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Digitizing the Business: Three Tips for IT and Business Leaders

The exciting trend of digital transformation has accelerated the demands on IT leaders to help their business counterparts get value out of data. The large majority of data companies collect is never analyzed. In the quest to find untapped efficiencies, achieve competitive differentiation, and accelerate innovation, companies need all of their data to work for them. The focus needs to be on a holistic, shared digital vision that brings together strategy, people, and processes. As organizations take new steps to becoming more analytically minded, the lines of communication between IT and Lines of Business often become dysfunctional. Recently at a client meeting, IT and business managers focused on analytics were introducing themselves to each other for the first time, in front of us. Throughout my years of helping organizations transform their businesses, I found some common barriers to progress. Below are some considerations – often overlooked – that I hope will help guide a productive conversation between IT and the Business:

  1. Data and technology are just a part of the solution.

While data grows and technology advances, both organizational processes and talent struggle to keep pace. When companies commit to becoming data centric, the risk is to get blinded by the technology promises of data-driven insights that deliver business transformation. Businesses can’t transform with data and technology alone, it takes the right people and processes to make a successful transformation.

The most practical approach to becoming a data-driven company is to take the time necessary to focus on the exact business problem and to ask the right questions. Those include for example:

  • What business (or customer) problem are we try to answer and why?
  • What kind of information do we need exactly?
  • Where does the data to get to that information reside and what are the gaps?
  • Do we therefore need more data and if so, how will we get it?

Cisco_DigitalBusiness Analytics Infographic

Focus next on your organization’s internal data, then external data, then, what new skills are needed and how to acquire them (through people working for us, or with us?).

In particular, ask yourself:

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What You Can Do In Ten Minutes

The pace of change around us is no longer constant. It is continually accelerating. We all want to get and consume information, services, and just about anything instantly. My new coffeemaker brews me a fresh cup in just a couple of minutes, but it usually takes me ten minutes just to collect up the tools I need to prepare to start a home improvement project, and more than that to travel and get what I need from the local hardware store. And let’s not forget how long commute times are for most of us — much longer than just 10 minutes.

Family Vacation

So, just how fast can we get new networking services up and running and customize them for our businesses.   Imagine if we could easily and securely order the network services we want online in minutes. Imagine too if you could select them from an online marketplace and personalize them just like ordering your favourite late evening food cravings with just an emoji or on-line tweet. Imagine no more, with this video.

Cisco Virtual Managed Services is Read More »

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Making the Right Connections Opens New Doors to Digital Business Success

Making the Right Connections Opens New Doors to Digital Business Success

The digital transformation of business isn’t just about the connection of things, though those connections are certainly important.  Industrial or IT automation can take many forms, whether it’s connections between people, the connections between people and things or, perhaps most importantly, the processes that that enable connections of all kinds to happen quickly and intelligently. Without order, digital business transformation runs the risk of becoming digital chaos.   What’s most essential in every case is creating the desired business outcome.

Hyper-Distribution: Billions of Connections Shouldn’t Mean Billions of Headaches

But connecting all these things isn’t easy.  50 billion things are projected to be connected to the Internet by 2020. Along with this hyper-distribution of things also comes the hyper-distribution of data.  No longer is data only found in large centralized warehouses – it is being dynamically captured and acted upon at the edge of the network to respond to events in real time.

Organizations are struggling with the management of business processes in this expanding, hyperconnected world. Value chains are increasingly global, yet the decisions that need to be made are becoming increasingly local — and they need to be made in real-time.  Hyper-distribution is fragmenting traditional business processes. Dealing with this growing complexity was identified as the number one IoT management challenge in a 2014 business study.

Not surprisingly, companies are being forced to re-imagine their processes and many are turning to software to turn what is being imagined into business reality.  And they are calling upon new forms of automation and analytics to do it. Real business transformation will only occur when things connect with both people and process to turn information into actionable intelligence.  Automation facilitates the new connections.  Analysis gives the connections new meaning. Da Vinci instructs us, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  Finding ways to make the increasingly complex world of hyperconnectivity both simple to understand and simple to implement is the ultimate challenge for the networking industry.

What do I mean by hyper-distributed business process? Let’s take a look Read More »

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Get Yours Now! Cisco’s Virtual Managed Services Solution

Lots of excitement and energy continue to surround NFV (Network Function Virtualization), and it is getting even better. During the charged atmosphere at the inaugural NFV Congress in San Jose, we were delighted by more than just technology posturing, including the availability of SDN (Software Defined Networking)/NFV platforms like Cisco’s Virtual Managed Services Solution that enable Deutsches Telekom’s International CloudVPN, and Telstra’s Symphony initiative for Unified On-Demand services.


The focus of the discussions this year shifted from cost cutting towards how NFV Read More »

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Cisco Live Milan: Service Provider Business Transformation Straight Ahead

Igor PhotoGuest blog by Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions Marketing
Cisco Live Milan 2015 has just concluded and concluded with a bang of record-breaking attendance and increased customers’ understanding of the IoE and service provider Technologies. In my first post-show blog, I focused on the overall booth offerings and discussed relevance of Evolved Services Platform (ESP) and Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) to service providers’ success and the importance of properly addressing their requirements. I decided that it is important enough to provide additional highlights on the Cisco Live event.   Before I share with you the remaining demo information, I wanted to recap the technologies that I described in the first post-show blog:

  1. nV Technology to simplify operations in the Network edge
  2. Segment Routing to enabled SDN-based routing and simplifying network operations
  3. Operational Simplicity enabled by Autonomic Networking in the Access
  4. Network Service Orchestration using Tail-f
  5. Virtualized Managed Business Services: delivering Cloud VPN

The above mentioned technologies are key innovations and bring a wealth of choices to the service provider when they create and deliver services to their business and residential users.

SP Business Transformation

We attempted to bring a comprehensive collection of demos to help service providers Read More »

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