The Office of the Future isn’t Just Already Here – It’s Everywhere!

David Wilkinson


Disruptive technology is forcing firms to adopt an ‘interconnection first’ strategy

The office used to be somewhere you went. Today, it’s rapidly becoming wherever you and the technology you need to do your job happens to be. The old workplace is quickly transforming from a physical workspace with rigid boundaries to something quite different – a borderless, global, digital collaborative environment.

Everything is changing. In this new world, value is increasingly being generated from what you could call “systems of engagement” – ones that enable knowledge sharing and real-time collaboration. That’s different from traditional and relatively static “systems of record,” such as data repositories, customer relationship management systems and enterprise resource management platforms.

The result is that the enterprise workforce now extends beyond its employees to any user connected to the Internet, to the cloud or to social and collaboration technologies. This allows organizations to tap into vast pools of human and virtual resources around the world.

It really is happening. Accenture surveyed 2,000 business and technology executives and saw companies leveraging “SMAC” (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) to transform the way enterprises conduct their business in this new omnichannel work environment, with 62% of the respondents investing in digital technologies to successfully make the transition.

According to Talkin’ Cloud’s “Top 100 Cloud Service Providers” survey, collaboration applications are in the top five Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) categories. That’s probably why apps such as Microsoft Office 365 and Citrix GoToMeeting are the top two SaaS applications offered by third-party service providers.

Getting from here to anywhere

This new digital workplace depends on these types of latency-sensitive applications and a superior user experience. And that, in turn requires fast, low-latency interconnections among globally dispersed employees, offices, business partners and cloud services.

One or two corporate data centers using long-distance Internet virtual private networks (VPNs) or MPLS legacy networks aren’t enough. To achieve the performance required for real-time collaboration and greater user productivity, enterprises need to overhaul their IT. They need an interconnection first strategy and IOA – (an Interconnection Oriented Architecture) helps realize that vision.

IOA changes everything

An IOA is a proven and repeatable engagement model that enterprises and service providers can leverage to directly and securely connect people, locations, clouds and data. It provides a blueprint for becoming an interconnected enterprise. And last, but not least, it also shifts the fundamental IT delivery architecture from something that is siloed and centralized to a new interconnected and distributed model.

By leveraging a leading direct and secure interconnection platform, such as Platform Equinix, to implement their IOAs, interconnected enterprises and service providers can simplify the network to reduce latency improving user experience, satisfaction and productivity. In addition, they can efficiently distribute data, content and collaborative apps out at the edge – closer to users and dense ecosystems of partners, cloud services and network providers. Localizing services also allows them to achieve the fast and effective collaboration, innovation and time to market they need to maintain and enhance their competitive positions.

It’s a recipe for success. The Deloitte Business Trends report entitled “Business Ecosystems Come of Age” shows that the rise of such business ecosystems is creating new opportunities for competitive advantage. They have also blurred the fundamental boundaries that have defined the relationships, interactions and possibilities of most businesses.

Increasingly, collaboration is transcending organizational boundaries to include employees, partners and even customers, who all work together to unlock knowledge and innovate across divides and silos. And they are doing it anyplace and anytime.

That’s why, in a very real sense, the office of the future isn’t just here. It’s quite literally everywhere!


David Wilkinson
David Wilkinson Senior Director & Asia Pacific Lead, Global Vertical Marketing