As the saying goes, the constants in life are death and taxes. We all know there are more than those two, including change and its counterpart, disruption. Business success will result from responsiveness and adaptation that will happen at a rate and with intelligence that we’ve only begun to get our heads around. And, most CIOs I speak with are asking about how they can adapt and scale their infrastructure to be prepared as the Internet of Things evolves into the Internet of Everything.
This change brings big implications for IT. The role of IT is changing, in the face of cloud and mobile apps, and the growing understanding that every company is a technology company. From the consumerization of IT to what Gartner Vice President David Cearley calls the “four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information,” IT must increasingly demonstrate it can add value to the business, by rapidly and securely rolling out new services, apps and capabilities in a connected world.
To stay competitive, organizations must focus on building an infrastructure that is simple, agile and secure. This approach means you can get the true innovative services, applications and capabilities of technology that can improve the “people,” “process” and “things” elements of your business.
Today’s business leaders need to gain more value from their existing infrastructure, and reduce complexity and rising management costs. As I work with these leaders, many frequently bring up four top questions that they are facing today:
1) How can my infrastructure be protected, flexible and affordable in the face of constant business transformation?
2) How can an infrastructure that delivers resources in automated fashion help my organization address business speed and flexibility model changes and trends?
3) How can I get my people out of their domain silos to connect to each other and everything?
4) How can I move my people from manual management and administration to higher level functions like design and implementation of new services?
Get Ready for the Future
Employees and customers want a better, faster experience. In addition, as more experiences become available through applications, an infrastructure must be become more open, programmable, and application-aware. An infrastructure must be agile.
A good example of this is how SunGard Availability Systems is preparing for the future of IT by automating infrastructure programmability. Kerby Lyons, Vice President of Global Network Engineering, SunGard Availability Services, has described how his company is building IT automation:
“Our strategy for the future is to automate network programming. This is a radical change for our business and our customers. Not having to wait for engineers to program the network will help us bring new services to market sooner. Network programmability will also make it possible to offer new self-service options our customers are requesting, like bandwidth calendaring.”
Enable Simplicity and Lower Costs
In addition to being agile, an infrastructure of the future must be intelligent. This means an infrastructure delivers simplicity, drives value and lowers cost of ownership.
In February 2013, Cisco released a study predicting that $14.4 trillion of value (net profit) in the private sector is at stake globally over the next decade, driven by connecting the unconnected— people-to-people (P2P), machine-to-people (M2P), and machine-to-machine (M2M) — via the Internet of Everything.
From this study and supporting Internet of Everything Value at Stake research, we can see that top firms capturing IoE value at stake are continually innovating. They’re innovating how they develop, produce, sell, and deliver their products and services. This is largely because they must compete against firms in local markets that emphasize technology and business process innovation. To capture additional IoE value, they must focus on building an intelligent infrastructure for growth.
In addition, organizations must adopt this new IT model to reduce operational expense and build high-quality user experiences when many traffic types compete for bandwidth.
Mitigate Security Threats
The cybersecurity threat is higher than ever. Expanding connectivity from any device and to many clouds is having a significant impact on the threat landscape. As more and more devices and applications are connected, these connections create security risks and increased potential to expose vulnerabilities.
According to the Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report, the vast majority of web malware encounters happen on trusted websites that you already visit. An infrastructure that enables network administrators to adjust or program security policies through software rather than manually configure hardware can increase security and help mitigate threats.
It’s clear that IoE-enabling infrastructure is now easier to obtain than ever before, thanks to the right hardware and software built with the utmost importance on being agile, simple and secure.
How can a programmable infrastructure transform your business? Visit Cisco Executive Perspectives to learn more.
- 2013 Cisco Global IT Impact Survey
- Cisco Annual Security Report for 2013