Technology has impacted workplaces in all industries and sectors. Data is bigger, faster and more complex. As market demands shift with increased frequency, companies rely on technology to adapt to those demands. The better the technology, the better the ability to adapt. Workplaces have become more agile as a result --- and the typical workplace is no longer typical. Employees can be productive whether they are at their desks, in conference rooms or on the road.
Employees can connect to company networks from a variety of devices. Devices can also communicate with each other using a service such as Cisco’s Jabber. This service provides a unified communication (UC) application that links hardware devices such as PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones. Available UC applications include instant messaging, conferencing through voice or video and voice messaging. Applications can also identify whether colleagues are present and the specific technologies where they can be reached.
Organizations are becoming increasingly tolerant of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios. Employees are no longer limited to the technology assets assigned to them by their companies. The BYOD model creates a balance between employee-owned hardware and organizational data. As BYOD continues to gain traction, company leaders should develop policies designed to bridge technology with security and interoperability requirements to ensure employee-owned devices can integrate with corporate applications without introducing security risks.
Cloud computing allows organizations to get out of the business of IT and focus instead on their own core competencies. Organizations have typically taken direct ownership of their IT assets, such as network infrastructure, servers to run applications and enterprise applications to run their supply chain. Cloud computing services can shift this model. In cloud computing, companies can purchase technology services that are faster and offer greater scalability than in-house models. Workplaces can also experience a faster adoption time for the introduction of new services.
Terms like business intelligence and big data are being used with increased frequency, and with good reason. Customer dynamics and markets evolve quickly. The need to collect and analyze large amounts of data from different sources, and to do it quickly, is critical to remaining competitive. The trouble is, many companies developed systems over time in individual business units or divisions, and these systems don’t share data. To remain competitive or regain a sustainable competitive advantage, more companies are trying to integrate all their data sources to build more efficient business intelligence systems. Employees need to be as agile as their companies, adapting to process changes every step of the way.
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