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New Year’s Resolutions for CIOs

As 2016 begins, people all around the world are making resolutions to improve themselves in the coming year. While you might be dedicating yourself exercising more and eating healthier, I encourage everyone in government IT to think about resolutions you can make to help your organizations better embrace digital transformation.

In no role is this more necessary than the Chief Information Officer (CIO), a position that has changed in recent years and continues to evolve. Instead of just overseeing technical assistance across a department or agency, many government CIOs now serve as a partners who help leadership develop the strategies and processes to accomplish the organization’s mission. And in 2016, the CIOs’ role in decision-making processes will only get larger as government agencies at all levels—federal, state and local—look to better integrate technology to enhance the mission, whether it’s improving citizen services at home or enhancing operations for our defense and intelligence agencies.

In order to fully embrace that responsibility, CIOs should consider making some resolutions for themselves and their job so they can keep up with the latest trends and ensure their organization is reaping the benefits of new technology.

Our own distinguished engineer Kapil Bakshi recently wrote an article on Nextgov about this topic, outlining four main resolutions that government CIOs should consider making in 2016. These resolutions are:

  1. Embrace hybrid
  2. Take Analytics to the next level
  3. Invest in advanced threat detection
  4. Unleash “Fast IT”

Check out the article here to learn more about the details of each resolution and why they are so critical for a CIO to consider in the coming year. By embracing these and other resolutions, CIOs and the larger government IT community will be able to harness the best technology solutions and increase the efficiency, security and agility of their organizations.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

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Checking in from EDUCAUSE 2015

Hello from EDUCAUSE 2015! I’m checking in from Indianapolis to share a little bit about what has been discussed so far. Yesterday, I heard an excellent general session from Daniel Pink, had the chance to attend multiple sessions on everything from the affordability of course materials to the personalization of the student experience, and spoke to multiple educators and IT professionals about trends they’re seeing in the education technology space.

One of the biggest things that everyone is talking about this year is online learning. EDUCAUSE named e-learning and online education one of its top 10 information technology (IT) issues, and multiple sessions discussed how to best approach the trend. One key takeaway is how e-learning will help engage a new type of student, but presenters stressed that online learning is much more than simply putting your regular course material online—it is a new way of reaching students. I also heard in one session that online education must be both scalable and well-sourced to be successful. It is this insight from technology companies and educational institutions that make EDUCAUSE such a great show!

Building off of the concept of online learning was the much-buzzed-about topic of mobile device management. Data shows that students are on their phones more than ever, and educators are trying to figure out how to best harness mobile devices for use in their classrooms and how to integrate them into the curriculum.

And the undercurrent to both of these ideas is something that we’re passionate about here at Cisco: security. When EDUCAUSE presented their top 10 IT issues for 2016, information security was number one on the list. And for good reason – while the benefits from connected classrooms and e-learning are huge, this interconnectedness also greatly increases the risk of security breaches. Hacks of information in the education world often start from phishing scams, and schools need holistic and agile solutions to help secure their networks and protect their data.

That’s just scratching the surface of what’s being talked about here at EDUCAUSE. Other sessions covered everything from women in higher education IT to envisioning the future of the CIO to how the CIO can collaborate with faculty and administrators to optimize education technology. The Cisco team and I are looking forward to another full day of learning here in Indiana, and will be sharing much more about our key takeaways in a wrap-up blog post after the event concludes. If you’re at EDUCAUSE this year, stop by booth #1302 to say hello to our Cisco team, and make sure to follow along on social media using #EDU2015 and #CiscoEDUCAUSE!

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Let’s Talk: Tackling the Shadow IT Tsunami @ #CIOsynergy San Francisco

Did you know it pays to optimize your cloud strategy? (Literally)

A recent IDC/Cisco report shows that key business indicators (top-line revenues, strategic IT budget allocations, greater IT asset flexibility) all increased with a better cloud strategy.

You see this in the results. On average, companies who optimized their cloud experienced:

  • 4% increase in revenue growth
  • 200% improvement in strategic allocation of IT budgets
  • 99% faster time to provision IT services
  • 77% IT cost reduction

On the flip side, the same report noted that only a whopping 75% of companies have only an opportunistic, ad-hoc, or no cloud strategy at all. None! So what are they waiting for?

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Do You Know the Way to Ballylickey? Shadow IT and the CIO Dilemma

I was once on a driving holiday in southern Ireland. As anybody who has been to that beautiful part of the world will know, the scenery is magnificent, but the road signs can be very confusing. Totally lost I pulled over to ask directions to Ballylickey and a local farmer uttered the immortal phrase: “Well, if I was going there the first thing I would do is not start from here!” Amused by the response and the clarity of his logic, I drove off and tried again at the local pub. But when I think about it that guy was right – starting off from the right place is hugely important. And when we apply that homespun logic to IT most CIOs are not starting in the right place when it comes to their cloud strategy.

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Unicorns and Global Digital Disruption: Part II

In my last blog, we talked about the current age of digital disruption and how unicorns are changing the tech landscape.

What Does This Mean For You Though?

As a result, IT and LoBs are under more competitive pressure than ever before. A new wave of disruption faces them – hence, businesses need to react fast, innovate and release. This is where Shadow or Rogue IT comes into place – LoBs want to fail fast, and fail often. You can’t do that if it takes 2-4 weeks for a VM, never mind with access control restraints. At Cisco, our Cloud Consumption Service helps find on average 5-10 times more cloud services than the CIO was aware of. Shadow IT or Rogue IT is just the business trying to react to the market: the path of least resistance wins.

Developers and Decision Makers

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