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The Need for a New IT Model: Fast IT and the Convergence of Mobility and Cloud for IoE

Guess what? Convergence is happening again, and it’s happening at a faster pace with more profound implications than I have never seen before.

Those of us who’ve been in the industry a long time have seen convergence happen over the years across various technologies and areas of IT. This time, we’re talking about convergence across the infrastructure—in wired and wireless, in physical and virtual, in collaboration and social, and in on-prem and off-prem resources. Convergence brings together the applications and infrastructure in new and more flexible ways, opening up new opportunities.

Getting this convergence right is a big deal. And it’s a key to becoming an innovative enterprise. It’s clear that if you’re not innovating, you’re going to miss out on opportunities to be strategically valuable to your organization.

Convergence _ Are You Ready for the Future of IT? from Cisco Business Insights

 

This convergence is called different things by different people and firms. IDC calls it “third platform” while Gartner talks about ‘Nexus of Forces.’ In any case, they’re all talking about technologies, such as cloud, mobility, data and network programmability, which are blurring and blending. And in addition, the combination of these technologies is collectively making the Internet of Everything possible.

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IT Takes a Seat at the Business Table

As we move ahead in this Internet of Everything era, we’re sure to see more connections and integration—and that’s why technology professionals have to work to understand the big picture, moving out of IT silos and taking an end-to-end business view—with a services bent. The point’s well made in a recent Gartner Insight on the importance of aligning IT strategies with business goals to “remain relevant beyond 2020”:

IT leaders, often operating in “firefighting mode,” fail to look beyond the next task to understand IT service costs or the impact IT has on the business. IT organizations need to develop a service-provider mindset to align IT goals with those of the business
and to be relevant into the next decade.

Gartner analysts Robert Naegle and Jim McGittigan go on to note that tech-centric organizations must move to a services mindset, from supply driven, functionally aligned, and technically siloed to demand driven, customer centric, service obsessed, and process based.

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San Jose Students Harness Wind Energy

From world premier sailboat racing to wind surfing to flying kites in the park, young men and women in the Bay Area grow up using wind energy in creative and exciting ways. But since early January, teams of students have been challenged with an even bigger task: “Harnessing the Wind” to move water. These days, water is a scarce resource in California—the state spends 19 percent of its total energy consumption to move and process it.

This Saturday and Sunday, April 12th and 13th, teams of fifth through twelfth graders will compete to harness the power of the wind in The Tech Museum of Innovation’s 27th annual Tech Challenge – the culmination of months of hard work and real-world lessons in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Students celebrate a successful design in last year’s Asteroid’s Rock challenge.

Students celebrate a successful design in last year’s Asteroid’s Rock challenge.

Now in its fourth year as presenting sponsor, Cisco is proud to work with programs like the Tech Challenge to help educate America’s students for tomorrow’s workforce. As President Obama outlined at the White House Science Fair last year, the importance of the country’s STEM education programs has never been more apparent. Today, technology companies employ six million people, but by 2018, the U.S. could face a job shortfall of 230,000 employees in STEM positions. As a member of The Tech Museum’s board, I’m proud of the initiative taken to offer students hands-on training for real, complex problems.

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Amsterdam Embraces the Internet of Everything, Paving the Way for a More Connected City

When people think of the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, they often think of bicycles, canals and progressive social values. Some may even know about its leadership in international trade, catalyzed centuries ago by the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first multinational corporation. Others may be more familiar with Amsterdam because of U.S. President Obama’s recent visit to the Rijksmuseum, which houses the world-famous painting The Night Watch by Rembrandt.

However, close 21st century observers know that Amsterdam is also a modern-day capital of collaborative innovation and some of the world’s most advanced Smart City deployments. Amsterdam was the first city in Europe to be connected to the Internet[1]. It was also one of the first cities to appreciate the importance of extending fiber-optic connectivity to its residents and businesses. At the same time, “green” is a priority and a practice in Amsterdam: The trams and streetcars run on green electricity, and the numerous data centers located in and around the city are required to comply with strict environmental rules.

These forward-thinking uses of technology help make Amsterdam one of the 15 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey 2014: innovative, attractive, competitive, and connected! This early Internet pioneer is now set to take the next step by fully embracing the Internet of Everything and all the value it can deliver economically, socially and environmentally.

Amsterdam MoU SigningcroppedCisco is proud to play an important role in this evolution. Two days ago, (April 8), on behalf of Cisco, I had the pleasure of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, to jointly develop and implement a long-term Internet of Everything strategy for the city that connects people, processes, data, and things (see photo to the left). Cisco and the city of Amsterdam have been working together on a variety of Smart City endeavors for ten years now, including citywide optical fiber to the home, a Smart Grid, Smart Work place and Public TelePresence capabilities. By creating a more holistic Internet of Everything strategy for Amsterdam, the agreement will further strengthen our partnership Mayor and allow us to pursue new opportunities while protecting citizen security and privacy.

We will work with city officials to build a large local ecosystem to bring great exciting new innovations to this city and its citizens, initially focusing on smart lighting, smart parking and smart security in Southeast Amsterdam

According to distinguished Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, the City is human kind’s greatest invention. Imagine combining this with the greatest invention of the modern era: the Internet of Everything. In Amsterdam, and other great cities around the world, we are exploring new ways to more smartly manage water, traffic, energy, pollution, healthcare, travel, waste, lighting, crime and even parking.

In this age of rapid urbanization, I am convinced that cities that don’t embrace the Internet of Everything will be at a competitive disadvantage, and even be left behind. Cities with ambition and vision must help to lead the way. This MoU with Amsterdam is an important step for the Internet of Everything, for all Dutch citizens and for cities and citizens around the world.

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Our Data, Ourselves

We’re generating digital information at an exponential rate. It’s coming from more devices that are more connected than ever and getting smarter all the time.

  • In 2013, global mobile data traffic stood at 1.5 exabytes per month – the equivalent of 4,100 text messages each second.
  • By 2018, that will reach 15.9 exabytes per month – or 43,709 text messages each second! And 96% of that mobile data traffic will be “smart” traffic!

Welcome to the next wave of the Internet – the Internet of Everything. Imagine the amount of data we’re creating in this evolving digital world as more and more people and things connect. Technologies like cloud and mobility are fueling this growth – with the cloud as key enabler in helping us make sense of this data deluge. Global data center traffic is expected to triple by 2017, and cloud services and applications will make up 69% of that traffic.

Data itself (or simply storing it in the cloud) only gets you so far, however. The value lies in what you do with it, gaining insight and knowledge derived from data to empower your life and lead you to greater wisdom. That’s the real power behind connectivity. On a personal level, it calls for taking ownership of your “digital self,” leveraging cloud-enabled services not just for storage but to “talk” and interact with the digital world in a dynamic way and in real time. This can lead us to understand aspects of ourselves in ways never before possible – and harness actionable data to make better decisions that improve our lives.

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