Millennials, Gen X and Businesses Pushing Supertasking Workstyle – Cisco Study Shows How Technology will Shape the ‘Future of Work’ | The Network

Working from Mars with an Internet Brain Implant: Cisco Study Shows How Technology will Shape the ‘Future of Work’ | The Network.

Full Report:

SAN JOSE, Calif. – November 5, 2014 – Workforce demands by Generation X and Millennial workers to increase flexible work styles have been met with employers shifting their own policies to accommodate these changing attitudes, according to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR). Among other findings, the report also revealed that by the year 2020, the majority of Generation X and Y professionals believe that smartphones and wearable devices will be the workforce’s most important “connected” device – while the laptop remains the workplace device of choice.

Overall, the CCWTR report demonstrates the fundamental ways in which technology is shaping the future of work and how the devices, apps and solutions preferred by these generations are enabling new ways of working – including the rise of the “Supertasker” using four devices – and changes in the way workers and businesses view remote working (44 percent of Millennials feel most productive in the office), application use (six in 10 respondents prefer a pen and paper to the hottest note taking app) and global talent recruitment (50 percent of hiring managers would hire from only video interviews).

These findings also offer insights into the potential impact emerging smart devices, such as wearables, will have on IT and the creators of IT strategy, especially with the emergence of the Internet of Everything (IoE), which is creating new forms of connectivity and changing communications for the next generation of workers.

As in previous years, the CCWTR shows the mindset, expectations, and behavior of the world’s next generation of workers, this year with added insights into Gen X and Human Resources workers, and how they value their connectivity (over physical needs), view their availability for work communications (24/7) and how these quirks shape enterprise IT and security policy, product development and design, and the ability of businesses to compete.


The annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report examines the relationship between human behavior, the Internet and networking’s pervasiveness. Examining this relationship unearths data about how companies will remain competitive amid the influence of technology lifestyle trends. The global report, based on surveys of professionals between the ages of 18 and 50 in 15 countries, provides insight into present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to balance current and future employee and business needs amid increasing mobility capabilities, security risks and technologies that can more ubiquitously deliver information.

Key Findings


Is the “Supertasker” the most desirable employee of the future?

  • More than 4 in 10 Gen X and Gen Y professionals, as well as nearly 6 in 10 HR professionals, consider themselves to be a “Supertasker,” defined as an individual who can successfully do more than two things at once, and do them well.
  • HR professionals feel that Supertaskers increase the expectations of a “high performer” at their organization and as such, most feel Supertaskers are best suited for a managerial role, an individual contributor or an executive role.
  • About half of Gen X and Gen Y professionals believe Supertasking would make an individual more productive. Similarly, HR professionals (62 percent) predominantly believe Supertaskers increase their organization’s productivity.
  • Nearly two thirds believe in the year 2020, Supertasking will be most coveted by their organization.
  • Most indicate learning to become a Supertasker by managing their personal lives, and the majority typically mix work and personal activities, particularly Gen X professionals (70 percent).

Gen X vs. Millennial workers

  • Gen Y (Millennial) professionals are more likely to indicate being “wired” differently than Gen X employees when it comes to efficiency and multitasking. More specifically, 56 percent of Gen Y professionals note that they are more efficient than Gen X employees.
  • More than 4 in 10 professionals believe Gen Y employees are most effective at Supertasking, relative to other generations.
  • 60 percent of Gen X professionals and 81 percent of HR professionals think that Gen Y employees are able to perform tasks faster than older employees using mobile devices and apps.
  • Further, 7 in 10 HR professionals think Gen Y employees are able to perform tasks faster if they are allowed to use their mobile devices and apps instead of desktop, laptop or notebook PC’s.

Living – and Supertasking – Dangerously

  • Slightly less than half of professionals spend at least some amount of time doing work-related activities (sending email, text, tweet or asking Siri to perform a task) while driving.
  • Additionally, two thirds have taken phone calls in the car while driving, including nearly half who take calls at least 25 percent of the time when driving.

