Four ways to build Hybrid Work Models with Technology

Remote working and virtual collaboration are nothing new to Cisco, but we recognise that delivering on all that hybrid work requires for success, just as you are, is not easy. Based on our experience of 'living hybrid' for more than 70,000 employees globally during the pandemic, here are four ways you can build towards a sustainable future of hybrid work by designing the work experience around, and for, your people – wherever they are.

The pandemic forced organisations into the biggest transformation many of them had ever undertaken. Some went overnight from their workforce being more than 95% onsite to almost entirely home-based just to be able to continue to operate.

Moving forward, powering hybrid work will be a priority for many organisations because while it’s clear the office isn’t going back to what it looked like pre-pandemic, the question now is: what happens next?

Hybrid working model

Cisco has made rethinking hybrid work models (both on-site and remote) and workspace infrastructure a top priority – considering both technology and facilities, as well as the level of flexibility and choice given to our people. Because work is not where you go but what you do, it’s just as important we empower our people – whether they are working from home, in the office, or anywhere.

Based on our experience, here are four ways you can build towards a sustainable future of hybrid work:

  1. Provide employees with secure access to apps and data at home and in the office: The pandemic fast-tracked the need for a new approach to cybersecurity. A zero-trust policy allows you to manage risk across all locations, connections, and devices, while Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) with SD-WAN at its core means you can assure edge-to-edge security.
  2. Enhance end-user experiences by delivering better app experiences: Apps now live in a distributed, multicloud world evolving at a scale beyond the capabilities of human management. Increase your use of automation to manage your clouds, networks, and back-end processes, and apply analytics and insights in the form of full-stack observability (FSO) to assess the performance of apps in real time, identify issues and remediate fast.
  3. Transform your infrastructure to support hybrid cloud environments: Offer a consistent operational model across on-premises, private cloud, public, and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Be accommodating and focus on giving your people access to all your apps from home, in the office, and anywhere.
  4. Re-evaluate your IT budget: Repurposing an existing technology budget is a lot less daunting than asking stakeholders for more money. Take a deep dive into operational costs and decide what you can part ways with. For example, replacing a fixed LAN with a cloud-based option would reduce those costs and create headroom for investment.

Embrace your hybrid work future

A bright future waits for those who embrace hybrid work. This transformation will be powered by the convergence of people, technology, and places to promote innovation, efficiency, and a happier and more productive workforce.

Ultimately, you should focus on building greater business agility because, as the pandemic has proved, digital transformation is not a one-time event.

Business agility describes an organisation’s ability to anticipate change, accelerate digital business and drive innovation to compete effectively in the face of disruption – whether it’s from more agile companies with disruptive business models, supply chain issues, or enforced home-working due to local pandemic waves. In other words, truly agile organisations will have the ability to drive efficiency, resiliency, and growth wherever and whenever needed.

Cisco’s Group CIO sees business agility being the ultimate superpower for IT. This superpower is well within your financial reach if you define your path clearly from the outset such that your recent investments deliver the value anticipated.