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CIOs around the world are at the center of technology trends such as cloud, social media, consumerization of IT, and mobility. This is the third blog in a four-part series (Read Part I) (Read Part II) exploring and sharing how CIOs around the world are responding to these trends and creating new ways to innovate, grow, and deliver superior customer experience.

Back in 2006, Gartner Research predicted that no company would be able to build or sustain a competitive advantage over the next few years unless it capitalized on the combined power of individualized workers and social dynamics. The “Future Worker of 2015,” Gartner said, would collaborate more, work alone less in order to be successful.

Is this increasingly true today? Well, take a look around.

Think about the new technologies that are being created – Collaboration as a Service (CaaS), for example. CaaS is becoming the next model for how we do business based on social applications in the cloud. Tools like Cisco’s hosted collaboration platform for managed service providers, Cisco WebEx, and our internal Integrated Workforce Experience (IWE) are all designed to support cloud-based interaction that makes users more productive, more interactive, and – yes, more collaborative. Robbert Kuppens, CIO, EMEA and Russia, Cisco has more in this video:

Today, 20% of companies are deploying private cloud technologies, with another almost 15% planning to do so by the end of 2012, according to Nemertes Research. Management of collaboration applications – especially rich-media services – is a key driver for growth.

Europe is undoubtedly the leader in converging ways of working; Robbert Kuppens, Cisco’s CIO in EMEA and Russia, is already on to the next step: Figuring out how to combine legacy environments with a more socialized, centralized culture. According to him, the modern CIO plays the role of the symphony conductor, orchestrating combinations of cloud technologies to create a harmonious, holistic work environment.

Welcome to the future -- let’s make beautiful music together!

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