What Ingredient Is Key to a Virtualized Workplace?
Back Published 2010-11-01Teaneck, N.J. — Nov. 1
A recent report reveals the CIO’s role in restructuring how work is done throughout the organization. Among the more than 400 survey respondents — mostly CIO, CEO, vice president and director level — those who are moving toward more virtual, collaborative teams are benefiting from increased innovation, more effective talent recruitment and retention, and higher productivity. One in six said their companies are already seeing these results, and another one-fifth expect to garner benefits within a year.
“Business leaders today are exploring new ways of working in response to disruptive industry changes — globalization, new collaborative methods and technologies, and a rising tech-savvy generation of employees and consumers,” said Malcolm Frank, senior vice president of strategy for Cognizant. “The virtualization of people, processes and technologies is resulting in faster time to market while unleashing innovation.”
Cognizant, a provider of consulting, technology and business process outsourcing services, announced the results of the research report titled “Next-Generation CIOs: Change Agents for the Global Virtual Workplace.” The Economist Intelligence Unit, the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, which publishes The Economist, conducted the research across Europe and North America and wrote the report in cooperation with the Cognizant Business Consulting practice.
Most of the organizations surveyed have global operations. Thirty-eight percent are small to medium-sized companies with less than $500 million in annual revenue. Another 19 percent report $500 million to $5 billion in annual revenue, and 33 percent exceed $5 billion in annual revenue.
“Working with global knowledge-based companies, we witness firsthand how virtual teams are more likely to take hold when the CIO is engaged in the process,” said Mark Livingston, senior vice president for 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.”
The CIO should spearhead the transformation to a more virtualized workplace, according to 45 percent of respondents. Only CEOs ranked higher, with 47 percent, indicating the CIO is a strategic enabler who, alongside the CEO, can align IT capabilities with business needs.
Key findings include:
• Virtual team structures are fostering more productive relationships with internal and external partners.
• Organizations that have embraced virtual teams benefit from increased innovation and competitiveness, but often lack methods to measure the quantitative impact on the bottom line.
• CIOs have a unique enterprisewide perspective and are familiar with the people, tools, technologies and techniques needed to create a corporate culture of virtual teams.