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Collaboration in the Age of Hyper-Connectivity

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Collaboration in the Age of Hyper-Connectivity

Sandeep Mehra, Director, Collaboration-Sales, Cisco India and SAARC

The article was published in Financial Express

The launch of Digital India week by the Prime Minister has once again placed the emphasis on the role that technology and digitization can play in driving economic and business growth in India. It also highlights the tremendous new opportunities being driven by the Internet of Everything (IoE) as an enabler of change.

From the digitisation of the country, to digitisation of industries, affordable and efficient healthcare and education, the IoE is set to change the way we work, live and play. The IoE has the potential to create $511 billion in value in India over the next decade. For the private sector, the value at stake as businesses digitize is $394.4 billion and $116.2 billion in the public sector.

IoE and an increasingly connected world

The IoE is marked by the rapid convergence of mobile, social, data and cloud which is in turn driving digital disruption in the country where Digital infrastructure being adopted 5 times faster than electricity and telephony. One of the primary tenets of an IoE environment is the increasing number of networked devices. According to the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, there will be 1.6 billion networked devices in 2019 in India, up from1.1 billion in 2014. Of these, smartphones will account for 40% of all networked devices in 2019, compared to 13% in 2014.

74% of all networked devices will also be mobile-connected in 2019, So what does this mean for collaboration and the business? From startups to large enterprises, IoE is necessitating a transformation in the way collaboration is viewed within an organization. With smart device growth becoming pervasive, organizations of all sizes now need to place greater emphasis on technologies and solutions that support mobility and ease of access.

As the report indicates, in India, mobile data traffic alone is expected to grow 13-fold to reach 1.1 Exabytes per month in 2019. Simultaneously, there is the ubiquitous growth of video as the preferred collaboration medium within an organization. As a reflection of these trends, internet video traffic is set to grow 7-fold from 2014 to 2019, and total Internet video traffic (business and consumer, combined) will be 74% of all Internet traffic in 2019, up from 46% last year.

Video is slowly replacing voice across many sectors in India and overall and in line with the fact that business internet video traffic will be 65% of all business internet traffic in 2019.Video has over time emerged as an important driver of productivity, innovation, and value making its way into classrooms, hospitals, and boardrooms around the world, saving time and money and extending services in transformative ways.

Video and IoE

Video is also one way the Internet of Everything is transforming how we think about business processes and how people work together. In an IoE context therefore, the approach to collaboration has to be fundamentally altered to ensure success. In order to be effective, collaboration solutions today need to be built for mobile first with far greater emphasis on the user experience. The traditional approach consisted of offerings being built around technology or consumption models which have made it extremely challenging for CIOs to drive adoption within the enterprise as a result of growing mobile device dependence. By focusing on user experience and then building technology to support this experience, vendors will be able to help CIOs derive greater RoI from their collaboration infrastructure.

CIOs looking at enabling their organizations for success in the IoE environment need to look for offerings that enhance and simplify team collaboration, leveraging video and integrated platforms. Imagine an environment where a sales director connects with his team/customers or partners for a meeting, face-to-face over video conferencing to discuss topics, share content, preview documents and receive updates on work in progress. If the team can connect to the same meeting through mobile devices it adds to the benefit. Solutions that allow teams to deliver multiple video streams to an endpoint (ex: mobile device), making the best use of the screen viewing area, and enable moving audio from the mobile phone to another endpoint (ex: desktop), will help to foster employee inclusiveness and increase productivity.

While providing highly secure access to corporate resources, video and audio solutions that support multiple devices help to move an interaction from one form (such as chat or a voice call) to another, such as an online meeting or video conference, and drive far more powerful collaboration with ingrained flexibility needed for individual businesses. A lot of that is reality today with a range of purpose built, high-quality video solutions available for every room, every desk, and every pocket.

By embracing the full breadth of possibilities that video and mobile offer, businesses can drive greater engagement and communication which along with the right technology infrastructure can help to harness the true potential of the IoE.

IoE is the most important technology shift since the advent of the Internet itself, disrupting whole industries in the next several years. The IoE is opening up new business opportunities across sectors, with tremendous promise to drive economic and social value across industry and government. Those who take the lead in harnessing the capabilities of IoE will be the disruptors and the transformers-and will claim their share of the Value at Stake in the IoE Economy. Those who decide to “wait and see” may be left behind.

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