According to Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report, the future of work will be more flexible and collaborative than ever before. In this two-part blog series, Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, explores how the IT and business landscape is changing based on this new research and how organizations can prepare.

While no one can predict the future, it’s certain that technical innovations are certain to change just about every facet of our lives – including how we work.

In a time when connectivity and mobility are expected to have exponential growth, one must consider the future of work and how the workplace will evolve to become more flexible and collaborative thanks to these technical innovations.

Consider these findings from the latest research in Cisco’s 2014 Connected World Technology Report:

  • More than half of professionals consider themselves accessible for work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including 3 in 10 who are accessible by both email and phone.
    • Roughly one quarter of professionals are employed at an organization that allows them to work from home.
    • About half of Gen X and Gen Y professionals feel their organization’s HR department is adjusting to enable a more mobile, flexible work style for its employees; though nearly one third feel it is not doing so quickly enough.

As connectivity and collaboration become more pervasive, it’s time for organizational leaders to consider how to thrive in a changing workplace based on new expectations, behaviors, and preferences from employees and customers alike.

Recently, I had a chance to participate in a new Future of IT podcast episode with Maribel Lopez, Principal Analyst and Founder, Lopez Research. You can listen to podcast via iTunes.

Our discussion explored how collaboration is a catalyst for making future work capabilities a reality. Here’s a closer look into a few insights from our discussion:

Collaboration Will Change and It’s Starting Now

Collaboration tools are key to business innovation. As mobility, cloud and social come together in today’s Internet of Everything (IoE) landscape, it’s even more critical for organizations to empower employees to connect with peers, customers and management worldwide.

We are seeing the beginnings of a new innovation cycle, where the market is investing in new tools to help people work differently and collaborate more seamlessly. For example, web, audio and video conferencing are areas that are ripe for innovation.

Advancements in technology are laying the foundation for an even more advanced connected workplace with interactive services. Think “virtual” water coolers where team members Thousands of miles apart can “bump into” each other and build relationships that translate to trust and productivity . More workers are being trained to collaborate and in the years to come, there will be more of a free-flow of ideas and an increased ability to share with others in real-time.

The Increase of Connections Means Constant Collaboration

Technology has revolutionized the ways in which we communicate. It has also increased the speed of these communications. And the faster we’re able to communicate, we’re empowered to get more done, whether across the street or across an ocean.

Today, with continuous and agile communication, projects that previously took months—or  even years—to conceptualize and complete now have a planning and execution cycle of days or weeks. This increase in speed and connections will drive greater real-time collaboration and more continuous delivery than we have today.

And the type of information we deliver will be different as well. When combined, big data, analytics and cloud computing have the potential to deliver more meaningful experiences that pull from richer data.

These changes will significantly impact the way we work and connect with our peers within the enterprise landscape.

Be sure to join the conversation, #FutureOfWork.


Rowan Trollope

Senior Vice President and General Manager

IoT and Collaboration Technology Group