Managing Gen X and Gen Y Employees

  • Nearly two thirds of Gen X and more than 8 in 10 HR professionals have previously managed or currently manage Gen X and Gen Y employees.
  • Among those who have managed both Gen X and Gen Y employees, the largest proportion notes that Gen X professional are easier to manage than their younger counterparts. Although, roughly one third indicate both groups are easy to manage.
  • More than one third of Gen X and HR professionals who have experience managing Gen Y employees cited the greatest challenge is their “I want it now” ambition.
  • Gen X and HR professionals agree managers in the future will need to change their approach to coaching/mentoring and collaborating with Gen Y employees as a result of more of them joining the workforce.

The Future of HR and Recruiting

  • Nearly 6 in 10 (58 percent) HR professionals would be willing to hire a candidate by only interviewing the candidate using video conferencing (without ever conducting an interview in person).
    • When asked of hiring managers in general though, slightly less (50 percent) believe hiring managers would be open to hiring someone without an in-person interview.
  • When it comes to hiring based on their organization’s culture, HR professionals are equally divided on whether having the best talent or finding the best fit for their culture is most important.
  • Most HR professionals (40 percent) believe personal skills are most important to hiring managers when looking to fill entry-level positions.
  • While one third of professionals indicate their job hunting approach will always remain local, nearly 1 in 5 indicate their approach is already national or worldwide, driven by those in Mexico, India and France.

Death of the 9-to-5 Workday – The Always-on Lifestyle

  • More than half of professionals (Gen X and Gen Y) consider themselves accessible for work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including 3 in 10 who are accessible by both email and phone.
  • Does the 9-to-5 workday exist? More now like a 7-to-8 then 9-to-12 then 2-to-5 then 9-to-10 workday.
  • Flexible working schedules on the rise: About one quarter of Gen X and Gen Y professionals indicate their organization allows them to work from home.
  • Interestingly, Gen Y professionals who have the opportunity to work remotely are more likely to prefer working from the office, relative to their Gen X counterparts.
  • Among those who are employed by organizations that allow them to work from home, more than 4 in 10 Gen Y professionals indicate they are most focused and productive when working in the office.
  • Driven by those in Germany and France, more than one quarter believe organizations will be more nationally and/or globally distributed by the year 2020, where managers will not need to be in the same office as their direct reports every weekday.

Three-hour lunch is the new norm: Gen X & Y prefer flexible work schedules, willing to work at odd hours in return

  • Professionals are somewhat evenly divided when it comes to the typical white-collar workday, with slightly less than half indicating that they desire the freedom to work and play from anywhere at anytime with no restrictions (vs. having a traditional, scheduled workday of 9am to 5pm).
  • Most Gen X professionals believe Gen Y employees would prefer a flexible work schedule, although Gen Y professionals tend to slightly prefer a traditional work schedule, at 54 percent.
  • Roughly one quarter of professionals are employed at an organization that allows them to work from home. Among them, only 28 percent of Gen Y, 19 percent of Gen X and 6 percent of HR professionals prefer to work in the office.
  • The largest proportion of Gen Y professionals (44 percent) indicate being more focused and productive when working in the office, while Gen X professionals (38 percent) cite being equally focused and productive both at home and in the office.
  • Though somewhat evenly split, slightly more professionals believe there should be a traditional time for work and time for personal life – especially those in China, South Korea, Russia and Mexico.

Work Flexibility an Attractive Recruiting Tool

  • Roughly two thirds of professionals believe that an organization that has adopted a flexible, mobile and remote work model has a competitive advantage over one that requires employees to be in the office from 9am to 5pm every weekday.
  • About half of Gen X and Gen Y professionals feel their organization’s Human Resources department is adjusting to enable a more mobile, flexible work style for its employees, though nearly one third feel it is not doing so quickly enough.
  • From an HR perspective, 56 percent indicate their HR department has already implemented or is planning on implementing a more mobile, flexible work style.

