I’m one of the lucky ones. Many of my peers work in companies that aren’t as forward looking about IT as Cisco is. Where they struggle to keep up with the demands of today’s employees, I’m fortunate to work in an environment that offers workspace flexibility and access to telepresence, web conferencing, and a social platform based largely on the employee’s choice of device.

That’s not to say that we’ve got it all figured out at Cisco. As I onboard new college graduates, I, too, find myself struggling to meet their expectations. I think we’ve entered a phase in which all business and IT leaders will lag slightly behind the workplace expectations of the new generation.

To better understand this fundamental shift, we recently commissioned Forrester Research to look specifically at mobility, virtualization, and other enterprise-level technology initiatives. The findings are compelling and give rise to thought-provoking questions about how we’ll work together in the future.

  • Of today’s information workers, 23 percent report having access to public social networks at work, and 15 percent use them for work at least once a week.
  • More than one-third of employees are bringing technology to work to augment company-issued solutions.
  • Nearly half the firms surveyed are implementing “bring your own device” (BYOD) programs to support employee-owned devices.

These shifts in consumerization and mobility in the workplace intensify the need for technical and security requirements. And, there’s a global need for new IT policies and practices to support our employees’ ability to share, view, and collaborate in new and secure ways.

How has your company embraced the next-generation workplace?