David M. Gervon is the Channel Manager for Cisco/Meraki.
The world is changing and evolving every day. Technology is at the forefront of this with a velocity that we have never seen before.
Very recently, Cisco released its latest Cloud Index Report in an ongoing effort to examine the growth and digitization of the modern industry and the data center. The report showed us that:
- Hyperscale data center traffic will quintuple by 2020 and will account for 53 percent of all traffic within a data center.
- Global cloud IP traffic will account for more than 92 percent of total data center traffic by 2020.
- By 2020, enterprise workloads will account for 72 percent of total data center workloads.
- When it comes to big data and IoE, the amount of data stored on devices will be five times higher than data stored in data centers, at 5.3ZB by 2020.
Because of these rapid advancements, we are able to accomplish tasks faster, have meetings around the world without leaving our desks, and soon travel with no hands. This is fantastic while trying to achieve the highest level of efficiency, but is there loss?
What happens to our brain when we utilize all that is around us to accomplish that task faster? From writing to typewriters, to computers and talk to text/type. Does elegance leave does thought slow or does it speed? Can we say it better if we do it slower or is the speed of light and our first thought the best thought?
I cannot answer these questions, but definitely I want to know.
One example is participating in meetings around the world without leaving our desk. I agree this is great, and I do this multiple times a day/week. From 7:30 a.m. to 7:30p.m., I can reach and educate many audiences; but what is lost, or is there loss?
Personally, I like to have an in-person meeting sometime prior to that first remote call. Now, this is not always practical so many times after the first call I try and schedule that in person meeting.
Much is lost without the interpersonal live communication, especially when people do not have their video turned on. Even if they do, it's sometimes difficult to lead a meeting and try and look at everyone's video. I pride myself on being able to educate people the way that they learn best, and without being in front of them makes this is a difficult feat.
Furthermore, pleasantries and non-work discussions are sometimes dismissed on the 30-minute call or meeting that is scheduled. Many do not realize that this "non-work stuff" is an essential part and key to longevity in business. Yes, we can transact over and over again, but think about what happens when you actually take the time to get to know someone. There is a time where you go from people selling to people to people helping people. Relationships are built on trust not on a pile of cash transactions.
Let's move to everyday interactions. A little less of walking and texting, headphones in; our minds racing. And, a little more ‘good morning,’ please and thank you, and excuse me. Give this a try next time you board a plane, check into a hotel, or call customer service - "hello, how are you?" The person on the receiving end may be disarmed and surprised, but I bet they smile and respond (you can hear smiles over the phone too).
Now, all of this seems negative in regard to technology, and it may be. However, I am a strong believer in technology, disruption, and this digital revolution. What people need to realize is there is balance to everything. We must leverage technology as a tool while still building our interpersonal communication skills. Gartner estimates by 2020, 100 percent of IT roles will require an intermediate level of proficiency in business acumen. This means that administrators, engineers, architects, and IT professionals must be able to communicate effectively to be successful in a digital world.
The firm goes on to state that systematic communication practices will allow CIOs to clearly identify the changes in the business and how they will affect the IT strategy, establish clear roles and contributions on an employee level, and inspire actions and commitments to deliver better business results.
“Developing strong business acumen in IT is a prerequisite to effectively shift IT focus from optimizing IT operational efficiency to driving business effectiveness, value creation and growth,” said Lily Mok, research vice president at Gartner. “At the heart of an effective IT communication strategy is the ability to clearly link the vision, strategy and action plans of IT to the business to drive desired behaviors in the workforce that contribute to improved IT performance and business outcomes.”
The person who understands how to hone in and utilize new, powerful technologies, while also maintaining a strong connection to the analog world, is the one with the keys to unlock this new, modern, communication paradigm.