The meteoric rise and popularity of Web 2.0 tools and technologies presents several business and technical challenges for corporate IT. Before the benefits of Web 2.0 can be fully realized in the enterprise, IT needs to accept and embrace them. Following are what I see as the four overarching IT challenges from a business perspective.
In early 2009, I was asked to form a virtual, global team within Cisco IT to figure out how we could reduce international long distance calling expenses at Cisco. As a result of adding 28 TEHO routes we were able to avoid future PSTN costs of approximately $4 million per year.
At a global company like Cisco a lot of our meetings are held as conference calls with people all over the world. These meetings can last an hour or more, so a company phone is useful especially after hours or when you’re traveling. For me, that’s when a softphone on my laptop is the best solution. It uses the power of the corporate network to make low-cost business calls (and they’re free to me). Many people at Cisco use Cisco IP Communicator, which is a great softphone. My preference is Cisco Unified Personal Communicator because it combines the softphone with presence information, instant messaging, and very recently a new feature called “click-to-conference” WebEx.
At Cisco Live 2010 in Barcelona last month, Cisco IT’s Rich Gore spoke with Donald De Witte of the Cisco Data Center Networks blog about our production data center in Richardson, Texas. As Rich noted, the technologies and IT architecture inside the Richardson data center (normally closed to the public) are shared in the Cisco IT Data Center Experience, an interactive virtual tour. If you haven’t seen the virtual data center tour, be sure to check it out.