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How Service Providers Can Profit From Smart Cities

The UN estimates that at some point between 2008 and 2009 the world’s urban and rural populations became equal in size for the first time in human history.  Urbanization is set to continue as the rural population seeks the wealth and social opportunity that cities offer. In the period from 2007 to 2050, the UN estimates the urban population will grow from 3.1bn to 6.4bn.  As cities around the world grow in size, we are beginning to see that strained resources, infrastructure, and services are causing natural limits to urban growth, which in turn limits the economic growth opportunity. The challenge of managing sustainable urban growth is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. In parallel, city leaders are looking for ways to establish clear identities for their cities and to use the growing connectivity of everything to improve urban life for their citizens.

Cities as diverse as Barcelona, Nice, Dallas and Songdo in South Korea, are already starting to leverage advanced technologies and data analysis to create smart, connected cities.  These cities, and others around the globe, are building out new digital services such as smart lighting, traffic, waste management and data analytics to reduce costs, tap new sources of revenue, create new innovation business districts and improve the overall quality of urban life. Not only will the creation of smart cities generate huge value for the cities and their inhabitants, but there are great opportunities for the vendors and partners who help the cities to create and operate these digitally smart cities of the future.

Connecting all of the sensors, devices, people and data is critical to Read More »

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What the Internet of Everything Means for Insurance

©Michael Tompert  2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

©Michael Tompert 2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

Moving to one-to-one relationships: It’s incredible to think about the impact and influence. Cisco predicts $14.4 trillion of value will be “at stake” over the next decade, driven by “connecting the unconnected” through the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE triggers a 19 trillion dollar global opportunity based upon the growth statistics of more than a 7.2 billion population, with an average of 3.47 devices per person, yielding more than 25 billion IP connected devices all by 2015, growing to 50 billion by 2020. TED Talks keynote speaker, Rick Smolan, author of The Human Face of Big Data, comments, “It’s like the earth is growing a nervous system.”

How does this impact the insurance industry? On a one-to-one level, customer’s cars, houses and human anatomy (e.g. Fit Bit) can all be connected; providing critical information about risk and rewards in real-time. In the distribution channels, it can change the way carriers, agents and brokers conduct business, both virtually and face to face. Read More »

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Data Virtualization: Achieve Better Business Outcomes, Faster

Data, Data Everywhere!

The challenge of making business decisions in a networked world isn’t a lack of data. It’s having data residing in multiple systems, global locations, locked away in spreadsheets, and in people’s heads.

Almost every enterprise faces this data silos challenge to a greater or lesser degree. But how businesses address it makes the difference between becoming a market leader or an “also-ran.” The fact is, better information leads to better decisions and better business outcomes. The Harvard Business Review (Big Data’s Management Revolution, October 2012) stated that data-driven companies are 5 percent more productive and 6 percent more profitable than their competitors.

Being able to easily access and use vast data stores has always been difficult. But in just the past few years, the problem has become 10 times worse. If it was just more data, then more compute and database horsepower could fix it. The bigger issues for businesses are proliferating data silos and ever-expanding distribution.

Data Virtualization to the Rescue

Industry-leading businesses are addressing the challenge with data virtualization. Data virtualization is an agile data integration approach that organizations use to:

  • Gain more insight from their data
  • Respond faster to accelerating analytics and business intelligence requirements
  • Reduce costs by 50 to 75 percent compared to data replication and consolidation approaches
  • Data virtualization abstracts data from multiple sources and transparently brings it together to give users a unified, friendly view of the data that they need.

Data Virtualization Presents a Unified View

Armed with quick and easy access to critical data, users can analyze it with their favorite business intelligence and analytic tools to drive a wide range of business outcomes. For example, they can increase customer profitability. Bring products to market faster. Reduce costs. And lower risk.

To read more about what Data Virtualization might mean to your enterprise, check out our new white paper Data Virtualization: Achieve Better Business Outcomes, Faster.

