March 12, 2013
Next generation workspaces will be a reality for three quarters (76 per cent) of businesses by 2016 says a new Cisco report, as organisations pave the way for greater connectivity by investing in IT infrastructure and collaboration technologies. “Whilst cost-cutting and reducing complexity is important, creating an environment where IT can support – or indeed drive – innovation within the business is paramount said Ian Foddering, CTO Cisco UKI. “Three key pillars emerge: ‘Simplify’, ‘Protect’ and ‘Change & Grow’. Get the first two right, and you pave the way for innovation, greater connectivity, next generation workspaces and ultimately a shift towards the ‘Internet of Everything’.”
Cisco commissioned independent research amongst IT decision makers in enterprise and SME organisations across the UK and Ireland to better understand how businesses are responding to macro trends. The results, published in Cisco’s TechWatch 2013, reveal that IT decision makers face a myriad of current trends which challenge and test IT infrastructure and networks. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends, cloud computing and big data have seen end users become increasingly demanding with the experiences they expect to receive.
According to the research, within the next three years, 76 per cent of companies think operations in their organisation will be structured on the basis of the most efficient use of skills and resources, regardless of where they are located and 15 per cent (one in seven) say this is already happening.
Businesses are already supporting their distributed work environment by providing remote access to email, mobile equipment and access to corporate servers. However, managing a diverse range of technologies and devices, the cost of collaboration and difficulties in governance and control are some of the biggest challenges presented by a more distributed work environment.
Key findings from the report include:
- Network performance (51 per cent) and increased security threats (48 per cent enterprises, 44 per cent SMEs) are the most significant challenges facing businesses over the next 12 months.
- After reducing overall IT costs (60 per cent enterprises, 56 per cent SMEs), improving IT security (60 per cent, 55 per cent) and maintaining or improving IT infrastructure (56 per cent) are the main priorities over the coming 12 months.
- Within the next three years, 76 per cent of companies think operations in their organisation will be structured on the basis of the most efficient use of skills and resources, regardless of where they are located – 15 per cent (1 in 7) say this is already happening.
- This is reflected in terms of technology investment: enterprises are more likely to have deployed collaborative software (79 per cent) and network performance management (78 per cent), but both enterprises and SMEs have prioritised the investment of remote access technology (78 per cent and 77 per cent respectively).
- Organisations are likely to have reviewed, or are planning to review, operational simplicity (89 per cent) and operational savings (87 per cent).
Foddering continues, “There is overwhelming support for greater remote working, and it is encouraging that businesses are taking measures to protect important information and help maximise data security. This is essential if, as the research shows, 76 per cent of all businesses intend to operate as future workspaces in the next three years.
“However, simplifying and protecting an organisation’s infrastructure can only take you so far. In order for businesses to prepare themselves for the future, they must be willing to embrace change and use it to drive, rather than inhibit, growth.”
By Sara Bean