Organisations look to video to tackle ‘digital dislocation’ in workplace


Organisations are embracing video to help them communicate more effectively with their workers, according to new independent research commissioned by BT and Cisco.

New research shows video is becoming the key ingredient in collaboration – BT and Cisco address the trend with improved integration of video into collaboration platform

Organisations are embracing video to help them communicate more effectively with their workers, according to new independent research commissioned by BT and Cisco. Coupled with the proliferation of cloud computing and mobile, these developments are helping to prevent ‘digital dislocation’ between organisations and their employees.

The study found that technologies such as video, cloud and mobile are becoming critical platforms for communication across large businesses - from executives through to employees. Eighty-five per cent thought desktop video would really add value and be useful, while nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of IT decision makers said they wanted video on their work-smartphone or tablet. Similarly, almost one in three (27 per cent) said their employees now use YouTube for work purposes, nearly double the number in 2013.[i]

The findings suggest that more work is needed to reduce “digital dislocation”, whereby employees feel disconnected due to lack of face-to-face interactions with colleagues. Two-thirds (60 per cent) of IT decision makers complain about time wasted trying to contact colleagues, and three quarters want simpler ways to share information.

These struggles reflect changes in the modern workplace in recent years, with initiatives such as bring your own device (BYOD) and flexible working driving the need for more innovative communication and collaboration technology. The research reveals that over half (55 per cent) of employees now work ‘flexibly’, either on the go, at client sites or from home, while 61 per cent want to be able to contact colleagues and collaborate more easily when on the move for work. Similarly, the research finds that in the last three years alone there has been a 31 per cent increase in workers wanting to use their own devices at work.

Better collaboration tools are increasingly being seen as the solution, with 78 per cent citing this as a way to improve communication.

To address this demand, BT and Cisco are announcing an upgrade to the BT One Cloud video technology platform. The new set of enhancements further simplifies scheduling a video call conference using Outlook. They also make it easier for almost any type of video user to join a conference using any device or application, including TelePresence™ and Skype for Business - whether they are located inside or outside of the organisation.

Andrew Small, vice president, unified communications and collaboration, customer relationship management and mobility at Global Services, says: “It’s easy for employees to get trapped inside specialist departments and divisions or drop off the map while working out of the office. But staying connected has never been so important and is vital to an organisation’s success. Using effective collaboration tools, employees can share information and make faster, better decisions.”

Scot Gardner, vice president, Global Service Provider Europe, Middle East and Africa and Russia (EMEAR) at Cisco says: “Businesses are under extreme pressure to prevent against ‘digital dislocation’, streamline processes and improve productivity in a variety of locations across countries and even continents. By adopting cloud, mobile and video technology, like the BT One Cloud video technology platform, companies can ensure that they have simple and seamless communication throughout their organisation, avoiding siloed departments and ultimately, creating an inclusive and connected culture, regardless of geography.”

In order to facilitate these new technologies, many IT managers are looking at cloud services to help stretch their budgets and replace outdated legacy systems. The research reveals that those organisations that have rolled out a cloud technology beyond trial have benefitted, with average total operating costs falling by 25 per cent. At the same time, they have seen a 30 per cent increase in employee satisfaction directly following implementation of cloud based collaboration technology. Crucially, far fewer IT decision makers view security as a barrier to using cloud based collaboration, down to 52 per cent from 68 per cent three years ago.

Andrew Small comments: “As organisations become more familiar with cloud services, there is increasing trust and confidence in their security. At BT we’ve noticed that organisations leading the trend by using cloud collaboration tools are already experiencing great results – saving money and delivering better customer experience.”

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About the research – Digital Dislocation in the Workplace

In 2013, BT and Cisco conducted the first research into Digital Dislocation with large organisations across Europe to find out how effectively they were using new technologies to improve collaboration and achieve growth. Three years on, BT and Cisco again commissioned Davies Hickman Partners Ltd to conduct follow up research to find out what has changed.The new research was expanded to include large organisations in ten markets across North America, Africa and Asia as well as Europe. Responses were based on a sample of 758 senior IT decision makers in organisations of over 500 employees across public and private sector.

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