Work Flexibility > Salary

  • Overall, professionals are unwilling to take a pay cut in return for greater work flexibility, although, those in HR tend to be most willing, with 4 in 10 indicating they would accept a pay cut. Similarly, HR professionals are willing to accept the largest pay cut, with 56 percent accepting a pay cut of more than 10 percent (vs. 35 percent of Gen Y and 34 percent of Gen X professionals).
  • While salary is the most important factor for most, the flexibility to set their own schedule or the ability to work remotely is most important to roughly 1 in 5 Gen X and Gen Y professionals, as well as one third of HR professionals.

Adios to the Office

  • Most professionals believe physical offices will still exist in 2020, though about 4 in 10 believe they will be much smaller
  • Further, more than half of Gen X and Gen Y professionals believe their job will sometimes require them to be in the office depending on their schedule.
  • HR professionals are split when it comes to the future work schedule, though 4 in 10 believe employees will be able to work from home occasionally.

Working Remotely…From Outer Space

  • About one quarter would be willing to move to Mars or another planet if their organization was to open a branch.


When is the work device no longer a device used primarily for work?

  • Gen Y professionals are slightly less likely to use their smartphone for phone calls with about half (53 percent) using it for calls less than 25 percent of the time (vs. 43 percent Gen X and 36 percent HR).

BYOS (Bring Your Own Stuff) is the New BYOD

  • BYOD is now pervasive: 4 in 10 HR professionals indicate all employees within their organization are allowed to connect any device to their network in order to do their jobs.
  • Or is it? Elsewhere, BYOD is still a privilege: More than 4 out of 10 claim only select individuals in their companies (executives, sales, IT) are allowed to connect to the device of their choice. In Germany, Japan and France, at least 25 percent of employees are not allowed to access corporate data at all on any mobile device.
  • BYOD gone mad: in Australia, more than half use at least 10 devices in their daily lives.

The End of the TV?

  • Gen X & Y prefer smartphones to TV’s. The majority of Gen X and Gen Y professionals would select their smartphone instead of their television.

Internet More of a Fundamental Resource Than Sense of Smell

  • Nearly half (42 percent) would give up sense of smell to have Internet access, if given the choice Nearly half (42 percent) would choose internet access rather than their sense of smell.
  • For most Gen X and Gen Y professionals, their sense of taste is more valuable than their sense of smell, as far less professionals are willing to relinquish their sense of taste to maintain internet access.

Keeping the Lights On…or Keeping Online?

  • Though professionals would choose to forgo their smartphone for one week instead of electricity in their home, they are much more divided when it comes to their selection between sacrificing their smartphone or sex for one month.
  • The smartphone is important enough that over one-third would give up electricity in their homes for a week before giving up their smartphone.
  • Significantly higher than many countries, most of those from Asian countries would choose to sacrifice sex for a month, including more than 7 in 10 professionals in Japan would choose to maintain their smartphone instead.

Stick ‘em up: Your wallet or your smartphone?

  • 54 percent of Gen Y and 38 percent of Gen X professionals first look at their smartphone when waking up. Additionally, roughly 1 in 5 from both groups would be most concerned about their smartphone, if robbed.

Reports of the “Death of the Laptop” have been highly exaggerated

  • If forced to choose one device, the largest proportion (about 40 percent) would select a laptop for both work and personal use.
  • In Russia, roughly 3 in 10 would choose a tablet, whereas in China and India, a considerably larger proportion would select a desktop computer; additionally, Gen X professionals in Germany are also more likely to select a desktop computer.

Is the Website done?

  • Only one quarter of Gen X and Gen Y professionals believe websites will always be prominent in our lives. Interestingly, 21 percent think websites will be replaced by apps, though they do not anticipate it to happen within the next five years.
  • Among HR professionals though, slightly less (17 percent) believe websites will always be prominent.
  • On multiple occasions throughout the week, roughly one quarter indicate relying only on apps for an entire day.
  • Facebook is the leading choice for sole social media application for smartphones.

