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Cisco Global Survey Reveals That the Majority of Aspiring Executives See a Big Future for Video in the Workplace

August 2013 by Cisco

A new generation is entering the management ranks of companies worldwide, and like previous generations, they will bring with them their own preferred ways of communicating and collaborating. A global study announced today by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) revealed that the majority of these next-generation executives intend to depend heavily upon business-class video to connect with their teams, colleagues, suppliers, customers and prospects, as well as to help their businesses deliver new products and services.

The 2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes Survey gives insight into what management-track leaders aged 34 and under think about business-class video, which delivers high-quality, reliable, and highly secure lifelike video to users. Cisco commissioned Redshift Research to conduct the survey of more than 1,300 global respondents. Top findings include:

Three out of five young executives say they will rely more heavily on business-class video during the next five to 10 years.

87 percent believe video has a significant and positive impact on an organization, citing benefits ranging from enhancing the experience of telecommuters to saving money on travel costs and even attracting top talent.

94 percent of those organizations with less than 400 employees value video as a way to break down language barriers in the increasingly global marketplace.

87 percent say they would choose to work for a video-enabled organization over a company that has not invested in business-class video communications, because the video-enabled organization "cares about using technology to fuel business growth."

Detailed Findings

The study’s findings fall into three main categories that are top-of-mind for future leaders: video’s impact on their career, its impact on the broader organization and future business needs.

1. Career Impact

Findings show that young executives anticipate that video will dramatically impact the way they communicate.

While three out of five (61 percent) of the young executives said they will rely more heavily on business-class video in the next five to 10 years, those who aspire to manage the largest teams intend to rely upon video even more; 70 percent of those who aspire to managing teams with 51 or more members said they will rely more heavily on video as their careers progress. As video is clearly on the rise amongst young executives, what do they perceive as the medium’s main benefits both today and tomorrow? Today: The top three benefits young executives stated they derive from video are the ability:

to read visual cues
to "be there" without traveling
to share content in real time
Tomorrow: They anticipate video technology innovations will allow them to both customize and enhance the experience - both things one cannot readily do when face to face.

54 percent indicated an interest in customizing the experience (for example, the ability to quickly edit and/or cut a video recording from a meeting and share it via social media tools; understand the dynamics of a business video meeting-in-progress when they join late, by allowing them to privately watch/listen/scan content from earlier in the meeting)

21 percent indicated they are keenly interested in features that will take the conversation to the next level — such as real-time language translations (for example, closed captioning for telepresence) and pop-up bubbles that would provide background information on participants from sources like LinkedIn and

2. Organizational Impact

The survey showed 87 percent of respondents believe video has a significant positive impact on an organization, and they indicated the top three organizational benefits are:

reducing travel costs
building rapport
improving the telecommuting experience
Additional key organizational benefits include:

Attracting talent. Nearly nine out of 10 (87 percent) stated a company’s video investment would sway their decision-making process when considering otherwise equal job offers. Respondents said that an enterprisewide commitment to video technology would make them "feel like the company cares about using technology to fuel business growth."

Focus on the smaller organization. Three out of five young executives at businesses of 400 people or fewer said they are experiencing increased communications challenges due to language differences as business becomes increasingly global.

Reduce language barriers. Of those who reported feeling challenged due to language differences, 94 percent said video can help overcome language barriers. The top three ways these young executives believe video will assist the smaller organizations with language challenges are: giving both parties a better feel for how the conversation is going. enabling participants to visually pick up on when others do not understand a concept. building good will across cultures.

3. Future Needs

As video technology continues to advance, young executive’s future needs are anticipated to evolve as well. Key factors expected to impact the use of video by respondents and organizations include:

Simplicity and pervasiveness. Survey data shows that if video were as simple to use and as pervasive as other common communications tools (desk/mobile phone, instant message, email), the majority of young executives would utilize video quite often: 84 percent said they’d turn to video for at least one out of every four interactions when they are not physically in the same location as the person or persons with whom they are collaborating. Moreover, 53 percent indicated they are would-be "power users" who would turn to video for 50-100% of their non-face-to-face interactions.

Quality. The study showed that as the importance of a business conversation increases, young executives’ tolerance for low-quality (such as Internet-based) video decreases. In fact, for critical communications, most respondents say they simply would forgo the use of video if the quality was not high. Here are the percentages of next-generation leaders who indicated "low quality video would be acceptable" for these meeting types:
Internal meetings - 25 percent
Ad hoc / when travelling - 22 percent
Suppliers - 17 percent
Customers/prospects - 12 percent

Critical communications (such as board and CEO discussions) - 10 percent Camera shyness. Survey respondents were also asked in which situations they are most uncomfortable sharing their video. Top five responses globally were:
Messy office
Personal appearance concerns
Want to multi-task
Must eat Generally not comfortable on video

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