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The Rise of the “Supertasker”: Our Next-Generation Workforce

We are living in the age of the “supertasker.” At Cisco Live Cancun last week, I polled our audience and asked, “How many devices are you connected to at this moment?” The majority of the audience held three or four. However, some still had their hands up at five and six devices. Supertaskers are emerging as the next-generation workforce, integrating several new devices to increase their productivity—and they will not be the minority for long.

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to evolve, we see increased momentum towards connecting the unconnected. The Fitbit, for example, reminds us that we need to achieve our daily step goal while maintaining our work-life balance. As more organizations digitize their business, we expect 50 billion objects to be connected to the Internet by 2020—and more and more of these devices will integrate into our ever-changing work lives. Read More »

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The Internet of Employment – the workforce behind a connected future

By next year, it is estimated that 25 billion devices will already be connected to the internet, with that figure set to double to 50 billion by 2020. These connected ‘devices’ won’t simply be computers, they will range from alarm clocks, cars, coffee makers, fridges, baby monitors and smart watches, to street lighting, parking meters and planes.

Having this quantity of connected devices has the potential to change and improve the way we live our lives. It is already possible to adjust your central heating remotely, but imagine being able to tell your coffee maker to turn on, on the way home from work? Or have your GP assess you remotely via the data coming from your health monitor or even smart watch?

In fact, according to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR), launched today, roughly 8 in 10 professionals even believe middle income workers will have robots that can assist them with various work related activities at some point in the future.  The possibilities are endless. However, for this to become a reality, we need a workforce of technicians and engineers capable of building such a connected network. Imagine the skills needed to manage and maintain an army of connected robot assistants!

Internet of Employment

First of all, the networks needed to create the Internet of Everything (IoE) on such a large scale needs to be built, creating job opportunities for those with specialist IoE networking skills. Fifty billion plus connected devices (not to mention the robots) will create an incredible amount of data – leading to a pressing demand for data scientists to make sense of this information.  Security will also be front of mind, creating jobs for IoE security specialists.  This is not to mention the applications we haven’t even dreamt of yet which will suddenly become possible in an IoE-enabled world, opening up innumerable opportunities for IoE entrepreneurs to flourish.

Technology isn’t just shaping the jobs of the future and the skills we need to fulfil them, it’s shaping the way we work too. The CCWTR also reveals that the majority of Generation X and Y professionals believe that smartphones and wearable devices will be the workforce’s most important ‘connected’ device.  This will enable new ways of working; such as creating ‘supertaskers’ – people who can successfully do more than two things at once, and do them well.

Wanted: 900,000 IT Pros

However, today’s global ICT skills shortage could seriously hamper this connected vision. Realising this potential depends on the individuals and having the skills and knowledge to harness the opportunities IoE provides. Currently the outlook is bleak, with the EU already expecting that there will be up to 900,000 ICT vacancies by 2015.

This is why I, and many of our education partners were in Barcelona last month to launch the first global IoE curriculum, introduced by the Cisco Networking Academy.  The new curriculum seeks to help close the broadening ICT skills gap and empower a new generation of innovators to embrace the IoE’s full possibilities. Cisco Networking Academy also recently launched an IoE ‘Smart Grid’ curriculum, which gives electricians the Internet Protocol (IP) skills to service the millions of potential new intelligent smart grid devices that are due to be installed in EU households by 2020.

Smarter teaching – smarter living

Initiatives like Cisco Networking Academy, and support for ICT related skill development, can make a massive difference and create employment on a large scale in both the short and long term. Barcelona’s Smart City programme provides a great example of the positive potential of IoE, creating 47,000 new jobs through innovations from smart bus shelters to a smart waste management system.

Europe has a chance to grasp the opportunities IoE can bring -- by equipping people with the skills required to meet the soaring demand for the new jobs created in a world where everything is connected.  Five million students have already enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy in the last 17 years, with over 9000 academies present in 170 countries. With the new IoE courses in place, Networking Academy students now have the chance to gain the skills needed to drive the workforce of the future – and be an integral part of the IoE journey.

 

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Cisco Sizzle – March Edition

Welcome to the Cisco Sizzle! Each month, we’re rounding up the best of the best froCisco_Sizzle_Finalm across our social media channels for your reading pleasure. From the most read blog posts to the top engaging content on Facebook or LinkedIn, catch up on things you might have missed, or on the articles you just want to see again, all in one place.

