‘Culture of Connectivity’ Forcing Enterprises to Change

An exploding ‘Culture of Connectivity’ is forcing enterprises around the world to change the way they do business faster than ever before or risk the opportunities of Hyperconnectivity passing them by.

A new global IDC study sponsored by Nortel found that not only is the speed of technology adoption accelerating – impacting business policy and IT investment – but the global workforce is increasingly expecting employers to provide similar levels of “everywhere, all the time” connectivity.

The IDC study of close to 2,400 people across 17 countries found that 16 percent of workers surveyed are already “hyperconnected”, fully embracing a world of multiple devices and intense use of new communications applications.

The hyperconnected worker uses a minimum of seven devices for work and personal access plus at least nine applications like IM, text messaging, web conferencing and social networks. Even more significant, the hyperconnected are closely followed by a large second group of 36 percent designated as “increasingly connected” who use a minimum of four devices for work and personal access to six or more applications. As the increasingly connected advance in capabilities – and changing demographics of the workforce are factored in – the study predicts that hyperconnected business users will likely rise to 40 percent in five years.

“The results of this study send a clear message to today’s business – the hyperconnected workforce is coming and you’d better be ready,” said John Gantz, chief research officer and senior vice president at IDC. “The study found that 16 percent of the global workforce is hyperconnected today, and will grow to 40 percent in just a few years. This means that the surveyed workforce isn’t just migrating towards Hyperconnectivity – it is stampeding to it. Businesses that embrace this have an opportunity to increase productivity and ability to compete in the global marketplace.”

“For more than a year, Nortel has been emphasizing the profound global implications of Hyperconnectivity – on the enterprise and its IT strategy. For some, these IDC study findings are a final wake-up call that they risk losing productivity and profitability if they ignore this exploding culture of connectivity,” said John Roese, chief technology officer, Nortel. “For others, it confirms that Hyperconnectivity can represent huge opportunities if they choose to embrace this megatrend. These organizations can lead with critical changes to technology and business process that help them thrive as progressive enterprises.”

“As a CIO, I’m seeing the demands from this culture of connectivity increasing every day,” said Steve Bandrowzak, chief information officer, Nortel. “The IDC study really drives home that the challenges and opportunities of Hyperconnectivity could be unlike anything CIOs and IT professionals have ever experienced before. It’s time for corporate management and IT to re-examine their current IT investments and business technology strategies, leveraging new tools like unified communications while preparing to modify personnel policies, security regimes and business practices.”

This evolution towards increasing levels of connectivity will have a profound impact on enterprises, creating challenges in managing these new tools of connectivity while providing information securely and reliably, and ensuring that this connectivity is productive.