Wearable Devices will be more important than Smartphones

  • In the year 2020, the largest proportion of respondents believe a worker’s most important connected device will be a smartphone. Slightly more Gen X professionals believe a connected wearable device will be most important, compared to Gen Y professionals.
  • In Brazil, employees would rather use a wearable device is the preferred device for work and personal life than a desktop computer.

Connected Cars in the Cards?

  • When it comes to self-driven cars, the majority do not expect them to be available by the year 2020. About 3 in 10, though, do believe they will be available, allowing for an easier commute and leaving them free to get work done.

Robot Coworkers?

  • Roughly 8 in 10 professionals believe middle income workers will have robots that can assist them with various work related activities – although most do not expect such robots to be available by the year 2020.

Internet Implants

  • Similarly, assuming a company invented a brain implant that made the World Wide Web instantly accessible, roughly one quarter would move forward with the operation – Gen Y professionals (26 percent) slightly more so than Gen X (21 percent).

Privacy? What privacy?

  • In exchange for a free smartphone with unlimited data service, more than 4 in 10 would allow their carrier/service provider access to all of the data and information stored within the phone.
  • Professionals from China, Brazil and the US are more willing to give access to their carrier/service provider, the government or their employer in return for free smartphone and unlimited data service – significantly more than other countries.

The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy [INFOGRAPHIC] | Vala Afshar

The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy [INFOGRAPHIC] | Vala Afshar.

Vala Afshar


Houston, we have a problem – a social business strategy problem.

The era of social networking started in the early 2000s with the launch of Friendster. In fact we can argue that there were renditions of social networking even before that –from Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) to CompuServe, Prodigy, and AOL. Yet even though we have had some form of social networking since the advent of the networked ecosystem, most companies today are still challenged with successful social business transformational initiatives.

A recent survey by Altimeter of nearly 700 social media professionals yielded that:

  • Only 34% of businesses feel that their social strategy is connected to business outcomes.
  • Just 28% of companies feel that they have a holistic approach to social media, where lines of business and business functions work together under a common vision.
  • A mere 12% are confident they have a plan that looks beyond the next year.
  • Only half said that top executives were “informed, engaged and aligned with their companies’ social strategy.”

As a CMO and an active user of social media, I am stumped at how the industry still treats social as an experiment. Majority of businesses using social media today have few clear connections between their social activities and business goals. Social media metrics, if they exist, focus instead on engagement activity metrics like ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ and not the actual business value creation like revenue, brand reputation or cost reduction.

Another trait commonly observed in the industry is that most social media strategists focus solely on the external social media. What is missing is a holistic strategy that incorporates both external and internal facets and focuses on translating business objectives into socially adept interactions.

Time is now to get serious about social and this is precisely what authors and technology analysts Charlene Li and Brian Solis have addressed in their latest publication, “The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy“. The e-book focuses on factors that enable executives and strategists all across to develop and execute on a holistic social business strategy.

The e-book is an easy and insightful read that provides practical advice. You will learn how to define your social strategy, gain alignment across the business, and use said strategy to support business goals. Li and Solis also focus their findings and recommendations on how to convince and rally decision makers at the executive level, with both considered practices and mistakes to avoid.

Without further ado, here are the 7 key factors that impact the success of your social business strategy.

1) Define business goals

Figure out your business objectives. It is imperative that your strategy be built around your business goals. Starting off on the right foot means defining goals up front and ensuring that stakeholders at different levels and across departments are aligned towards those goals.

The second step is to define key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that go beyond engagement data sets. For example, take likes, comments, re-tweets, reach, views and the alike, and map these to tangible business outcomes such as revenue generation, brand reputation and cost savings.

Bonus points for teams that can start correlating sentiment and share of voice in social media against business impact on revenue, support and retention.

2) Establish a long-term vision

There is tremendous advantage in knowing where we are going. It’s not just enough to have goals in place; you also need to have a long term vision that communicates to everyone within the organization on why this journey is taking place and the value it brings.

It is imperative to define this vision for future employees, customers, and partner relationships and social experiences that will come about as a result of this holistic strategy. It provides a direction and a purpose to every stakeholder. In order to establish a vision,social executives must understand their role in a social business.

