Working in 2016: 35pc of workers will no longer see work as a destination

7 Mar 2013

By 2016, more than a third of workers around the world will no longer see the physical workplace as a place they have to go to, thanks to the cloud and bring your own device (BYOD) trends. According to the latest Cisco TechWatch 2013, 76pc of companies expect to move to the next-generation workspace in three years.

Cisco UK and Ireland CTO Ian Foddering explained that CIOs and IT managers will be under pressure to cater for these new distributed working environments that will rely heavily on always-available IT infrastructure and collaboration technologies.

Already IT decision makers face challenges to how they manage IT infrastructure due to BYOD trends, cloud computing and big data, with workers becoming increasingly demanding about the experiences they expect to receive.

Foddering said CIOs and IT managers will need to take a back-to-basics approach that simplifies the IT infrastructure in the face of a complex array of new devices and capabilities.

Enabling tomorrow’s workforce

“The BYOD phenomenon, cloud, social media … all of these things can continue to happen but it will require a clear strategy in terms of factoring in IP policy, management capability and simplified wired and wireless access.

“What CIOs need to do is get the budgets to start to invest real dollars in IT and real innovation, rather than just keeping the lights on.

“The next-generation workforce will want to be connected at all times and be able to work from anywhere on any device. The CIO will need to deliver that but also protect the integrity of the data on the network while delivering that next-generation workspace.”

Foddering said one of the findings of the TechWatch 2013 study was that 15pc of people today say location is no longer relevant to what they do.

“That is going to increase to 35pc by 2016 and that is in line with discussions I have with organisations,” he said.

The study found that network performance (51pc) and increased security threats (48pc enterprises, 44pc SMEs) are the most significant challenges facing businesses over the next 12 months.

After reducing overall IT costs (60pc enterprises, 56pc SMEs), improving IT security (60pc enterprises, 55pc SMEs) and maintaining or improving IT infrastructure (56pc for both enterprises and SMEs) are the main priorities over the coming 12 months.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years