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Five Strategic Insurance Business Imperatives for 2016

One of these days the ground will drop out from beneath your feet
One of these days your heart will stop and play its final beat
One of these days the clocks will stop and time won’t mean a thing

“These Days”, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

 As we kick-off 2016, the time is now for industry decision-makers to make a profound difference in the way Insurance business is transacted. Not just for competitive position, but for future generations, shareholders and most importantly, for the customer. Peer group competitors are formulating action plans now to address the most pressing tactical and strategic business imperatives across the enterprise for 2016 and beyond. Are you? Here are five top focus areas for 2016 that I am hearing from insurance executives across both Life and P&C:

  1. Digital Strategy
  2. Security
  3. Collaboration
  4. Talent Acquisition and Retention
  5. Business Outcome Approach

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The Business Drivers of Hyper-distributed Computing

It would be easy to say that the primary drivers behind hyper-distributed computing are social, mobile, analytics, cloud and security (SMACS). While it is true that these approaches are influencing or enabling hyper-distributed computing, they are not the business drivers. SMACS technologies are necessary but insufficient enablers of hyper-distributed computing. The premise of hyper-distributed computing is the ability to sense and react in context relative to people and systems– this is the domain of IoT and software automation-based platforms.

AP17533 JJ BLOG for Hyper-distributed Business Drivers 1-5-16IoT technologies which are focused on data virtualization and edge analytics are of primary relevance because of the nature of how they support hyper-distributed computing and provide new capabilities to the IoT landscape.

Data Virtualization

Data virtualization is the idea that data can reside anywhere and be logically joined together for different purposes without creating new copies of the data. This kind of data integration software makes organizations more agile by increasing the value of your data, network and other IT assets, without the long delays of data replication and physical consolidation traditionally required to achieve your goal of a unified view of the business.

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Analytics: Building a Winning Strategy in Manufacturing

Machinery, supply chains, and raw materials have always been core concerns in manufacturing. Today, another asset is just as critical — data.

General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said it well: “The industrial world is changing dramatically, and those companies that make the best use of data will be the most successful.”

I certainly agree. If manufacturers want to gain the agility, innovation, and hyper-awareness needed to compete and win, they must start thinking like technology companies. That means leveraging data — and the real-time insights derived through analytics — in impactful new ways.

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Trends for Data & Analytics

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One of my favorite things to do is to talk to Cisco customers, partners and industry analysts about common trends they are seeing in their business and the overall market. We look at trends similarly to why we conduct analytics, not only to see what is happening now but to also help predict what will happen next. This ability to “see around the corner” helps us be more agile as we adjust data and analytics strategies, and therefore our business.

As we head into 2016, today I’d like to share a few the top trends I consistently see and hear about data and analytics.

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3 Ways Santa’s Store Helpers are Making Shopping Easier this Holiday Season

Holiday shopping isn’t like it used to be. Retail sales associates – a.k.a Santa’s helpers – are taking on more than just ushering shoppers into fitting rooms and helping them check out. Today, their role more resembles that of a concierge.

Here are three ways the role of the sales associate is changing:

#1: The sales associate is now your product and inventory expert.

It’s shocking to think that today only 30% of employee time is spent on customer service. To allow sales associates to spend more time with customers and provide a better shopper experience, stores are asking associates to evolve from clerk to expert. In this new role, associates are providing more value to customers by saving them time and helping them make better decisions.

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