A few months ago, the IT department at networking systems company Ciena had a virtual all-hands meeting. Although the meeting was led by the IT department and its roughly 350 employees, all of Ciena’s 6,500 employees were invited to join. The meeting was a company-wide rollout and test of the new video conferencing and collaboration tools Ciena had just deployed.
The event took place in late 2019 and turned out to be spectacularly well timed, with social distancing about to affect most employees. But both the rollout and the event had been in the works for a long time, explains CIO Craig Williams. “We’ve been on this digital transformation journey for about three years,” he says. “What if you reimagined IT and the company did it all over? You wouldn’t build data centers. You’d probably come out with a video-first strategy. You’d invest in collaboration tools and you’d support any mobile device anywhere in the world.”
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