Six Trends Identified Driving IT to Establish its Presence in the Boardroom

New Polycom research reveals that IT leaders need to establish themselves in the boardrooms to respond to the growing demand for flexible-working solutions.

November 5, 2014, London, UK – Polycom, Inc., the global leader in video, voice and content collaboration solutions, and Dr Carsten Sørensen, an independent academic from the United Kingdom (UK), have identified six trends that will position IT leaders firmly in the boardrooms and away from the back offices, unlike today.

New research reveals that IT leaders will establish themselves in the boardrooms to respond to the growing demand for innovative, productivity boosting technologies, such as collaboration technologies that enhance a flexible-work arrangement. In the UK alone, according to another supporting Polycom survey, 44% of employees believe flexible working is good for parents who are managing expensive child care costs, but only 1 in 5 (22%) are aware that any staff member, whether a parent or not, have the statutory right to request flexible working.

This places the power in the IT leaders’ hands to identify new technologies, bring the ideas to the boardroom and reduce turnaround time to help educate the workforce and improve business productivity.

1. Chief Innovation Officer: Become the trusted strategic advisor
Innovation is at the heart of technology and IT in particular. It’s the CIO’s role not just to provide the information but also the innovation to help business groups, like HR, finance and customer services, improve their processes and grow the business. It’s no longer enough for IT to adjust equipment; it needs to be better at governing services.

2. Digital infrastructure: Move from a physical to a digital infrastructure
The right digital infrastructure can provide the data analysis for the insight and foresight needed to support business decisions making. This drives long-term plans and helps businesses to reach their goals.

3. Unified communications: Utilise integrated solutions to solve business process issues
A key responsibility of the IT department is to not only unify communications tools, such as email, instant messaging, voice and video conferencing, but also to streamline processes. The tools must feed into inter-team collaboration and externally to enable seamless communications with customers, partners and other key stake-holders.

4. Big Data: Be a data translator to enable productivity measurement
In a connected enterprise, the IT department will have access to huge amounts of data about everything from bandwidth to mobile workers. This data can be analysed to identify potential productivity gains for the business. It’s important that the IT leader can present these analyses back to the rest of the board to help the business leaders make improvements in their own processes.

5. Collaboration: Build a location independent collaboration strategy
In a knowledge-based economy, collaboration is the spark that prompts innovation. It’s important that workers can collaborate from wherever they are. This means that mobile or remote workers must be able to access their tools and files, but most importantly their colleagues and customers, from anywhere. The ability to collaborate is the most important attribute for success.

6. Technology evangelist: Be a technology evangelist to get the board on board
The CIO must be able to educate the rest of the C-Suite on the need for technology in their business processes. It’s an education process to help other business leaders see how integral technology now is to the daily functioning of their department, as well as making sure that IT is a key consideration in any business decisions.

“From HR to marketing, and finance to sales, IT solutions and infrastructure allow employees to efficiently achieve their objectives by improving the way in which business is conducted. Add in the element of flexible working, and it also will impact the way employees balance their professional and personal lives. It is imperative that IT leaders, such as the CIO, assume a key role in the boardroom and become the lynchpin to increasing business productivity”, said Tim Stone, Vice President Europe Middle East and Africa Marketing at Polycom.

“IT innovations play an increasingly critical role in the ways we interact and collaborate with each other. The penetration of IT in the business world has improved the way that businesses are conducted and the power now lies in the IT leaders’ hands to drive the innovation further throughout the organisation”, added Dr Carsten Sørensen, Reader (Associate Professor) in Digital Innovation at The London School of Economics.

You can view Dr Sørensen’s explanations in a video or via infographic on Polycom’s website and join the conversation on via #backoffice2board.

About Dr Carsten Sørensen
Dr Carsten Sørensen is Reader (Associate Professor) in Digital Innovation at The London School of Economics. His expertise lies in ICT-based innovation. He has published on this subject the past 25 years, as well as provided extensive consultation to organisations like, Microsoft, Google, Telenor, Orange, PA Consulting Group, IMF, Steria, CSC, The Mobile Virtual Centre of Excellence, 3 UK, Skype, AXA, Carphone Warehouse, Computer Associates and The Danish Ministry of Science.

About Polycom
Polycom helps organisations unleash the power of human collaboration. More than 400,000 companies and institutions worldwide defy distance with secure video, voice and content solutions from Polycom to increase productivity, speed time to market, provide better customer service, expand education and save lives. Polycom and its global partner ecosystem provide flexible collaboration solutions for any environment that deliver the best user experience, the broadest multi-vendor interoperability and unmatched investment protection. Visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more.

Sarah Brambley / Sonal Bisht
EMEA Communications, Polycom / Sonal.Bisht(at)polycom(dot)com

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