Polycom Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist Jeff Rodman met with some of Australia’s leading businesses in Sydney this week to discuss how to accelerate innovation and idea creation in the digital transformation era.
Considered one of Silicon Valley’s leading technologists, Rodman applauded Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) businesses on the advances being made to create more flexible workplace environments. He also urged companies on both sides of the Tasman not to become complacent explaining they need to keep reassessing their workspace and workplace culture to unleash their innovation potential. New Zealand based businesses and Polycom channel partners attended the roadshow using video collaboration technology.
A recent report by industry analysts IDC New Zealand predicts that the technologies driving digital transformation will be responsible for more than 75% of New Zealand IT spending by 2019. Furthermore, 50% of New Zealand enterprise IT infrastructure and software spending will be for cloud-based solutions by 2020.
Rodman said that the impact of digital transformation is making all of us rethink what we need from our workspaces. He explained that throughout the world, traditional offices are being replaced with more open, technology-enabled environments – albeit at different speeds.
During his keynote presentation, Rodman explained that workplace design and technologies which support future ways of working will be key in helping businesses compete. A recent ANZ Workplace of the Future study - commissioned by Polycom, found that 82 per cent of ANZ businesses are seeing an increase in tasks that require cross-organisational collaboration. Likewise, 69 percent of ANZ businesses are seeing growth in the use of global teams.
Jeff Rodman explains: “Change is happening all around us and businesses need to adapt to succeed. While there is a real urgency, there is equally a real opportunity for business to rethink their collaboration strategies. This means migrating from artificial and inefficient workplaces to more natural environments that will boost ideas and innovation - while also liberating people to excel, regardless of workplace location.”
Other speakers joining Rodman on the podium at Polycom’s Innovation Roadshow breakfast in Sydney included Jace Moreno, Channel Executive from Microsoft Australia who spoke about demystifying digital transformation.
Microsoft’s Moreno commented: “The essence of a digital transformation is a cultural transformation. The single biggest challenge an organisation faces during this transformation is their people. The greatest technology in the world will not be enough if people are not readily armed to embrace it. In the workplace of the future, being ‘at work’ means so much more than visibility in a physical office. Technology is giving all of us location liberation - the ability to make work what we need it to be to get to the result faster.”
As an early adopter of cloud based collaboration technologies, Ron McClay, Chief Information Officer at The Australian Human Right’s Commission provided a perspective on their digital transformation journey.
McClay said: “Asking our people to shift away from familiar technologies and work practices was challenging – not everyone likes change. Putting in place a carefully planned change management program to support our own journey was key. Our workplace culture is evolving in line with our new technology. Faster decision making, enabling people to work and collaborate from anywhere and at any time has facilitated greater productivity and these are just some of the benefits we are seeing.
Australia is the first stop in Polycom’s Asia Pacific Innovation Roadshow that will see Rodman also address business audiences in Singapore and India to discuss natural collaboration and the need for further innovation to succeed in the digital economy.
According to ‘Connecting Capabilities’, The Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) and Telstra’s report on the potential for Digital Transformation within Asia Pacific: a company’s ability to compete is often impacted by the digital environment around them, including constraints in terms of legacy systems, processes and mindsets. Rodman believes that as more people get access to collaboration technologies, there is increased expectation that the workplace experience should be as intuitive and natural as a personal interaction.
Jeff concludes, “I’m often asked what drives innovation; I truly believe that if people are given the flexibility to work how and where they feel most effective, it brings creativity and natural communication back into focus. So, whether it’s from an armchair or from a standing desk, an agile and flexible workplace is about creating the right environment for individuals and teams to work together to deliver great results. After all, no space is too small for great ideas and teamwork to happen.”