3) Ensure executive alignment and support

Executive support is imperative to the establishment and on-going execution of a social business strategy. Social often exists in its own marketing silo. But at some point, business collaboration must extend beyond marketing or social customer care and pervasively reach throughout the entire ecosystem. When every voice is heard in the seams of the organizational fabric, you have achieved a holistic adoption of social. Executive sponsorship is necessary to do this, and to also align collaboration with tangible business objectives.

Additionally, speaking the language that matters to executives is the only way to ensuring program support, therefore allowing sustainable budget and resources to scale social within the organization. I recently wrote about the importance of social executive support.

4) Define the strategy roadmap and associated initiatives

Once you have your vision and you are in alignment on your business goals, you need a detailed plan that outlines each step required to build your social business. Ideally, it should outline the next 3 years with focus on initiatives that one can execute in a proficient manner immediately, along with prioritization based on business value.

5) Establish governance and guidelines

Develop one coherent social governance model that outlines and defines stakeholders that are responsible for the strategy, management and development of an infrastructure to support your social business strategy.

Ideally, a corporate hub is established by the social media strategist with representation from each business unit to initiate enterprise priorities, guidelines and processes along with specific roles and responsibilities. One should also invest in formation of a Social Media Center of Excellence (CoE) which ensures a systematic strategy and allows sustainable scalability across the organization.

6) Secure staff, resources and funding

The most important aspect of a successful social business strategy is talent. It is important to get the right people with the right mindset onto the core team to make this work. Determine where resources are best applied in the present and the future. Ideally, your corporate strategist and their teams should have proficient background in dealing with emergent technologies and approaches.

Think deep about your strategic relationships across your agency, vendor and partner networks. It is recommended and perfectly fine to rely on capable external partners in the initial phases when marketing efforts are being amplified and internal skills are limited.

As a CMO, I am more interested in my talent’s ability to adapt and forecast the future working models than their ability to sell me their traditional past successes. Invest in the ability to train your staff on vision, purpose and business value creation along with an appropriate metrics/reporting structure to ensure a uniform approach across the business.

7) Invest in technology platforms that evolve

Avoid the shiny object syndrome that is often seen in marketing departments all across the industry. Avoid new technologies and investment in the latest tactics prior to having a coherent and a holistic social business strategy, roadmap and alignment in place. Often times, technology choices of yesteryear don’t scale well into the future state of a social business. Smart executives and strategists always pick technology last.

One way of tackling this issue is to align with technology vendors who share their product roadmaps with you so that one can easily evaluate if they will meet your organization’s future state.

Enterprise social is often misunderstood by the masses as an easy, simple, in the moment kind of an activity. Fortunately for us, Solis and Li have done a great job in explaining the intricacies of enterprise social business and provide a heartfelt read on tackling the issues that we are all facing in this industry.

In the noisy world of social media publications, this is a refreshing and an informative read. I highly recommend that all business executives, especially CEOs, CMOs, CHROs, CCOs, and CIOs to consider reading “The Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy“.

BBC Presentation – Future of TV – Orchestrated Media – New Gatekeepers in the Living Room Means More Disruption (Or Democratisation) of TV Industry

Gartner Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012: Sales Turns to the Cloud for Quick Relief – Forbes

Gartner Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012: Sales Turns to the Cloud for Quick Relief – Forbes.

Sales VPs for years have been test-driving SaaS-based CRM systems, piloting them with sales teams to see if using them leads to higher sales and greater customer retention.  Marketing VPs and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) also continue to pilot SaaS-based web analytics and marketing automation applications.

What’s been missing from these pilots is the ability to bring CRM, marketing automation, sales management and web analytics systems into existing enterprise IT architectures just as fast.  This is changing quickly.  CRM vendors have been quick to respond to the challenge, offering Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs), integration adapters, connectors and from larger vendors, integrated bus architectures.

