown below, which not only captures my thoughts better than I could, but offers an amazing, scenario planning-like projection of potential paths forward, highlighting the possibilities and pitfalls awaiting enterprises as they prepare for “the Great Reset”.

Pandemic Planning Framework

While it appears at first to be complex, it is actually beautiful in its simplicity and inclusiveness.  What you see here is analogous to a detailed road atlas of the world, with many of the major routes shown.  YOUR path, based on the actions you take, will only travel ONE of the lines. Our mutual goal is to try and guide you along one of the paths to the upper right. Rest assured there are already several variants of the paths mapped out, such that even in industries that have dipped along the orange lines into negative territory due to vertically specific circumstances (think hospitality, travel, big box retail), there are ways to force the inflection point of the orange line and drive the tail towards the upper right.

Going forward, I will be using these three phases (Respond, Recover, Renew) to describe the actions Infrastructure and Operations leaders should take.  Our next blogs will address how I&O leaders can use the transformational potential of Cloud and Edge to target the “Re-scale and Re-Invent” destinations at the upper right.  In the I&O Research Group, we’ve been writing about “Infrastructure Led Disruption” for several months now. In a twist straight from Science Fiction stories, where the external force (“Deus Ex Machina”) comes along and shakes things up, we’ve been disrupted.  How we respond is up to us.

Stay safe, and let’s look out for one another.

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Bob Gill
Research VP
22 years at Gartner
41 years IT Industry

Mr. Gill is a leading authority in data center planning, aligning business and IT strategy, cloud computing, edge computing architectures, managed DNS, content distribution, and colocation. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Pandemic Response for I&O – Sometimes There is a Better Model!


  1. Rich Byrnes says:

    This is excellent, Bob. The model really helps to clarify.

  2. Thanks Bob, this is a great illustration as to how we see the I&O teams at some of PagerDuty’s customers are not only finding ways to survive, but thrive and scale during the ‘Respond’ phase of your model. See https://www.pagerduty.com/blog/it-teams-solving-faster-covid19/ for the details.



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