Whether you’re a small or large organization, your employees are no doubt your most valuable assets. During my career, I’ve seen just how critical it is to unlock the full potential of each person to achieve great things. Today’s unique challenge lies in facilitating effective collaboration amongst a globally distributed workforce with the Internet at the center of everything.
I recently took the stage at Cisco Live! London where I talked about a new class of Internet-raised employees, their requirements for the next-gen workspace, and what Cisco is doing to facilitate this new way of working.
For starters, employees’ expectations today far exceed those of the past when it comes to communications. I can’t even imagine how my 7-year old daughter’s generation will be when they enter the workforce. Influenced by their consumer experiences, employees now desire (and need) much more than the corporate issued laptop: They want access to the devices—smartphones, tablets—and platforms of their choosing. IT departments now must figure out how to provide integrated collaboration experiences from any device and location. I’ve dedicated the past few years to finding a way for people to collaborate in a secure and scalable way while meeting these new expectations.
The advent of mobile devices, video, cloud, social and other technologies demands that the workspace effectively blend physical and virtual environments in order to deliver what employees expect – synchronous communications that are personal and fits the need at hand. And for this generation, this often means real-time, high-quality video that works seamlessly with other collaboration tools, such as WebEx, presence, IM and voice … on the myriad of mobile devices.
Cisco has made it our job to make lives easier no matter what part of the organization employees reside, so that these new expectations for collaboration can be met quickly and efficiently. We enable various interfaces for collaboration processes and data that recognize, for example, the different collaboration experiences on a mobile device versus a desktop computer, and optimizing around these differences. We’ve built a unified architecture that allows people to get the collaboration experience they are seeking in a secure and scalable way, whether they’re working in Starbucks or the boardroom.
By empowering employees with compelling collaboration tools, not only can organizations increase productivity and creativity, but they can also nurture the potential of each employee. It’s something I’m personally very excited about because I know first-hand the quality of collaborative effects in the workplace can lead to more idea sharing and greater innovation.
How do you think the needs of the internet-raised employee will vary from that of the current workforce?