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Cisco’s Software Journey

Last week I attended the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, where the theme of the event was “Driving Digital Business.” One of the key themes was the Internet of Everything (IoE) as well as some of the key enabling trends like mobility, cloud, big data, and analytics. A lot of attention was focused on  the changing role of the CIO and how in this new generation of IT, CIOs need to become better equipped to help drive the digitization of the business. In particular, there was discussion around the importance of the user experience, whether customer or employee, and the emergence of “Chief Digital Officers” to oversee the full range of digital strategies to transform businesses as their products evolve digitally.

It’s clear that cloud, mobility, IoE, and big data analytics are fundamentally changing the business landscape in which we operate today. They are leveling the playing field and triggering business outcome-based innovation and investment in IT.  And software-driven solutions are key to driving innovation in any organization.

This is precisely why I joined Cisco just over a year ago: to develop Cisco’s software strategy and accelerate growth of our software businesses. Cisco is positioned to have a massive impact in this market, and I’m excited to play a role in addressing some of the challenges in this space through software – whether that’s in collaboration, across our traditional core businesses in network infrastructure, data center, or mobility.

Today, Cisco’s software journey is well under way. Based on revenues from our software products and services, we already rank as the 5th largest software company in the world. We’ve grown from the 7th largest enterprise SaaS vendor in 2012 to now the 3rd largest SaaS vendor by revenue in 2014.  Nine out of 10 of our most recent acquisitions have been companies driven by software.

What does this mean for our customers? It means they can rely on Cisco to innovate faster, provide richer employee and customer experiences, connect the unconnected, and use big data analytics to gain new insights.

In the coming weeks, you’ll hear more from me and my team about how we’re helping to accelerate and bring about this software transformation at Cisco across our entire portfolio of products and services. You’ll hear how we’re radically changing the way our customers and partners consume, manage, and use our software products and how we’re bringing more application-centric and cloud-ready infrastructure to market.

What do you think about software at Cisco? Let me know in the comments below.

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Fast IT Top Insights Part 1: IT Transformation and Innovation

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, CIOs face a maze of challenges — along with a wealth of opportunities.

But for the IT organization to fully realize those opportunities — and become a source of organizational agility and a true partner for innovation in the business — a wholly new IT operating model is required. We call that model Fast IT.

Fast IT is the IT operating model for the IoE era. It is what the CIO needs to do to drive true business transformation.


To better understand the current state of IT — and the opportunity for IT transformation amid a dynamic time of change — Cisco undertook a comprehensive global survey and research study.

We surveyed more than 1,400 senior IT leaders in Brazil, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We interviewed leading industry analysts, authors, academics, IT executives, and IT practitioners. And finally, we compared this data with conclusions from numerous customer engagements.

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Why the CFO Needs to Guide Technology Acquisition for Service Providers?

With telecom service providers (SP) increasingly using technology as a competitive differentiator, it is becoming important not only to acquire the right technology, but to acquire it in a way where it offers maximum benefit to the business.

Rapid technological advancements have made it necessary for service providers to be very nimble and frequently revise their offerings to suit customer requirements. Over the last four years, mobile service providers have exhibited cyclical—but, on average, declining—revenue growth patterns, according to a Cisco whitepaper ‘The Road to Cloud Nine’ published in February 2013. Overall, the momentum has Read More »

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#InnovateThink TweetChat on Friday, September 19 at 10 a.m. PST: The Way Forward for IT Innovation

In the hyper-competitive Internet of Everything (IoE) era, every company must be ready for rapid innovation, sudden market transitions and ever-changing security threats.

But IoE — the explosion in network connections among people, process, data, and things — is about far more than vexing challenges. It is also about tremendous opportunity: Cisco predicts a staggering $19 trillion in IoE-related Value at Stake over the next decade.

The IT organization has a critical role to play in helping companies  capture these staggering opportunities by driving innovation and enabling business agility and growth.

But where does your organization stand in the overall scheme of IT evolution? To what extent is mounting IoE complexity hindering growth? And what kind of IT model is needed support your company’s efforts to innovate and compete at the hyperspeed of the IoE era?

FastIT TweetI invite you to explore all of these topics and more with me on an upcoming TweetChat on Friday, September 19 at 10 a.m. PST. Join the conversation by using #InnovateThink and #FutureOfIT. We will discuss the current state of IT, its challenges and pain points, and how it can enable business innovation. We will also discuss the solution: Fast IT.  

Fast IT is the way forward. It offers immediate steps toward building a more agile, secure, application-centric infrastructure. And transforming the IT organization into a force for rapid innovation and competitive edge. Fast IT is the IT operating model for the Internet of Everything era. Cisco recently released a major global study of Fast IT — how it can address some of the toughest challenges facing IT today, and show the way forward.

By implementing a Fast IT model, organizations can:

  • Respond to supercharged IoE complexity with infrastructure that is application-centric, automated, and programmable.
  • Capture the full benefit of a far-flung “fabric of clouds,” moving seamlessly across even the most extensive hybrid-cloud ecosystems
  • Drive the necessary organizational changes that will raise IT to the status of trusted advisor to the business and a true partner in innovation
  • Reap the benefits of a 20 to 25 percent reduction in costs, which can then be reinvested in new capabilities to drive innovation and business outcomes
  • Meet an ever-expanding threat landscape with dynamic, policy-driven security solutions


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Summary: Fast IT: Sourcing Disruptive Innovation

The explosion of network connections among people, process, data, and things, now called the Internet of Everything (IoE), is the driver behind much of the disruption and change we see in all industries. It is making innovation more accessible and affordable, while presenting enormous opportunities.

At the same time, IT organizations are contending with significant challenges. Operational costs are rising as budgets fall. Pervasive mobility and an explosion in connected devices are intensifying complexity. Business users are bypassing IT to access cloud-based services while new security threats arise daily. These conditions can stand in the way of greater innovation and agility, and prevent companies from capturing the opportunities in the IoE economy.

Fast IT addresses the following core areas across IT:

  • Simplifying the infrastructure across silos and driving automation to reduce operational costs
  • Using strategically automated policy to build agility and intelligence to fuel growth and respond to changing conditions
  • Connecting the right people to the right information and process at the right time
  • Evolving security to defend against attacks before and while they happen, and to run analysis after they end

Read the full article Fast IT: Sourcing Disruptive Innovation to learn more. Full study findings can be found here.

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