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Fast IT: Unleashing Value at Stake

I often joke with our customers and ask, “How many of you woke up this morning saying, ‘If I could only buy software defined networking (SDN) today, then my day would be complete.’”  My point in asking this is to underscore that it’s not about the technology itself, but it’s about the benefits – or the outcomes – that this solution achieves which is what our customers want.

There’s no question that there’s a massive amount of market disruption occurring. Whether it’s economic shifts around the world, technology transitions we see with mobile, cloud, big data, analytics, security, SDN and the Internet of Everything (IoE), or the disruption of business models across every industry, our customers are facing a great deal of complexity coming at them fast – and all at the same time.

Whereas IT was once thought of as a necessary evil, customers I speak with today understand that technology will differentiate and transform their businesses amidst all of this complexity. CEOs understand that technology, at a minimum, must be a strategic enabler for their business, and ideally a strategic differentiator.  They realize if they do not stay ahead, a competitor can – and will – disrupt them.

This leads to an incredible amount of pressure on CIOs, who are being asked to make IT decisions faster than ever. More than 70 percent of IT budget is spent keeping existing systems running, with 50 percent of IT budgets spent on labor alone. So how can they create more time to be both strategic partners and simultaneously play Chief Innovation Officer for their CEO and organization?

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Driving Agility and Innovation Through Software

User Experience - RetailIn the US, this is the time of year when holiday shopping kicks into high gear. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, retailers begin their big push to drive nearly a quarter of their annual revenue. And whether their customers are online or inside a traditional store, retailers today have the ability to understand shopper behavior better than ever before. This information – from purchasing patterns and advertising effectiveness to dwell times and foot traffic – allows retailers to provide their customers with a more personalized, richer digital experience that’s more likely to result in a sale. It’s a win-win. And it’s made possible through an intelligent network that manages the data analytics, location information, security, and mobility applications that drive a more enhanced and personalized user experience.

Software plays an integral role in this intelligent network. Whether it’s driving data virtualization and analytics, for example, or enabling an application-centric private and hybrid cloud, or providing comprehensive threat protection – software plays a vital role. But even more than that, software enables businesses to be more agile and innovative with market and technology transitions.

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Connected Analytics: Capturing the Value of the Internet of Everything

Ten large oil refineries produce about 10 terabytes of data each day, which equates to the entire printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress.

One modernized city the size of Singapore can generate about 2.5 petabytes of data every day, which translates to all U.S. academic research libraries combined.

And with more than 14 billion, data-transmitting devices connected to the Internet today, growing to 50 billion by 2020, it is little wonder that most of us are overwhelmed by this mind-boggling explosion of data.

Wim 1

Turning this flood of raw data into useful information and even wisdom for better business decisions and quality of life experiences is what the Internet of Everything (IoE) is all about. This is a daunting task. According to IDC Research, just .5% of all data is used or analyzed, and online data volumes are doubling every two years from a combination of mobile devices, videos, sensors, M2M, social media, applications and much more.

Connected Analytics Portfolio

Last Thursday, however, Cisco unveiled our Connected Analytics portfolio for the Internet of Everything, a unique approach that includes software packages to bring analytics to the data, regardless of its location or whether it is in motion or at rest. This new generation of analytics tools for IoE can convert more and more data into valuable intelligence — from the inter cloud, to the data center to the network’s edge.

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The Future of Work: The Partnership Between HR and IT

The workplace is forever evolving.

With the widespread use of collaboration technology and the addition of Gen Y and Gen X employees, it’s knowledge workers who are driving changes in the workplace.

The emerging mantra is: Work is something you do, it is no longer someplace you go. (And if you do go to a traditional office, culture is a determining factor keeping employees happy and engaged!)

As such the definition of a workday is more flexible than ever before and employees are seeking work/life integration instead of work/life balance.

As these dynamics shift and the proliferations of new technology becomes more pervasive, creating a successful environment for the future of work will depend on a strong relationship between IT and HR at the executive level.

This creates an opportunity for HR and IT leaders along with the CIO to evolve from technology administrators to strategic business partners.

Recently, I had the chance to participate in a new Future of IT podcast with SAP’s Brigette McInnis-Day to discuss how IT and HR leaders could work together in this Future of Work landscape.

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Oh, the Places We’ll Go! Cisco’s Predictions for 2015 and Beyond

We’d be hard-pressed to deny that advances in technology are making an incredible impact on all of our lives. The way we work, the way we live – even the way we sleep – are being changed by technology.

As humans, we are increasingly motivated by our desire to be connected to each other and to the information that matters most to us. And in the budding world of the Internet of Everything (IoE), we are seeing this need satisfied further. Thirty years ago Apple introduced the Macintosh and Internet was a word not known to most. As I reflect back to what IT was like back then, I realize just how far we’ve come today and can envision the possibilities of where we’ll go.

Today at the Cisco 2014 Cisco Global Editors Conference I had the pleasure of sitting down with my Cisco colleagues, Maciej Kranz and Joseph Bradley to discuss the future of innovation, trends affecting the technology industry in 2015 – and we talked about the ultimate impact technology has on everyday society. Securing the Internet of Things (IoT), growth of encrypted traffic, network simplification, real-time analytics and the future of work were just some of the hot topics deliberated during our 45-min conversation, dubbed Cisco’s Technology Forecast.

We chatted about how Google’s acquisition of Nest is just the beginning of a trend we see spreading in the coming years, as products and innovations in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) change the way we connect, communicate and make sense of our world. The convergence of Information Technology, Telecommunications and Data Networking technologies into innovative solutions are shaping our future and, specifically in vertical markets, forcing IT players to expand their horizon and look for business partners well beyond the IT world.

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