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Service-Oriented Everything and Digitization of Your Business

The next big phase of the Internet is the race toward digitization, which brings together people, processes, data, and things in new, more productive ways. In this emerging hyper-distributed digital world, connectivity is even more vital than ever before. Companies that are going to thrive and realize new opportunities will be the ones that adopt digital strategies to bring new services to market faster, securely connect people, things, and stitch hyper-distributed processes across internal and external systems.

Cisco’s research shows that 75% of organizations need help in clearly defining the digitization opportunity that exists for each of them. This research is consistent with what I hear from customers across many industries that are challenged with integrating systems and processes rapidly for:

  • Becoming agile as a business, adapting to changes with speed
  • Engaging better with customers and leveraging partner ecosystems
  • Improving productivity to improve revenues and profits

Expose, Compose, and Govern Any Asset

If every enterprise asset ranging from legacy applications, cloud services, data, partner services/apps, machines or things, to network/compute/storage infrastructure is viewed as a service, we need the following three capabilities to make those assets available within and across the enterprise:

All this sounds good on paper, but difficult to realize in practice. This requires organizations to think about their assets differently – both tangible assets such as people, machines, buildings etc. and intangible assets such as processes and data. All organizational assets need to be treated as services that are consumable by external or internal consumers; treated as services that are produced by various producers within the enterprise in a federated fashion.

  • Expose assets as services provide a catalog of assets exposed securely as apps, services, or APIs via marketplace catalogs and web or mobile portals
  • Compose new services via mixing services – create new services, apps, and outcomes by connecting data, cloud, and enterprise systems
  • Govern the services – develop policy-based access and control via API access control, fully federated single sign on and ID management.

These three capabilities will enable organizations to treat any asset as a programmable service that can be used by various consumers; to mix it with other services as needed to make new services, and to govern these services with the right authentication and authorization. This new approach to managing hyper-distributed assets provides your business with a framework that lets you automate and integrate your unconnected processes with complete security, governance, and visibility at every stage, allowing us to effectively collaborate with your customers and partners and improve operational efficiencies.

To help with this transformation, today I’m excited to introduce the Cisco Automation and Integration Platform that allows organizations to quickly Expose, Compose, and Govern (“E-C-G”) every enterprise asset as a service. The platform enables customers to act on insights through process automation within and outside of the enterprise, and across business and IT. It offers lifecycle management of digital assets across design, provisioning, publishing, and support. With the Cisco Automation and Integration Platform, our customers will be able to accelerate digital transformation initiatives by streamlining processes and simplifying collaboration amongst customers, partners, and internal stakeholders, as shown below.

AIP graphic

Banking on Adaptive IT for Digitization

Organizations are putting pressure on IT to deliver solutions to business challenges that create value and leverage technology as a real differentiator for the organization. It’s a tall order under any circumstances, but especially in an age of rapid technology changes and high customer expectations. Existing solutions, as many organizations have discovered, are not up to the task.

For example: a large bank seeking to deliver on-demand IT services struggled with pressure from the business to deliver new services.

Like many enterprises, the bank was burdened with legacy IT architecture and manual processes that hindered service provisioning and resulted in average service fulfillment times of four to six weeks. To meet the business need to innovate and deliver new mobile and digital services, the IT organization needed to find a way to quickly use and reuse digital assets with speed and simplicity, while reducing process complexity and lowering delivery costs.

The bank leveraged the Cisco Automation and Integration Platform to automate organization, delivery, and consumption of information, creating an internal IT services marketplace portal that automated the workflow and delivery of development resources. The bank experienced rapid development, expanded offerings, and streamlined the procurement of IT services.

The bank cut their development time of new business applications from 180 days to 2 days, while reducing their costs by 30 percent. They transformed their IT delivery model to one of on-demand self-service for their employees and became a Fast IT organization.

The Mantra for Digitization: Expose…Compose…Govern

The Cisco Automation and Integration Platform helps you digitize your business processes. It gives you the business agility to re-imagine existing business processes and create new business processes that better serve your business needs. The platform automates interactions at scale and captures key data for operational intelligence and service utilization. Tying business interactions to trigger actions within the IT infrastructure paves the way for business SLAs to be provided by an intelligent infrastructure, such as adapting network bandwidth for business needs. At Cisco, we are well on our way to the next stage of the Internet – to enable industrial automation at scale.

In future blogs, several experts from Cisco and I will showcase examples of customers who have achieved digital transformation in many ways: through business process automation, supplier collaboration, IoT integration and network automation. Meanwhile, I’m interested to hear about your challenges and opportunities to achieve digital transformation through process automation. Let me know what you are experiencing in this race to digitization.

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On-Demand Private Cloud: How to Cut CapEx, Free Up Resources, and Boost Business Agility

Today, enterprises need greater business agility and faster time-to-market for applications. That’s why, in many instances, they are building their own private clouds or adopting on-demand private cloud. Companies that are most suited to building their own private clouds are those that have deep engineering and IT leadership and need strong security and governance around applications and services.

Depending on the needs of the business and core competencies, other types of companies can benefit from a managed private cloud. For these companies, it’s not core to the business to be great at infrastructure, but it is crucial to be able to focus on the services offered on top of the infrastructure. These types of organizations may not have strict regulatory or data sovereignty requirements. Typically, they gain the most advantage from using managed private clouds.

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Harnessing the Power of As-a-Service Cloud Offerings

When used wisely, consuming cloud as-a-service (aaS) can dramatically improve business outcomes. Primarily, cloud IT services can promote business agility, reduce expenses, and accelerate time-to-market. They also can provide access to highly trained professionals with focused technical expertise, solving a longstanding problem many IT leaders face with sourcing specialized talent.

Businesses today want speed and flexibility, and cloud IT as-a-service can help them achieve that because they don’t need to procure and deploy hardware and then build, test, and iterate software solutions. Although cloud offerings are attractive because they are readily available and can be deployed quickly, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether to build a solution in-house or outsource it to a cloud provider.

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Customers Gain More Choices through Cisco’s Global Cloud Collaboration Partners

As my colleague Murali Sitaram shared in his recent blog, our Oct 16 announcement focused on providing customers with choice — more options in how they deploy robust collaboration offerings based on their specific needs and requirements. As customers evaluate the options — private, public and hybrid cloud — and ultimately deploy, many will turn to Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) partners to find valuable options to meet their business needs.

Cisco HCS partners are cloud providers, systems integrators, and resellers who offer a hosted collaboration solution that is certified as Cisco Powered by Cisco. This offering includes our Cisco Collaboration portfolio in a “as-a-service” cloud-based offering.

Our strategy is to Read More »

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Four Initiatives to Bridge the Collaboration Adoption Gap

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’d briefly describe four initiatives Cisco promotes to help customers bridge the adoption gap. Most of all, adoption needs to be factored in at all phases of the plan-manage-build collaboration investment lifecycle. The biggest mistake organizations can make is to treat adoption as an afterthought or process that naturally occurs without prompting when a collaboration solution goes live.

Bridging the adoption gap begins with lowering the barriers to customer investment in collaboration-focused IT services by expanding the role of “as-a-Service” collaboration consumption models. Here, cloud computing is the enabling technology, but beyond that, Read More »

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