Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

UCEXPO 2015: Transforming teamwork in the age of the agile enterprise

May 13, 2015

There’s never been a more exciting time to work in collaboration than now. The rise of mobile and cloud means the industry is undergoing a radical transformation, revolutionising the way we communicate with each other at work. It really is an exciting time for the art of collaboration.

I had the pleasure of speaking at UC EXPO in London this week, and it was fascinating to meet and speak to some of the leading figures in the industry on where things are headed. It’s clear that more and more companies want to disrupt – rather than be disrupted. Look at what Uber is doing in the world of taxis for example. Or the fact that Facebook is the world’s biggest media provider, yet it owns no content, or Alibaba – one of the biggest online retailers owns no inventory.

Technology has brought us to a point where the opportunities are almost endless, and collaboration is at the heart of this transformation. If we look at what will make a real difference to organisations; technology will impact on around a fifth of the opportunity to move forward. However, people and processes offer 60% of the overall value, so there is a fundamental need to move them in unison.

We know digitisation is one of the top priorities for CEOs, second only to growing business revenue. Why is this? Because the C-Level is recognising that we, as individuals, may have reached our peak productivity. The next level of productivity growth for the workforce will come from focussing on improved outputs as teams, and not individuals.

It’s about bringing people together to achieve a common goal – the very meaning of the word collaboration. We are no longer working in individual cubes; we are all working across international boundaries in different time zones. At Cisco for example, around 40% of our employees report into managers located in another country. It underlines the need for us to work much closer together, using systems which are completely aligned and totally seamless.

The challenge for a lot of organisations is they are still based on old structures and hierarchies, so a culture change is required to achieve this transformational shift. On top of this, the Millennial generation has such high expectations of technology at work because of the high level of experience within their personal lives. When a user has greater choice, they want to be able to leverage the application that makes them more productive. This means we are in a time when businesses have to really step up their game if they are to support the new agile worker.

I like to use the example of dealing with the child in the toy shop. We need to be selling to the child that wants the toy, who is excited and enabled. But we must also be speaking to the parent, in this case the IT department, to ensure we are providing them a solution they can manage; a toy they approve of

We must also remember that not everyone will be rushing to connect to cloud-based services immediately. To me it’s clear we are moving into a hybrid model where cloud and on-premise technologies are seamlessly integrated. So, with all of this in mind, at Cisco our focus is on bringing everything together from boardroom to pocket across any device from any location.

When unified communications, come together with conferencing and collaboration that’s when the real benefits in productivity and profitability will come about in the agile world.

Were you at UCEXPO? I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on the agile workplace – tweet me @mcalderatcisco and let me know what you think.



Leave a comment