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Cisco a “World’s Most Ethical Company” for 7th Straight Year

May 6, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

Jeremy_WilsonThis post was written by guest blogger Jeremy Wilson, Director, Ethics and Integrity

Do companies have good ethics any more? At least one hundred do.

Cisco was recently placed on Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical company list for the seventh year in a row. Ethisphere, an independent research center that promotes best practices in corporate ethics and compliance, issues an annual survey with a series of multiple-choice questions that are intended to “capture a company’s performance in an objective, consistent, and standardized way.” Scores are then generated in five categories:

  • Ethics and compliance programs
  • Reputation, leadership, and innovation
  • Governance
  • Corporate citizenship and responsibility
  • Culture of ethics

Only a handful of companies have remained on the list as long a Cisco. The Cisco Ethics Office works with our various compliance partners around the company and around the world to enable and ensure legal and regulatory compliance in the 100+ countries in which we do business. The Ethics Office specifically focuses its attention on responding to questions and concerns that come in through the various reporting avenues, counseling with the business, and working with leaders to promote and enhance Cisco’s culture of ethics and integrity.

Cisco is also one of the few companies in the world to repeatedly achieve 100% participation in its code of business conduct certification and related trainings. This is just another indicator of Cisco’s commitment to good business ethics. Kudos to the entire Cisco Family on this great achievement.

Read more about Cisco’s commitment to good corporate governance and ethics.

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Dimension Data Series #2 – Mobility Policy: The Mobile Endpoint is the New Perimeter

Mobile security is a top concern for IT and business leaders. This blog series with Dimension Data explores how organizational leaders can work together to mitigate concern and implement clearly defined policies and mobility goals.

Jason Harris co-authored this blog. Below we will address how the mobile endpoint is the new perimeter. The first blog in this series discussing how concerns outweigh actions when it comes to mobility security can be found here.

JasonHarris-150x150Co-authored by Jason Harris, Principal Consultant for Security and Enterprise Mobility for Dimension Data Americas

Jason comes from a technical and business risk and compliance background, with experience in conducting governance risk and compliance and technical security testing. He has expanded this into policy driven security architecture reviews including development of IT policy and procedures, technical system assessments, penetration testing, security and enterprise mobility architecture and information risk management. Over the last 3 years Jason has been leading the development of Dimension Data’s Enterprise Mobility Development Model (EMDM) and has delivered the EMDM to large enterprise clients.

Employees use their devices to access our systems on their own. It’s nearly impossible to stop.

If you agree with this statement, you’ll join the over 90% of IT decision makers that recently participated in Dimension Data’s Secure Mobility Global Survey. It’s no surprise that mobile security is a top concern for IT and business leaders; however as discussed in our first blog post in this series, concern often outweighs action when it comes to securing mobility.

For example, according to the Dimension Data survey, while over 90% of IT leaders agree that security is a top concern, only 27% feel that they have well-defined network policies in place for mobility.

Based on these figures, it’s clear that it isn’t enough to just talk about security policy; IT and business leaders need work together and focus on upholding and enforcing the policies set in place to close gaps. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why organizations need a policy that is clearly defined and how implementing the right policy will help fill gaps and establish a secure network.

In other words, how can a holistic and balanced approach to enterprise mobility -- including BYOD programs -- impact overall network security?

Mobility is the New Endpoint

In our recent conversations with CIOs, many are starting to understand that in today’s mobile and cloud landscape, the mobile endpoint is the new perimeter. This change in thinking is what’s going to be required of all of us as we embrace and deploy clearly defined roles and responsibilities for enterprise mobility policies. If it’s important for IT and business leaders to enable employees to work anywhere, wherever and however, they need to plan it properly to ensure the right amount of controls and mechanisms to support a mobile workforce.

A major part of this shift in thinking involves securing not only the user or the device, but the data the user or device has access to. This data-centric security model can help issue some control around the evolution in enterprise mobility that has basically extended an organization’s network into a thousand mini-networks that IT has little visibility over. This is why we need to change our thinking.  Mobile devices aren’t outside the perimeter; they are the new endpoint.

Read More »

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