Let’s take a look back at the top content from March…

Tomorrow Starts Here
Explore how the Internet of Everything will change the way we work, live, play and learn.

Connected World Technology Report
Calling all IT professionals! Over two thirds of the IT managers agree that Big Data will be a strategic priority for their companies in 2013 and over the next five years as well. Do you agree? Is Big Data a strategic priority for your company?

Cisco on Fortune’s Most Admired
Once again, Cisco is honored to be on Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” List. Fortune tells us that the Most Admired list is the “definitive report card on corporate reputations.” Congratulations to our employees, and thanks to Fortune for the honor!

Understanding the Different Types of Wireless Routers
If your small business has grown and your workforce has become more m734216_10151813220863032_619814475_nobile, you may be considering adding wireless to your network. Cisco explains the basics so you can identify which wireless router best fits your needs.

TeleWork Week
If you telecommuted for a week, how much time do you think you would save?

Network Madness
Don’t worry network managers; we’ve got you covered. Find out about Cisco’s solutions to Network Madness.

Check out the Cisco Storify feed for even more great content!

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Big Data is Just the Beginning: Cisco Connected World Technology Report

This week, the third and final chapter of the most recent Cisco Connected World Technology Report was released. This global survey asked 1,800 IT professionals in 18 countries across a broad range of industries to share their views on the potential challenges of Big Data and beyond. In a previous post , I discussed the evolution of Big Data and the importance of extracting value out of Data in Motion to create new  applications that matter here and now, in real-time. ( Beyond Big Data : Mastering Data in Motion for Positive Business Impact)

Just as the Internet of Everything is bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable, the same is true of Big Data — the ability to turn information into actions will create key advantages for businesses, individuals, and countries. This latest CCWTR report provides crucial insight into how IT professionals view this sea change.

Two in three of the survey respondents indicated that Big Data will continue to be a strategic priority for their company in 2013 and for the next five years. Globally, IT professionals believe that Big Data will not only help improve decision making in their own companies but that it will also increase the global competitiveness of their countries.  Countries such as China, Mexico, and India saw the strongest correlation between Big Data and national competitive advantages (over 80% of respondents agreed).

Data Security and RisksBigData&Beyond

Some of the most interesting findings are about the challenges that IT professionals associate with Big Data. More than one in four respondents globally said that data security and risk management are a major concern. Protecting Big Data is a big challenge. Data resides everywhere; it is in the cloud, in mobile devices, and in social networks. Data comes from disparate sources in different shapes and forms. Multi-perimeter protection is key but securing data and protecting users’ privacy goes beyond the traditional IT view. Big Data brokers buy data sets from stores where you shop and can sell it to anybody.  Sensitive data is protected, but much of your information can be bought and sold without any input or permission from you. While making the data anonymous can protect an individual’s privacy,
re-identification examples show the risks of open data and crowdsourcing.

Better IT Policies

Another particularly interesting finding in the survey is the importance of better policies and improved security to help companies manage the increased traffic related to Big Data but also mobility and video. Only 41% surveyed reported that they were ready for the surge in network traffic. Over 27% say they will need better policies and security measures, and 20% said they will need more bandwidth. These results confirm that bigger pipes alone are not sufficient to handle the data deluge coming from a variety of sources at a high velocity. An intelligent information infrastructure provides a better way to collect, manage, and extract value from data. It is not about transporting the data as quickly as possible from the point of creation to a point of analysis but rather deciding “on the spot” , what to do with the data.

The Key “Takeaway”

Organizations need to expand their view of data beyond traditional storage and analysis in order to develop new systems of engagement that leverage “data in motion,” enabling them to gain real-time insights and create better experiences for their users.

Read more about the report and take a look at the results as they apply to your own country. As usual we welcome your comments!

Data in Motion -- A Definition

Data in Motion represents the continuous interactions between connected elements such as people, process, and things. Data from new devices, sensors, and cameras is at maximum value while still in motion. During these interactions, the intelligent network provides secure unique insights in real-time. Value can be extracted and acted upon as events occur to create advantage here and now or even to predict the future. Organizations can make better decisions, provide enhanced experiences, and achieve competitive advantage. A recent Cisco IBSG white paper details the actual value of these connections in some key industries covering a number of use cases. 

 

Potential and Challenges of Data from Cisco Data Center

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