The connected workplace is not just for offices

Over the last year and half, businesses across the board have changed the way they operate. Whilst there has been a big focus on the shift in office working patterns, with around 57% expecting to be in the office 10 days or less a month, there has also been a shift in the way that businesses with non-office based workflows operate especially with the emergence of new technologies.

The emergence of the newest generation of Wi-Fi technology, WiFI 6, offers faster speeds, higher efficiency, capacity, coverage and reduced network congestion. Additionally, speed isn’t tied to a single device but can be split across an entire network of devices, allowing each one to reach higher connection speeds. Compounding this is the advent of 5G. The addition of 5G to this world of improved connectivity offers the possibility to accelerate business transformation through the growth of low-cost enabled Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Research from Cisco states that there will be 27.1 billion networked devices by the end of the year, increasing to over 10 billion in just five years. Across the globe, this equates to around 3.5 connected devices per person, and of those devices over 43% will be mobile. It’s no doubt that there will be a sharp rise in interest in IoT across every industry as businesses look to benefit from this hyper-connected world.

The first stage of transformation in any industry is one of imitation; we use technology to mirror workflows that already exist, but to truly leverage the power of a connected workplace, businesses need to rethink the way business process and workflows are linked together. Tools such as interactive whiteboards and immersive collaboration experiences enriched by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies can allow businesses to visualise operations and new ways of designing and optimizing workflows.

The Autoridade Portuária do Douro, Leixões e Viana do Castelo (APDL) is a public company in Portugal whose goal is to manage the region’s ports, including their management and development. With 5km of pier, 55 ha of landfills and 120 ha of wetland to manage and secure, the port administration looked to emerging technologies to further develop and manage the port business. Looking for a data centre that could be extended with high performance, micro segmentation, automation and agility in application management, Logicalis helped APDL to implement a Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure. In addition to being an industry leader, the solution offered automation and consistency, multi-cloud acceleration, protected network with zero-trust and continued assurance and insights through centralized management. As a result, APDL are able to view their entire network as a single entity, systematically configure applications to reduce complexity and accelerate implementation.   

From mining operations in remote areas relying on a new generation of satellite connectivity to the powerful connected machines of the modern agri-business, to industrial plants pioneering the smart factories, every workplace is being reimagined.

“Organisations can now configure their production lines or plant design based on what needs doing today rather the fixed production layout of the past. Modular production systems enable maximum flexibility and maximum efficiency, allowing organisations to swiftly accommodate changing customer demand and even pivot configurations towards lucrative bespoke work that would have been wholly uneconomic in a fixed system,” commented Richard Simmons, Group VP of Technology, IoT.

No matter what industry a business operates in, they have an opportunity to gain competitive edge through next-generation wireless technologies such as WiFi 6 and 5G. Not just for offices, the connected workplace has the potential to revolutionise entire industries as they are freed from the fixed processes of the past, to adapt and thrive in a rapidly evolving environment.  

This brave new world may be exciting but can be challenging to implement. Together Cisco and Logicalis combine global presence with local knowledge to bring unrivalled expertise of technology and industry to personalise solutions that meet an organisation’s needs. Working with a trusted partner is clear route to success, bringing in the unique expertise and skillsets needed to help unlock opportunity and efficiency, capitalising on the myriad of benefits 5G, and WiFi 6 have to offer.