New CIO Wants Cisco to Be a Model for Hybrid Work

Systems Inc.’s new chief info officer, mentioned he’s working to assist place the networking-equipment maker as a chief in hybrid work.

“Everybody being remote in the pandemic was actually a simpler problem to solve than hybrid work,” Mr. Previn mentioned, including that he’s centered on enhancing Cisco’s worker expertise so staff at dwelling aren’t deprived relative to their in-office friends. Cisco’s roughly 83,000 staff have the choice of working from the workplace or from dwelling.

Mr. Previn, who relies in Connecticut, was appointed Cisco’s CIO in September, succeeding 

Jacqueline Guichelaar,

who now leads the corporate’s customer-experience operate for the Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China area. Mr. Previn joined Cisco in 2021 as chief digital officer from International Business Machines Corp., the place he was CIO.

Months into his new position, Mr. Previn mentioned considered one of his targets is to mildew the San Jose, Calif.-based firm into a mannequin for versatile workplaces as extra staff return to the workplace.

“I have the great luxury of being CIO of Cisco and to be able to go through our entire catalog and portfolio of architectures and technology and say, ‘What are the parts that are really required to solve this?” Mr. Previn mentioned about enabling hybrid work. “The companies that get that right will win.”

Mr. Previn mentioned he intends to additional automate inner processes and fine-tune IT to make groups extra agile to allow them to sort out extra tasks throughout software program improvement, infrastructure, networking and cybersecurity.

“Even if you’re supporting a 30-year-old legacy application, there’s just as much space for innovation in that application as a brand-new mobile app that you build on the cloud,” he mentioned.

Mr. Previn, who studies to Cisco Chief Operating Officer Maria Martinez, oversees a crew of about 9,200 folks in features akin to worker IT assist, core finance and supply-chain programs, gross sales and advertising and marketing instruments, manufacturing, and data-center and safety infrastructure.

Cisco CIO Fletcher Previn


Cisco Systems Inc.



veteran of greater than a decade, Mr. Previn was named that firm’s CIO in 2017. At IBM, he had prioritized design thinking and user experience in an effort to appeal to and retain staff. Mr. Previn’s prior expertise main an IT division of greater than 12,000 folks ready him for Cisco, the place he has taken the identical employee-centric mindset in tackling hybrid work.

Enabling hybrid work must be a precedence for CIOs as a result of it could actually lower workplace prices whereas enhancing worker productiveness, mentioned

Bobby Cameron,

a principal analyst at

Forrester Research Inc.

“Priorities for the hybrid work environment continue to be digital tools for meetings and active collaboration,” Mr. Cameron mentioned. “These should tie together shared information, the ability to work together on specific problems, and should help the hybrid workers engage with customers and partners in a similar fashion.”

Cisco final week reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended Oct. 29 and income of about $13.6 billion as supply-chain challenges abated. The firm additionally introduced a restructuring plan, which may have an effect on about 5% of its employees beginning within the present quarter and contains lowering its real-estate portfolio to align with its hybrid work technique. A spokesperson mentioned the corporate expects to have roughly the identical headcount on the finish of its fiscal yr, on Jul. 29, 2023, because it did when the yr began.

Mr. Previn declined to say whether or not his crew will probably be affected by the restructuring, however mentioned his group remains to be hiring.

Write to Belle Lin at [email protected]

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