A colleague of mine with close to 30 years experience in financial services recently returned from a business trip to Kuala Lumpur where he attended a financial services CIO summit. One of the messages he heard again and again was the quest for simplicity.
The CIOs were looking for solutions that are not simplistic, but rather simple – simple to implement, simple to maintain and simple to use.
Not a new concept, but one we need to constantly remind ourselves of as we use technology as an enabler. Key lessons learned to keep in-mind include:
It’s not about the technology, it’s about delivering improved capability and business value
Get the users involved early and often
Ensure both the business and the technology sides are aligned
It’s about people, process and technology
The list can go on, but let’s return to simplicity. When we look at today’s distributed computing environment, it harkens back to the early 1990s when the battle raged between OS2 and Windows. We all know the result and now PCs, in a client-server architecture, rule the day. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the client-server environment is anything but simple which is why we are moving into a post PC era. I would argue that a critical part of this shift is the need to drive to simplicity.
A brief example may help paint the picture for you. We recently worked with a large European bank that was facing a far-reaching desktop operating system upgrade. To replace the old with the new would not have solved one nagging problem: it took over 20 minutes to boot up, sign in and start using a desktop. All the best intentions lead to increased complexity and a lot of lost productivity.
Do the math: 1,000 people signing in once a day lose a total of 333 hours of productivity every day. That’s 8 weeks of lost productivity in the first half hour of each work day. Transitioning to a virtual desktop environment, with Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure(V XI) and services, brought the sign-in time down to seconds, not minutes, while simplifying overall desktop management, which ultimately helped increase productivity.
The challenges we face in today’s post-PC era include overcoming complexity, but as Edward de Bono says, “Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy. There is never any justification for things being complex when they could be simple.” Now is the time to drive for simplicity.
Two events on the North American west coast, set apart by two days, each helped to set the tone for this year’s big debate about the future of cities.
Where exactly is the big debate, you might ask? Looking at the Presidential election season The New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Tom Friedman, bemoaned in early January, the fact that he just doesn’t “remember any candidate being asked in those really entertaining G.O.P. debates, ‘How do you think smart cities can become the job engines of the future, and what is your plan to ensure that America has a strategic bandwidth advantage?’”
At IBSG we know some of the most important elements of that alternative future for US cities. And we are engaged in intensive projects with our customers — cities like Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Vancouver — to shape it. Read More »
Cupid has worked his magic and helped us bring together some awesome speakers for our February 14th Social Enterprise Day at Social Media Week. Check out our full agenda and information on how to register. All times are in Pacific Standard Time.
8:00 – 8:55 Networking Breakfast
8:55 – 9:00 Welcome
9:00 – 9:50 Executive Dialogue: Social Media through an Executive Lens Cisco executives, Carlos Dominguez and Sheila Jordan will share their perspectives on social media adoption. Carlos will tell his story on how and why he has become an avid social media user and Sheila will take you behind the firewall. She will highlight how you can prepare your IT organization to help drive adoption of social media and collaboration technologies. This dialogue will focus on understanding how a company can embrace social media at the executive level while protecting its intellectual property.
Dialoguers: Carlos Dominguez (@carlosdominguez), SVP, “The Tech Nowist”, Cisco and Sheila Jordan (@CiscoSheila), SVP, Communication and Collaboration IT, Cisco
Moderator: Karen Snell (@kcsnell), Social Media Communications Manager, Cisco
10:00 – 10:50 Cisco’s Social Media Journey This presentation will give you a sneak peek into Cisco’s social media journey, best practices, innovations and lessons learned over the years. Jeanette will also give you some tips on how to set up and scale your social media center of excellence based on Cisco’s center of excellence model. Presenter: Jeanette Gibson (@JeanetteG), Senior Director, Global Social Media and Digital Marketing, Cisco
11:00 – 11:50 Panel: The Road to Becoming a Social Business This panel will explore the framework for becoming a social business and offer perspectives on social content strategy to create great stories. This session will address questions on how to scale your social efforts across your company and globally, and will leave you with some practical tips and lessons learned.
Moderator: Michael Brito (@britopian), SVP, Social Business Planning, Edelman Digital
Panelists: Read More »
Today, we made a significant announcement that transcends data center, campus and service provider and Cloud-based deployments, geared towards helping our customers embrace the winds of change that are buffeting the IT landscape. This announcement is precipitated by a number of mega-trends that were buzzwords even a couple of years ago but have become looming realities in the IT landscape. Think video, virtualization, 10G, Bring your own device (BYOD) and not to forget – the journey to cloud.
Layer in ongoing careabouts like security and Energy Efficiency – and boy, do we have the perfect storm brewing.
The three “Cs”:
For many customers, it is no longer sufficient to take a “band-aid approach”. A faster switch here or a new wireless LAN access point there just doesn’t cut it. They have to step back and evaluate their environment holistically, and minimize the chokepoints proactively. This is causing them to evaluate the three “Cs” of capacity, complexity and cost, while ensuring that they’re in a position to deliver the end-to-end IT experience.
Cisco Live London 2012 is underway this week. I’m sure that technical learning and having fun are high on your to-do list. Perhaps you’re also anxious to know what new products and technologies Cisco will announce.
I talked to several customers during the last several weeks. They all wanted to know what Cisco is doing further to help them deal with the wave of cloud computing, video, and mobility. In my previous post From San Jose to London I summarized these questions: Read More »