Infrastructure Slideshow: The Virtual Workplace
Allowing employees to work anytime/anywhere is more than simply a matter of convenience for organizations these days - it's critical to success, according to the "Next-Generation CIOs" report from business and technology consulting firm Cognizant. The report is based on a survey of CIOs, CEOs, VPs and director-level IT managers. More than 400 executives responded to the survey, which reveals that companies which stick to dated traditions that require "all the chickens to be present in the henhouse" for most of their working hours will inevitably lose out in the talent wars to those businesses that take a flexible approach. And collaborative, virtual tools are also considered vital for realizing needed improvements in productivity, efficiency and innovation, according to survey respondents. For the purpose of the survey, Cognizant defines a virtual-work environment as that in which human, physical and tech resources are located where they contribute most effectively to attaining business objectives. To make this kind of structure work, the CIO must stay highly involved and provide effective leadership vision, according to the report. "Working with global knowledge-based companies, we witness first-hand how virtual teams are more likely to take hold when the CIO is engaged in the process," says Mark Livingston, senior vice president at Cognizant Business Consulting. "CIOs have the clout and the top-to-bottom perspective to enable business process change, weaving together collaborative business processes and platforms often based on cloud, social and mobile technologies to make work more productive and cost-effective."