IT Wants Hybrid Workforces, Too—and CIOs Deliver

BrandPost By Cisco Meraki
Sep 14, 2021
IT Leadership

The (many) benefits of supporting a hybrid enterprise with a hybrid IT team

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Credit: Olezzo

By embracing a hybrid workforce and untethering professionals from the office, CIOs are unlocking numerous benefits for both employees and enterprises.

As more companies adopt a hybrid workforce across divisions like sales, marketing, IT, and more, they are developing technology strategies that ensure secure, seamless experiences to enable productive, collaborative work. IT leaders are investing in data analytics to drive better decision-making (49%), security (37%), and a cloud-centric operating model (36%), according to a PwC survey of CIOs.

By providing employees with powerful but simple processes and tools to access corporate assets in the same way, regardless of location or device, you’re beefing up protection and productivity. When you give people solutions that work well and work easily, you also reduce the risk of shadow IT, a concern for one-third of IT leaders in the PwC poll.

Going beyond tech

This change to many corporate structures does not solely come down to technology, of course.

Numerous chief executives view this time as a sea-change in business and society. C-level professionals are turning to technology to enable a hybrid workforce that can help make meaningful changes in society.

For example, 70% of enterprises believe adopting hybrid workforces will improve hiring for diversity and inclusion. Increasing the diversity of their teams is a priority for 72% of CIOs and finding and retaining talent is a major issue across business units. In June 2021, the quit rate for employees was 2.7%, while job openings reached 6.5%—both were historical highs. As a result, finding the right people was the C-suite’s top concern according to a study by recruitment firm West Monroe.

Flexing those muscles

In traditional businesses where employees work in offices for 40 hours per week, only 36% of staff are high performers. Yet when enterprises adopt an environment of “radical flexibility,” giving employees choices over where, when, and how much they work, 55% of workers were rated as high performers.

In a hybrid workforce, it’s common sense to surmise that productivity will increase if other factors—such as connectivity, access to necessary data, and experiences with colleagues and company—remain favorable.

Saving on property

Perhaps shaving real estate expenses was already on your agenda? Maybe a tally of property, heating, cooling, and electric costs played a key role in your enterprise’s migration from on-premises data center to hosted cloud architecture? Most likely, your firm’s chief financial officer has some things to say on cost-savings around hoteling and a lower real estate footprint.

Hybrid workforces are also expected to defray the cost of real estate. Some businesses will use flexible-space rentals for employee meetings and work. The percentage of time spent in main and satellite offices could drop by 12% and 9%, respectively, proving “the potential to reduce real-estate costs could be significant.”

Caring greatly

Relationships between employers and employees have rapidly evolved, with more enterprises addressing workers’ mental health and well-being in recent years. Those that do not risk standing out for inaction and becoming less attractive to job candidates. Some business leaders also try to replicate the social situations that occurred in traditional office settings by using video conferencing and off-site locations for casual get-togethers.

Driven by necessity and demand, hybrid workforces are viable because the technologies are here and proven. You can lead your organization and your IT team into a world of rich, connected experiences.

Leading the way

As enterprises adopt the “work is what you do, not where you do it” attitude, more employees want the opportunity for a hybrid workplace. Once again, you can showcase IT’s role as a deliverer of value as you spearhead employees’ moves into a new way of working—one that motivates each person to bring their best to their job, wherever they work and with whichever devices they use to connect.

Meraki gets the hybrid workforce. We make it simple.