Almost five years ago, I was working in the wireless division for Cisco when we introduced the concept of business mobility in motion. Laptop sales were booming and Wi-Fi connectivity was cropping up everywhere, giving rise to the vision of people being mobile and their work following them. Today that vision has never been more real: the workplace is no longer a place. A new generation of devices, applications, and of course increased network capacity, allow people to perform almost any work activity — from the mundane to the complex — almost anywhere. Where we all come together today is a virtual workspace, and we’re connecting to it from places, devices, and applications of our choice.
The way we work — what we call collaboration — is changing, too. We’re evolving from sending email and sharing files, to a work style based on social conversations and real-time communication. As our teams and work locations become more dispersed, richer interaction styles such as web conferencing, voice, and video increasingly come into play, often with mobile devices as the primary platform.
The intersection of collaboration and mobility is truly a crossroads. And a company that moves to embrace and use these capabilities will find itself the winner — with employees, customers, and shareholders — on the other side.
However, technology leaders who find themselves at this juncture face a major challenge — and a major opportunity. With the sheer number of devices coming into the workforce in the pocket of the consumer, the job now is to meet users’ demands for a rich and personalized work experience, while providing it in a manageable, secure, and cost-effective way for business.
To do this, we need to look at the big picture. While devices and secure access are often the focus, they are just the foundation. In the end, devices are devices. It’s about what people can do with those devices that brings productivity and opportunity. To put a sharper point on it, it’s about how you bring collaboration capabilities together with mobility that moves the needle for the business.
- It’s about accessing the people you need, wherever you are.
- It’s about having a face-to-face conversation with someone across the country — or the ocean –no matter what device each of you is using.
- It’s about finding and sharing information quickly, easily, and securely.
- It’s about starting a conversation, or joining one, in our socially connected network.
- It’s about a more mobile, social, visual, and virtual way to collaborate.
This is the virtual workspace. And for technology leaders, there’s no question that it’s a challenge to bring together all the components in a holistic manner. At Cisco, we lived this challenge firsthand. To help you achieve the benefits of a world with multiple devices, we’ve created an architecture that integrates mobility, network security, and applications with an ecosystem of today’s leading business devices. This architecture helps you deliver an exceptional “Your Way” experience while managing risk associated with a BYOD environment.
People and business will remain in constant motion. Whether you are a leader in business or technology, your opportunity is to harness this motion and its collaborative energy as fuel for your company’s business goals. I’ll see you in the virtual workspace.