CIOs and IT executives gathered in Barcelona recently for the European leg of the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo to explore the strategic technology trends for 2023 and beyond. Having been a virtual-only event for the past two years, it felt great to be back in person, with Cisco presenting on the role of the future workplace and how we are delivering on our sustainability goals.

Both speaking sessions drew large audiences and many visits to the Cisco booth, where we had a virtual tour of our newly retrofitted offices at PENN1 New York. We also provided a live demonstration of the solutions we have deployed there to make it a workplace that is ‘a magnet, not a mandate’ for our people.

The concept of making your workplace a magnet resonated strongly with attendees. Many confirmed they are still wrestling with how to attract staff back to the workplace, while right sizing their office footprint and addressing sustainability goals.

Cisco’s Colin Seward, Kieran Higgins, and Agostino Santoni discuss hybrid work strategy.

Building resilience and agility

Cisco took an integrated approach at PENN1 to deliver an enhanced user experience. We have converged IT with OT (Operational Technology) by replacing six tons of conduit with power over ethernet (PoE) and using a single management platform for the seamless integration of lighting, shades, HVAC, and sensors.

We feed data from every single device into our analytics platform to provide actionable insights in real-time. This has yielded business outcomes such as reduced utility costs, improved space utilization, and optimum ambiance, density, and acoustics for the wellbeing of staff.

The PENN1 model is being applied to our office in Paris and other key locations but is just one part of our overall hybrid work strategy. The latter was brought to life during our speaker session at Gartner Symposium by Cisco’s Global IT Transformation Leader, Colin Seward; Global Head of Digital Workplace Transformation, Kieran Higgins; and Vice President, Cisco South Europe, Agostino Santoni.

Creating an inclusive workplace that meets expectations that are yet to be fully defined is part of a make or break in the battle for talent and the bottom line. It also speaks to the global disruption and uncertainty that calls for increased business agility and resilience.

The concept of making your workplace a magnet resonated strongly with visitors to our booth.

For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase ‘It’s a VUCA world,’ the acronym sprang to prominence circa 2014 and stands for ‘volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity’. However, it feels just as relevant today, and it was no surprise to see ‘Seven Disruptions You Might Not See Coming’ placing second in the top five sessions at Gartner Symposium.

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Colin presenting on our commitment to reaching net zero for greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

With climate change and sustainability also key topics in the boardroom, Colin Seward took to the stage again on Day 2 (bravely following Arsène Wenger) to present on our commitment to reaching net zero for greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. He discussed the Cisco IT Sustainability Framework, and progress made so far.

Colin’s session was standing room only and generated a level of response such that he will be running an exclusive virtual roundtable in January. This is open to CIOs and IT leaders who join Cisco Insider Executives – our brand-new gated community and concierge service providing a personalized experience, peer-to-peer networking, and the latest thought leadership.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend our speaker sessions and visit us on the booth at Gartner Symposium. With special thanks to those who joined Cisco Insider Executives.

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Ian Chard

Product Marketing Manager

Platforms and Solutions, CSM