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If Hindsight is 20-20, What is Foresight?

The Huffington Post recently wrote about a re-published interview with Steve Jobs that appeared in a 1985 issue of Playboy. One of the points he made was that you can never really know in the beginning what something might become.

Here’s a quote: “A computer is the most incredible tool we’ve ever seen. It can be a writing tool, a communications center, a supercalculator, a planner, a filer and an artistic instrument all in one, just by being given new instructions, or software, to work from. There are no other tools that have the power and versatility of a computer. We have no idea how far it’s going to go.”

I can’t help thinking about that statement in the context of architectural planning.

When engineers start building out networks, there’s so much opportunity. In my experience, that can be a good thing and a bad thing. Of course, those who are thinking holistically are on the right path. It allows you to better see the potential of where things can go. And that’s what is great about the Borderless Network Architecture. It’s designed to provide a holistic platform that is layered with business-critical technologies, applications, and services that let you connect and collaborate seamlessly, reliably, and securely—regardless of your device or location. So, it provides a powerful network platform for now; but it also creates a platform for future innovation, which can give rise to new business models and ways of deepening productivity and customer intimacy.

So if we can achieve greater things from planning, why don’t more people apply that to network architectures? Ross Fowler, one of my colleagues here at Cisco, recently commented in an interview with Network World Canada: “There is no universal answer to it…..They want to go at different paces depending upon their business model and also their budget….”

But what if there was a standard blueprint that, if not universal, was at least based on the most common deployment scenarios and tested and validated by third parties? There is.  That’s what Cisco’s Smart Business Architecture (SBA) provides. It offers a series of modules that feature step-by-step guidance for planning and deploying a borderless network—in phases, at your own pace. So, you’re able to build your network in the framework of an overall architecture, but focus on product or solution sets along the way.  It’s all based on a subway system approach, as described in another recent Cisco blog.

To learn more about Borderless Networks, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/borderless. And, to learn more about SBA and how to plan and deploy your borderless network, go to www.cisco.com/go/sba. You just might find the foresight you need to better predict the full potential of your network.

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12 Comments.


  1. Thank for article..

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  2. Technology over the last ten years has changed so much its actually crazy , if you draw comparisons to what you could do on a computer ten years ago to what you can do now it really is amazing.

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  3. Thanks for the info. I am a true fan Cisco.

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  4. As applying the borderless network with relation to Mr. Jobs quote circa 1985, it is the advent of technology to create the architecture for our borderless world of communication and business. The creative thinkers which can take hindsight and apply it, will reap the benefits of the borderless networks with more customer base; being more effective anytime and anywhere. Except when an airplane is taking off or landing, that is.

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  5. I think you blog is really a big example of good posts. Thanks for sharing all good posts with us.

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  6. Interesting to learn more about borderless networks, I’m going to see more

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  7. Superb site, where did you come up with the information in this write-up? I’m happy I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

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  8. Well in my opinion what you have written is somewhat biased towards the pessimism, but thats just my opinion, I hope it does not hurt your feelings.

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  9. “A computer is the most incredible tool we’ve ever seen. It can be a writing tool, a communications center, a supercalculator, a planner, a filer and an artistic instrument all in one, just by being given new instructions, or software, to work from. There are no other tools that have the power and versatility of a computer. We have no idea how far it’s going to go.”

    It makes me wonder how “advance” we can get in the near future.. We have dreamt of these things a few years ago, and now we have it in the palm of our hands (literally and figuratively)

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  10. We’ve implemented the Cisco network in our Marina building – with so much going on with boats and our Pub on site, we need serious power.

    In regards to Steve Jobs’ quote I wonder if he ever knew his words would some day fit in the palm of his hand?

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  11. Hindsight is not always 20-20. Some people prefer to view the past through rose colored glasses. Even worse, some people are determined to view the future the same way.

    While computers are the most powerful tool ever created by mankind, they have also created a whole new frontier for financial crime.

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