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The Next-Gen Collaborator: Ready for a Mobile Workplace

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration  in Cisco’s Collaboration organization. Eric is responsible for hosted and “as a service” solutions, strategic pricing and licensing, and business development.

There is simply no denying the increasing importance of being connected. Generation Y in particular, who grew up with mobile devices affixed almost permanently to their hands, views connectivity as one of life’s fundamental resources.

The newest addition to the workforce considers their mobile devices as an essential workplace tool to managing their workload and connecting with their colleagues on the go. While sitting in a meeting or having lunch in the break room, you can almost visualize the text bubbles hovering over crowds of this generation of workers as fingers hammer away at phones and tablets, eyes glued to the shiny screens in their hands. BYOD

But this trend goes far beyond lunch hours and happy hours. As proven by Chapter Two of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the next-generation workforce is demanding flexibility in their choice of devices in both the workplace and remote-work options, illustrating the importance of the Internet in workforce culture. Social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility, in the case of 30% of the study’s respondents, are more important when accepting a job than a higher salary.

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What could possibly be more important than food, water, air or shelter?

September 27, 2011 at 7:51 am PST

The Internet. Believe it or not, in Cisco’s 2011 Connected World Technology Report, 49% of college students and 47% of recently employed college students (many working in their first full-time jobs) said the Internet is “pretty close” to the level of importance of air, food, water and shelter.

A few other fascinating stats from the Connected World Technology Report:

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Not Your Mother’s Connected World [INFOGRAPHIC]

When I was entering college, fax machines were kind of a big deal. Mobile phones were something you might glimpse in a movie about spies or some super wealthy person. It was the nascent years for the world’s 1G network. But for me and my friends, compact discs were the thing—a whole new way to enjoy music. And if you took our wheels away, we were lost. Contrast this with today’s young adults for whom the internet has become deeply fundamental. More than half surveyed in a new Cisco Connected World Technology Report say the internet is more integral to their lives than cars, dating, and partying. Wow!

The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report looks at the relationships between human behavior, the Internet, and networking’s pervasiveness. The objective: to determine how the next generation of workers will influence everything from business communications and mobile lifestyles to hiring, corporate security, and companies’ abilities to compete.

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