Looking at the way life has changed over last two years, we all can agree that “Hybrid Work” no longer means just splitting time between working from home and going to the office in smaller groups. While the hybrid concept emerged during the pandemic to enable people to work from home, the office, or anywhere else of their choosing, it is now essential for everyone looking to move faster and operate more autonomously in an asynchronous environment. It encompasses trends such as the next generation of wireless networking with Wi-Fi 6E and Private 5G, ubiquitous IoT and OT devices monitoring and adjusting workspaces, and technologies that more closely integrate the digital realm with the material world.
Hybrid work will lead us to a new and broader scope of how we interact with each other as well as with virtual “things” in Augmented Reality spaces. Connecting everyone and everything will provide more freedom, flexibility, and inclusiveness for people to work at their best individually or together more efficiently.
Personally, an important bonus of hybrid work is the ability to accelerate attracting talent from a diverse worldwide pool. Being able to collaborate with people from all corners of the world, with different points of view, in a frictionless, networked environment is priceless. Innovation happens when people of diverse talents, backgrounds, and perspectives collaborate on a global scale to support customers and drive innovation.
The Network is the Core
Hybrid work involves networking everything and everyone inside and outside the enterprise to get work done better, faster, and more creatively. It means connecting the workforce via collaborative applications to create inclusive workspaces, no matter where people are physically located. Personal devices connected via ultra-fast Wi-Fi and cellular networks unify workflows. Applications distributed among clouds and data centers communicate with a myriad of services in milliseconds to extend the reach of the enterprise to customers worldwide. Industrial sensors keep watch on inventories that feed the machines producing millions of products every day. Healthcare facilities monitor in-house as well as remote patients, providing real-time telehealth on demand and instant access to medical records and diagnostics.
Making all those connections possible is the underlying fabric of networks—from private campuses and indoor spaces to public venues and government offices, to the vast resources of the internet. IT can embrace hybrid work by delivering capabilities to connect people to devices, services, machines, and information resources from anywhere at any time.
As leaders think about their future workplaces, their priorities are focused on sustainability and building efficiencies to keep employees safe and minimize the organization’s energy usage and ultimately theircarbon footprint. IT can support smart and sustainable workspaces to safely promote collaboration in the office, campus, and branch by delivering IoT and OT benefits in smart buildings at scale.
This month, Cisco is releasing several innovative technology enhancements that will help IT improve the campus experience to support hybrid work from the office.
Wi-Fi 6E Catalyst 9136 and Meraki MR57 wireless access points using newly available clean spectrum that matches wireline speeds and exceeds gigabit performance. Wi-Fi 6E will greatly expand capacity and performance for the latest devices using immersive collaborative applications designed for hybrid work.
Catalyst 9000X series is the backbone that provides the speed, bandwidth, capacity, and scale needed by the ongoing transition into hybrid work through its high performance 100G access/400G core switching capabilities powered with Cisco Silicon One. Cisco Silicon One, originally deployed in web scale and service provider networks, now provides programmable flexibility in Catalyst 9500X and 9600X Series switches to support innovations across enterprise networks.
Cisco Private 5G managed service will compliment Wi-Fi to connect physical operations—smart building OT and industrial IoT—with core IT systems, analytics, and automation to produce substantial productivity and efficiency gains. Cisco’s Private 5G is delivered from the cloud to reduce technical, operational, and business risks so enterprise IT can implement the digital transition to hybrid work and secure IoT deployments.
These new capabilities are all designed to support the future of hybrid work and the mission-critical applications that will power organizations for the next decade. They empower IT to create and maintain a network that provides unparalleled experience for the workforce, including smart and sustainable workspaces. They enable IT to manage and secure IoT and OT at scale. All in service of ensuring business agility and resilience during rapid digital transformations.
The Network Powers Hybrid Work
Reimagining the future of hybrid work will occupy the minds of many enterprise leaders as we all grapple with the challenges of rapid changes in the workplace and ever-increasing customer expectations for quality products and services. IT’s role has always been, and will continue to be, to support enterprise operations while securing people, devices, and information. IT can also lead the way by to hybrid work by incorporating new collaborative applications to enhance working together and apart.
Cisco is committed to ensuring that IT has the network infrastructure to unify the enterprise, even as the complexity of the information architecture increases. Hybrid work will ultimately keep evolving to provide more freedom, flexibility, and choice for people to work more efficiently, no matter where they are in our great wide world. Cisco will be there to make hybrid work, work better for all.
For a deeper technical dive on the new features in the Cisco Secure Access Platform, read Cisco VP of Product Management for Secure Access Greg Dorai’s latest blog post: Reimagining Hybrid Work: Create, Manage, Collaborate with the Network for the Future and his Future of Work networking series.
Want to learn even more and become involved in the journey to hybrid work? Register for our virtual event:
February 23, 2022