Last week I attended the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, where the theme of the event was “Driving Digital Business.” One of the key themes was the Internet of Everything (IoE) as well as some of the key enabling trends like mobility, cloud, big data, and analytics. A lot of attention was focused on the changing role of the CIO and how in this new generation of IT, CIOs need to become better equipped to help drive the digitization of the business. In particular, there was discussion around the importance of the user experience, whether customer or employee, and the emergence of “Chief Digital Officers” to oversee the full range of digital strategies to transform businesses as their products evolve digitally.
It’s clear that cloud, mobility, IoE, and big data analytics are fundamentally changing the business landscape in which we operate today. They are leveling the playing field and triggering business outcome-based innovation and investment in IT. And software-driven solutions are key to driving innovation in any organization.
This is precisely why I joined Cisco just over a year ago: to develop Cisco’s software strategy and accelerate growth of our software businesses. Cisco is positioned to have a massive impact in this market, and I’m excited to play a role in addressing some of the challenges in this space through software – whether that’s in collaboration, across our traditional core businesses in network infrastructure, data center, or mobility.
Today, Cisco’s software journey is well under way. Based on revenues from our software products and services, we already rank as the 5th largest software company in the world. We’ve grown from the 7th largest enterprise SaaS vendor in 2012 to now the 3rd largest SaaS vendor by revenue in 2014. Nine out of 10 of our most recent acquisitions have been companies driven by software.
What does this mean for our customers? It means they can rely on Cisco to innovate faster, provide richer employee and customer experiences, connect the unconnected, and use big data analytics to gain new insights.
In the coming weeks, you’ll hear more from me and my team about how we’re helping to accelerate and bring about this software transformation at Cisco across our entire portfolio of products and services. You’ll hear how we’re radically changing the way our customers and partners consume, manage, and use our software products and how we’re bringing more application-centric and cloud-ready infrastructure to market.
What do you think about software at Cisco? Let me know in the comments below.
Later this week, four dozen high-school students will gather in an auditorium in North San Jose. They will stand before a panel of judges, not to sing the latest pop song for The Voice or American Idol, but to blow judges away with their proposals for the next big thing in technology, as part of Cisco’s STEM Mentoring Day of Action.
After spending time with engineer mentors and seeing cutting-edge technologies, the students will be divided into small teams. Their task: develop an innovative proposal for the Internet of Everything, the next wave of the Internet, which is the connection of people, processes, data and things to the Internet.
This event is not a one-time occasion. It’s part of Cisco’s enduring commitment to preparing the next generation for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — STEM. This week, nearly 200 students will attend STEM mentoring events at three Cisco campuses in San Jose; Richardson, Texas; and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The goal at all three facilities is the same – to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math among students. You see, something amazing happens when you put technology in the hands of young people. It opens their eyes to the incredible possibilities that a career in high-tech can offer.
Cisco’s commitment in this area goes back nearly two decades with the Cisco Networking Academy, which has taught over 5 million students around the world the fundamentals of how networks work and providing them the opportunity to become certified, the key to obtaining a good paying job in this field.
This commitment extends to classrooms, where we’re working with schools and the Federal Government to see that every K-12 classroom in America has high-speed Wi-Fi over the next five years. Cisco is also providing funding for innovative programs – like the MIND Research Institute – which is fundamentally changing how math is being taught in underserved communities from coast to coast. And their results have been nothing short of amazing –with students doubling and tripping their math proficiency scores in a few short years.
In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, CIOs face a maze of challenges — along with a wealth of opportunities.
But for the IT organization to fully realize those opportunities — and become a source of organizational agility and a true partner for innovation in the business — a wholly new IT operating model is required. We call that model Fast IT.
Fast IT is the IT operating model for the IoE era. It is what the CIO needs to do to drive true business transformation.
We surveyed more than 1,400 senior IT leaders in Brazil, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We interviewed leading industry analysts, authors, academics, IT executives, and IT practitioners. And finally, we compared this data with conclusions from numerous customer engagements.
Last month, Gartner published one of its well-known Hype Cycles, and a Forbes headline summed up a key assertion very well. “It’s Official: The Internet Of Things Takes Over Big Data As The Most Hyped Technology.”
This comes as no surprise to anyone engaged in this market phenomenon – the explosive growth of things connecting to the Internet. At Cisco, our engineers determine that about 13.5 billion things – everything from mobile devices and computers to sensors and machines — are connected today. By 2020, we forecast 50 billion such connections – a much faster adoption rate than electricity or telephony.
Web searches for IoT and media mentions of IoT each have tripled in the past couple of years alone. Our consulting services group confirms that global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic continues to accelerate exponentially, and the last two years have spawned new IoT-related consortia and standards bodies.
The hype clearly has accelerated. However, I passionately believe that in this case the hype is completely justified because it is underpinned by tangible hyper progress throughout all types of industries. Other markets in the past that have ranked high on the Hype Cycle have included ecommerce and wireless technologies, and nobody can argue the rocket success of markets engaged in online business portals, social media or mobile devices such as smart phones.
IoE Can Unleash $19 Trillion in Economic Value
IoT provides the foundation for an even greater – we think unprecedented – technology revolution that Cisco calls, the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE includes the connection of things, people, data and processes, enabling the transformation of data into information, knowledge and wisdom. As a result, Cisco Consulting Services estimates that IoE can unleash $19 trillion of economic value worldwide over the next decade by generating new innovation, revenue streams, customer experiences and improving asset utilization, employee productivity as wel as sup0ply chain and logistics operations.
When you walk outside and notice dark clouds gathering, or a cheerfully bright sun, little may cross your mind except to grab an umbrella or your shades. But chances are, the team at The Weather Channel knew about these weather conditions days in advance thanks to Fast IT. And with this advance information, The Weather Channel offers what is relevant to you in the moment.
In our Internet of Everything (IoE) world, more consumers and employees are demanding more relevant content now. As such, organizations must keep pace. The Fast IT model built to transform and simplify IT operations is the way to evolve in today’s environment.
For many CIOs, including The Weather Company’s Bryson Koehler, a Fast IT model has resulted in more accurate, relevant and timely data with unprecedented and unlimited uses. Consider his insights in this video:
“When I look at network programmability, I see the same capability enablement that I see from all of the other things that have preceded it,” he said. “Which is how do we leverage technology to be more flexible, how do we free up engineers and developers to innovate quicker and how do we get the traditional shackles of rigid technology unlocked so we don’t have to be nailed down to a specific piece of infrastructure.”
Over the past year-and-a-half, The Weather Company, parent to The Weather Channel, has rebuilt their entire data platform, moving their forecasting over to the cloud, allowing them to ingest data through an extremely rich set of application programming interface (API). In doing this, the organization is able to improve the accuracy of their forecast, collecting data from across the globe and analyzing it at lightning fast speeds – essential when dealing with an unpredictable variable like the weather.