Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 34 - Page 42

business ‘‘ TALKING //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (while adding a new innovation showroom of Smart City and other solutions). Our collaboration with the accelerator has been amplified – and accelerated – by the fact that we are now in close proximity to the start-ups on the programme and have easy access to allow us to provide mentoring, and even undertake Proof of Concept for one of the start-up companies, in our own new regional hub. It also means that our team has direct access to a pure start-up environment and genuine entrepreneurs, and the stimulating and inspiring effect this has. Even with the best collaboration tools, this would not have happened so quickly or effectively. Collaboration helps enterprises innovate much faster and more efficiently. At the 42 INTELLIGENTCIO same time, it makes them more agile and adaptable to change, vital in this age of rapid transformation. A collaboration hub, such as the accelerator, enables the ‘people effect’ that is vital to innovation. Of course, once people are working in relatively close proximity, then they need to work effectively and productively, in the right kind of space conducive to collaboration. Workspace design is vital of course and is key to enabling people. As collaboration becomes more commonplace, and as workers become more comfortable interacting digitally, they’ll also want to spend more time face- to-face with team members from around the office. Designing spaces for collaboration means creating a variety of appealing and flexible ‘collaboration spaces’ where people can get together with a collective sense of energy and with collaboration tools such as interactive, connected smartboards, stand-up meeting rooms, informal lounge/café spaces and dedicated telepresence rooms. Digital technology has disrupted the workplace, which has changed beyond recognition over the last decade. The new work environment today is virtual and people want to work more flexibly and on their own terms, so IT needs to make it as simple as possible for them to engage anytime, anywhere and using any device, to get all the benefits – including the creativity and innovation – that comes with the ‘people effect’. n