The workplace has moved beyond the PC as the only means to work. Influenced by their consumer experiences, employee expectations for collaboration have reached new heights. Collaboration must meet the needs of the mobile workplace – including extending beyond the corporate issued laptop to their device and platform of choice. Anywhere you go collaboration is top of mind for business executives and knowledge workers alike, and they are no longer willing to accept a work environment in which stepping away from your PC turns you into a second-class contributor.
This is putting a lot of pressure on technology leaders from the CIO and the VP of IT, to the VP of Applications. They’re being tasked with creating and supporting a mobile, social, visual, and virtual workspace that unlocks the potential each person brings to the table. People working together can achieve extraordinary things. Today’s challenge for technology and business leaders alike is how to best bring them together over distance as participants in a global economy. The crux of the challenge is to empower people to work their way – where, when and how they want – without limits. How do you architect a solution that supports the way people in a wide variety of roles want to work and on their device of choice? How do you provide a user experience that can engage them all in a way that brings out and connects their expertise and enthusiasm to fuel creativity and innovation? How do you empower, engage and innovate to unlock the potential in each person?
To get an idea of the scope of this challenge, check out our new at-a-glance “Collaboration in the Post-PC Era” graphic embedded at the end of this blog. In it you’ll meet five people who represent some of the roles technology and business leaders have to empower, and also learn some amazing facts about the trends driving this dramatic evolution of the way people work, communicate, and interact in business.
Doug is the vice-president of sales. He probably spends more time in planes and hotel rooms than he does in his office, constantly on the go supervising and supporting a far-flung network of hard-charging professionals. He wants his team’s smartphones to be 24/7 portals to sales applications in the cloud and behind the corporate firewall. And, since “Sales” is all about the “power of in-person,” Doug’s looking forward to having wider access to video and telepresence for his team.
Lee is an engineering designer. She’s one of the 90% of workers whose “office” is outside corporate headquarters, where she’s seen only for crucial meetings. Lee is a multi-gadget worker, moving easily from smartphone to tablet to Mac as she designs product materials and coordinates an international team. HD video web conferencing is her lifeline to the outside world, and IM/presence helps her keep track of the experts whose advice she may need at any moment.
Sarah is a field marketing manager who balances a busy work schedule with a full family life from her desk at corporate headquarters. Her laptop is a portal to both worlds, and she’d like a seamless transition from there to her smartphone and back. Sarah uses an immersive telepresence system just down the hall to keep the creative juices bubbling in her widely dispersed team, and desktop video to give her face time with independent contractors around the world.
Ben is an intern whose full potential is still unknown. He reaches for his iPhone in the morning before his toothbrush. He exemplifies the driving force behind BYOD. Impatient with the old one-to-one, send-and-wait model of business communications, Ben easily multitasks with many people in real time, making it easier for his colleagues to discover where he adds the most value.
Finally, Bijad is the vice president of IT: the go-to guy for making all this work. In my next blog post on October 25, I’ll look at how he’s responding to the challenge.