In my first job as a nurse manager every morning I was delivered a stack of interoffice envelopes. Some mornings now when I open my email and find 40 messages have come in overnight, I think wistfully of those simpler days. I could send a response and not hear about it again for at least a day. Now, I can’t even read the next message before the one I just answered is back in my inbox. And I still think whoever created mail groups must be the spawn of Satan for developing corporate sanctioned spam.
But I do love IM. It might be the single most impactful tool to influence productivity ever. I kept a tally one week and it saved me an average of 20 phone calls a day, or in real terms, 20 delays in getting my work done. My friend Bethany told me the other day her company doesn’t use IM. Are they nuts?! It is instant, focused collaboration without calling a meeting or picking up a phone. I can go to Webex Connect, our IM tool, and instantly contact anyone in the company. Well maybe not John Chambers, but anyone else. I will also know if this is not the time to interrupt them. I’d give up my dishwasher before I would give up IM.
But it never occurred to me until this morning how much of the change in how I work was because of the cloud. From the photos, music, Facebook, to email, IM and web conferences our day is comprised of many clouds. One of the great things about working at Cisco is the abundance of data. Global cloud traffic will increase 12-fold from 2010-2015. And data center traffic will equal 4.6 quadrillion emails by 2015. I think most of that is in my Inbox.