The network is your office intelligence center

You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and your network is more than a data conduit—it’s your office intelligence center. As an IT decision maker, it’s up to you to transform your network for the future so it can anticipate worker needs, reduce energy usage, reinforce security, and deliver real-time data for a faster path to innovation.

Done right, your network can be the foundation for insight-backed sustainability and office space optimization programs. You can determine in real time (with privacy protections in place) how many people are in the office, where they’re working, and when they leave.

For the first time, your workplace can use that data to determine exactly how much space they should lease for long-term savings. From our PENN1 smart office in New York City to our new office in Atlanta, Cisco has harnessed IT and operational technology (OT) converged networks to connect edge devices and data for better, more confident decision-making. Around the world, we are enabling seamless and secure innovations in IT connectivity, low-voltage direct current (DC) Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), and the Internet of Things (IoT ).

As you elevate your network for the future of work, here are three things to consider:

1 – Converge your IT and OT for superior, more secure hybrid work experiences

Delivering hybrid work experiences without compromising security is a priority. According to the IDC Connection Report, seamless and fast connectivity are the top technology priorities for enterprises adapting to today’s evolving hybrid work environments .

An IT/OT converged network promotes faster, more secure access for remote employees , enabling collaboration and innovation across teams and time zones.

The network also supports consistent, frictionless experiences for employees and guests. As people flow in and out of the office, automated physical security measures seamlessly adapt to changing work environments, prioritizing safety without compromising efficiency.

2 – Simplify and save with low-voltage DC PoE

Embracing low-voltage DC PoE is another game-changer that simplifies construction and can reduce expenses. It means HVAC controls, cameras, sensors, window shades, lighting, and other applications can be easily integrated and no longer require costly line-voltage armored copper wiring.

Our PENN1 smart building, using DC PoE, has streamlined operations while slashing overhead costs . According to CSA Group there is over 45% reduction in energy waste by using DC power, saving energy and reducing operating costs.

3 – Know your workplace inside and out with IoT sensors

When OT is used in the form of IoT, we can use embedded sensors to revolutionize office spaces. Using real-time sensor data, some of it embedded in collaboration devices and access points, smart buildings such as PENN1 are optimizing worker experiences and aligning energy usage with dynamic use patterns. Occupancy sensors can intuitively regulate HVAC units in conference rooms and other spaces, ensuring comfort while potentially minimizing energy waste.

Elsewhere, window shades can be automatically raised or lowered to create optimal levels of daylight so that workers experience the most natural light possible, striking a balance between illumination and heat control.

Furthermore, room reservation systems can become easier to implement because they are now based on actual occupancy instead of requests. If no one shows up in a conference or meeting room they have reserved, the booking can be canceled and relisted as available with no manual processes.

Sensors can also gather data to fuel analytics-driven insights around how office space is being used, allowing businesses to optimize their workspace efficiency—all while working toward company-wide sustainability goals. By understanding occupancy patterns, resource usage, and employee behaviors, organizations can act with confidence for better productivity and less waste.

Unlock the potential of a “smarter” smart office

As the office landscape evolves, C-suite executives have an opportunity to create workplaces that truly inspire. By championing IT/OT converged networks, securing hybrid work, and prioritizing seamless experiences, IT decision-makers can lead the way with smarter, more sustainable environments.

At Cisco, we have transformed our network into an IT/OT converged network, marrying IT expertise with operational excellence. This holistic approach addresses a key challenge in real estate: the lack of visibility into actual office space utilization. While badge-ins provide limited insights, your network holds the key to unlocking valuable usage pattern data.

Discover how our hybrid work and smart building solutions can revolutionize your workplace. Unleash the full potential of your smart office with Cisco.

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