What the Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012 Means

CRM’s real value is in unifying an entire enterprise based on its ability to sell, serve and retain customers better than before. Gartner shows this is a high priority for its CRM clients by underscoring which technology and application areas of the hype cycle are responding to his market dynamic, and which aren’t.

This Hype Cycle also reflects the urgency I hear from Sales VPs who want to get in control of the complex compensation, quota, territory management, job appraisal and sales coaching responsibilities they have.  While each of these areas is essential, many companies, even those in enterprise software, have ignored these areas, allowing them to stay manually based. Gartner calls this area Sales Performance Management (SPM) and shows it has the highest benefit of all SaaS-based sales management applications in the next two years. Gartner’s analysis captures the time shortage that Sales VPs I know are facing; they have to get to high quota levels while also managing a diverse set of leadership responsibilities as well. The Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012 (G00234919) is shown below:

  • Gartner estimates 35% of all CRM implementations today use SaaS, growing to over 50% by 2020 according to their projections. In 2011, more than $5 billion was invested in sales applications.
  • Cloud adoption varies significantly across CRM software categories with Web analytics achieving 95% adoption, Sales Force Automation achieving just over 50%, and Configure Price Quote (CPQ) achieving 40%.  Cloud-based Sales Performance Management has the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of any CRM category according to inquiry and client calls.
  • Sales, Customer Service, Social CRM and Marketing are the four fastest-growing areas of enterprise Sales applications on SaaS.  Campaign Management is increasingly quickly, up from 19% using SaaS in 2010 to 29% in 2011.
  • Gartner sees significant growth in Configure Price Quote (CPQ), projecting a market of $300M in 2012, up from $240M in 2011.  Gartner is due out with a MarketScope on CPQ shortly, where the 15 major vendors it tracks in this area will be ranked.  40% of existing implementations are on SaaS, and that proportion is increasing relative to licensed versions.  Of the 15 vendors in this market, 12 have announced SaaS-based versions of their applications.
  • There are 3.8M Sales Force Automation SaaS users globally today.
  • By 2017, 25% of companies adopting CRM will have extended their customer service contact centers to include social media includingFacebook, Twitter and other emerging online communities.  As of 2012, Gartner is seeking only 1% of companies integrate social media into their companies’ departments and work flows to ensure a consistent customer experience.
  • Price Optimization will experience transformational growth in two to five years. Gartner sees this area as one of the most promising across all CRM Sales as can be seen in the Priority Matrix for CRM Sales 2012 below from the Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2012.  The research firm has defined this market as including price analysis, price optimization and price execution.  Gartner estimates this market was $180M to $190M in 2010.  Vendor competing in this market include Accenture, Deloitte, Pros, Vendavo, Vistaar Technologies and Zilliant.

  • Social CRM (SCRM) for Sales is at the Peak of Inflated Expectations, with 90% of spending for these applications being generated from B2C companies.  Gartner expects B2B companies to lead the growth of these applications through 2015, increasing spending from 5% of total SCRM sales in 2011 to 30% by 2015.
  • SaaS-based CRM sales within enterprises are expected to reach $4.48B in 2012, growing to $6.3B in 2015.  The following table from the report Forecast: Software as a Service, Worldwide 2010-2015, 2H11 Update provides a frame of reference for SaaS-based CRM growth overall.
  • Salesforce leads all CRM vendors in market share growth, advancing 2.8% from 2010 to 2011 according to Gartner’s’ global market share analysis shown below. Salesforce attained 26.9% revenue growth from 2010 to 2011 ($1.3B to $1.6B) and 36.7% growth from 2011 to 2012 ($1.6B to $2.27B).  The future momentum of Salesforce is in unifying the enterprise, redefining corporate IT in the context of the customer. Their recent acquisitions show analytics, marketing automation and development platforms are key priorities.  The following table is from the report Market Share Snapshot: CRM Software, 2011 (G00233998).

Bottom line:  Making CRM strategies successful has to start with a common vision and urgency for results.  Both are happening quicker in CRM than ever before, driven by a much clearer understanding of what enterprises need to more effectively attain their goals.

PSFK presents Future of Retail Report 2012