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The Converging IT Landscape

With networks getting faster and the whole world going mobile, the number of connections is growing at an unprecedented rate. By next year, the amount of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on the planet, and by 2020, will reach 50 billion. And those devices are getting smarter all the time.

While there is no doubt that mobility, cloud and big data are each enabling business transformation, imagine what they could do collectively. That’s the power of convergence, and it’s revolutionizing the IT and business landscape.

This convergence brings together applications, systems and processes to help meet current needs while preparing for future innovation. It’s at the heart of the Internet of Everything (IoE) in connecting people, process, data and things in new and innovative ways. And mobility is a driving force fuelling this evolving landscape, breaking down barriers and enabling the birth of entirely new kinds of business and economic models.

Mobility: A Cornerstone in the Converging IT LandscapeFuture of Mobility_v1-2

Mobile devices are already a pervasive part of our lives. As mobility continues to evolve, these devices will be primarily how a network connects to the user, helping shape and customize the end-user experience to deliver more personalized services and real-time engagement.

Imagine you are an online shopper who doesn’t want to wait overnight for your shipment. You want your product now. From your mobile device, you will not only be able to price-match with other retailers and see if the product is available in a store near you (a current capability), but also connect with real-time data in the cloud over an agile network to see if there are checkout lines in the store, reserve a parking spot, and tell the customer service rep you are on your way.

Gartner predicts that, through this year, mobile apps will drive “the next evolution in user experience” by “leverage[ing] intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.” This is already happening through smart devices and wearables, for example, as people (myself included) use health and fitness apps to help make better, healthier choices.

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How Do Partners Make Money in this New Cloud World

As the world has moved to a cloud-based IT model, the rules of the game have changed. This has led to a different way of thinking for CIOs and IT managers.  Let’s face it, an IT manager doesn’t wake up and say, “I have to buy some virtualization today,” or “I have to buy a Disaster Recovery as a Service offering.”  Rather there is a comprehensive adoption lifecycle that IT managers must go through as they determine what services they need and how to migrate these services to cloud.  Within certain phases of the lifecycle, partners have sizable revenue opportunities, especially before and after the service selection phase.

Phase One: Business Model Evaluation

It starts with business drivers. Prospective cloud customers must determine what business model changes are required, the lines of business requirements that need to be considered, and what organizational changes may be necessary.  Evaluating these business and financial aspects are key to consider in their cloud migration plan.  Partners must help the customer determine what is most important in making their journey to cloud and how to build a practice around that initial phase of the cloud adoption lifecycle.  Partners’ consulting services should focus on a cloud business case justification that helps their customer understand the project plan and investment, with a 3-5 year plan and the ROI/business benefits of moving to cloud.

After going through a business case evaluation of cloud, customers must also consider their infrastructure requirements.  The infrastructure assessment should answer questions such as: how will cloud impact fixed facilities?  What will it do to mobile users?  What is the knowledge level of the business stakeholders on the applications that move across the organization?  What applications need to be enabled on the network?

In order to recognize the total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits of cloud, customers must rationalize and understand the type of workloads that need to move to public, private , or hybrid clouds, and what the network needs to look like to support those applications.  This is a ripe area for partners to generate revenues through formal cloud infrastructure assessments.   Read More »

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Summary: Governing the World of Many Clouds with Cisco Cloud Consumption Optimization Service

CIOs face a scary reality. They only know about 5-10% of the cloud applications that are being used within their organization. This shadow IT is ripping holes in their security strategies. In fact, a recent Forrester study cited that 43% of respondents said they believed shadow IT practices were major threats to their respective organizations. And, as the fallout from recent high-profile attacks have shown, both IT and business leaders will face the consequences if a security breach occurs.

To help leaders uncover shadow IT, we launched Cloud Consumption Assessment Service in January. But discovering shadow IT is only the first step that organizations need to take to manage cost and risks.

[Read the full post by Robert Dimicco on the Cisco Data Center blog...]

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The Internet of Everything: An Opportunistic View from the Clouds

The Internet of Everything (IoE) describes machine-to-machine (M2M) compute entities that track and measure real-time data that can be used to build out a data history for analytics that could be used to optimize the quality of life. The opportunity is represented by devices used in a person’s everyday life that are connected to the Internet, have the ability to learn a person’s consumption behavior, and embody the goal to improve the efficacy of services and goods delivery and consumption. Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers says that the Internet of Everything could be a $19 trillion opportunity. 1 Read More »

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How Businesses Can Meet Next Generation Workforce Demands

Over the past 10 years, the consumption of technology has become more accessible than ever. The workspace has shifted from being heavily reliant on the fax machine to now allowing people to be in different parts of the world, yet flawlessly connected to their company’s network.

The result of these technological advancements – such as the growth of mobility, cloud and big data – is the evolution of the Next Generation Workforce, which has immense opportunities for businesses and interested candidates.

For example, considering that 74% of millennials want flexible work schedules, the Next Generation Workforce will seek remote collaboration more than ever before. Companies that will succeed at recruiting and retaining these candidates will be those that practice flexibility through the use of technology, while simultaneously showing employees that the work they are doing is both impactful and valuable.

Tailoring to the interests of these future candidates is an investment that companies must think about now – especially because by 2025, millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. Employers who take new approaches to management, offering flexible benefits and providing effective employee retirement planning strategies will benefit from a three-generation workforce that is engaged, energized and experienced.

Midmarket Next Generation Workforce Blog Image

However, as the Next Generation Workforce evolves, there are certain challenges businesses must overcome to successfully excite and attract top talent. Here’s a closer look at those challenges – especially for those in the midmarket industries – and what they can do today to remain competitive and innovative in a rapidly changing landscape. Read More »

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