New CIO Needs Cisco to Be a Mannequin for Hybrid Work



Fletcher Previn,


Techniques Inc.’s new chief data officer, stated he’s working to assist place the networking-equipment maker as a frontrunner in hybrid work.

“All people being distant within the pandemic was really a less complicated downside to unravel than hybrid work,” Mr. Previn stated, including that he’s targeted on bettering Cisco’s worker expertise so employees at dwelling aren’t deprived relative to their in-office friends. Cisco’s roughly 83,000 workers have the choice of working from the workplace or from dwelling.

Mr. Previn, who is predicated 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 Larger China area. Mr. Previn joined Cisco in 2021 as chief digital officer from Worldwide Enterprise Machines Corp., the place he was CIO.

Months into his new position, Mr. Previn stated one in every of his objectives is to mildew the San Jose, Calif.-based firm right into a mannequin for versatile workplaces as extra workers return to the workplace.

“I’ve the good luxurious of being CIO of Cisco and to have the ability to undergo our complete catalog and portfolio of architectures and know-how and say, ‘What are the elements which can be actually required to unravel this?” Mr. Previn stated about enabling hybrid work. “The businesses that get that proper will win.”

Mr. Previn stated he intends to additional automate inner processes and fine-tune IT to make groups extra agile to allow them to deal with extra initiatives throughout software program improvement, infrastructure, networking and cybersecurity.

“Even if you happen to’re supporting a 30-year-old legacy software, there’s simply as a lot house for innovation in that software as a brand-new cell app that you simply construct on the cloud,” he stated.

Mr. Previn, who reviews to Cisco Chief Working Officer Maria Martinez, oversees a crew of about 9,200 folks in capabilities corresponding to worker IT assist, core finance and supply-chain methods, gross sales and advertising instruments, manufacturing, and data-center and safety infrastructure.

Cisco CIO Fletcher Previn


Cisco Techniques Inc.



veteran of greater than a decade, Mr. Previn was named that firm’s CIO in 2017. At IBM, he had prioritized design pondering and consumer expertise in an effort to draw and retain workers. 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 needs to be a precedence for CIOs as a result of it may possibly lower workplace prices whereas bettering worker productiveness, stated

Bobby Cameron,

a principal analyst at

Forrester Analysis Inc.

“Priorities for the hybrid work atmosphere proceed to be digital instruments for conferences and lively collaboration,” Mr. Cameron stated. “These ought to tie collectively shared data, the power to work collectively on particular issues, and may assist the hybrid employees interact with prospects and companions similarly.”

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 corporate additionally introduced a restructuring plan, which might 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 stated 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 likely be affected by the restructuring, however stated his group remains to be hiring.

Write to Belle Lin at

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