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The IoE-Ready Retailer: Connecting Sellers and Shoppers Like Never Before

We live in a time of tremendous and challenging technological disruptions. Yet it is also a time when the opportunities for business transformation are equally vast and impactful. This is particularly true for the retail industry.

The wave of change, which Cisco calls the Internet of Everything (IoE), is fast-moving, and retailers will need to adapt quickly or be left behind. After all, this explosion in connectivity — from 10 billion things today to 50 billion in 2020 — will demand a new paradigm: the IoE-Ready Retailer. And it will enable vast improvements in customer experience, employee productivity, and supply-chain efficiency, while allowing retailers to know their customers like never before.

Cisco’s research into this new dimension in connectivity among people, process, data, and things — and the overall Value at Stake over the next 10 years —presents some mind-boggling numbers: $14.4 trillion for the private sector overall and another $4.6 trillion for public sector organizations.

As per Cisco’s estimate, the retail industry will account for 11 percent of the total IoE private sector Value at Stake over the next 10 years — second only to the manufacturing industry. Cisco believes that success for retailers will hinge particularly on their ability to apply technology to improve the “people” and “process” aspects of their businesses, and to be able to offer unique, new connected experiences to the average shopper.

Cisco’s new research, which explores how the average consumer is thinking and adopting these connected experiences, uncovers some startling facts. Consumers now research, compare, and purchase products with one-click ease. The population of ever-connected, digital natives is increasing at unprecedented rates (60%+ year over year). This affords sellers with a wealth of real-time data insights that can help them stock the right products and present them in novel ways.

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How Aligned Are Business and IT Priorities?

Are Business and IT Groups Innovating Together -01.17.14

Innovation is critical to the success of every organization. According to a recent Cisco survey, 84% of business leaders agree that technology innovation is a critical or very important strategic differentiator for their companies. However, this survey also revealed that technology investments made by business and IT leadership are not always aligned. So how can business and IT work better together to deliver more innovation and business impact?

To address this challenge, we recently conducted the first phase of the Cisco Business and IT Priority Survey, which asked 1,800 business leaders globally about how their business and IT priorities are linked, and how these groups manage their innovation processes and technology investments. The good news is that 70% of business leaders indicated that their priorities and IT’s are aligned.

However, 67% of business leaders also said IT will influence less than half of the business technology budget next year. This means that two thirds of all organizations have an opportunity to better align IT and business technology spending, and deliver more innovation and business impact in the process.

Furthermore, this opportunity is growing as business’ investments in technology increase faster than IT’s. More than half of business leaders expect their technology budgets to increase up to 25% next year, and 11% expect their tech budgets to grow more than 25%. These business technology budget increases also vary widely by country – see the next installment in this series for details on our survey results different countries, industries, and business roles.

So how can business and IT better align their technology investments to deliver more IT innovation and business impact?

  1. Simplify – align and map technology and business priorities at every level. Then innovate with integrated solutions that map to more of your business priorities now – and longer term. For example, Fredericksberg Commune in Denmark reduce IT helpdesk incidents by 90% by integrating wired, wireless, routing and security technologies.

    Using SDN and automation capabilities, there are also many new ways to simplify IT and free up resources to fuel more innovation – across your entire network. See our upcoming CiscoLive! Milan announcements for more details on how to dramatically improve IT productivity.
  2. Unify – breaking down technology silos can yield huge ROI and, in turn, spur innovation. Two Cisco solutions that exemplify this principle of unity are Unified Access and Intelligent WAN. Unified Access, where policy, management and networks all work better together as one, can deliver orders of magnitude more capacity and performance than independent wired and wireless point products that may be deployed as separate initiatives. For example, the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan recently deployed an integrated wired/wireless solution, and plans to grow revenues by 15 to 20% by offering new guest services in addition to the outstanding guest experiences they’re already providing.

    Similarly, combining MPLS, Internet and 3G/4G-LTE into one Intelligent WAN can reduce overall costs by more than $500,00 annually for companies with 100 sites, and dramatically improve performance, security, and reliability in the process.
  3. Multiply – with the right network, you can add many innovative new services and applications, as well as capacity and performance more quickly to reach business goals sooner. For example, Copenhagen Airport is transforming passenger experiences by integrating wireless, mobility and location services in new ways.

    This potential value is in many current networks, but it’s even more important as the Internet of Things brings connectivity to billions of new devices and applications and previously unconnected things, changing business models in profound ways.

Because the alignment of IT and business priorities is so important for innovation and business outcomes, on January 27th, we’ll begin collecting and sharing these priorities on a global basis in the next phase of our Business and IT Priority Survey. With this intelligence, people can see how their priorities  compare to those of their industry peers, and we can all better understand how to drive business and IT together.

Our findings to date indicate that opportunities for innovation live in virtually every organization. Please join us in the coming weeks as we dive deeper into these results and show real-world innovation examples that will help your IT and business groups innovate and deliver more business impact than ever before.

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At CES, Glitzy Wearables, Snazzy Smart Cars, and, Yes, Trash Cans

Walking the miles of aisles at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, it’s easy to see how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is revolutionizing our lives. Super-smart homes, cars, drones, and all manner of entertainment are on display seemingly everywhere, along with a mind-boggling array of wearable, connected technologies.

But CES — and IoE — are not just about how we interact with cool gadgets. They are also about new ways to connect with the public-sector environment. And there are extremely exciting possibilities coming to life in our towns, cities, and communities.

Ultimately, these public-sector breakthroughs could have a profound impact. Just think about how much of your quality of life is affected on a daily basis — directly or indirectly — by parking, waste management, crime, public utilities, and government services.

Cisco predicts that $4.6 trillion of value will be “at stake” in the public sector over the next decade ($19 trillion for the public and private sectors combined), driven by “connecting the unconnected” through the Internet of Everything. We also estimate that 99.4 percent of physical objects that may one day be part
of the Internet of Everything are still unconnected.IoE - Joseph Bradley blog image - 01 15 14

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With IoE and a Smartphone, You Can Shop Like a Superhero

Superheroes and their super strengths have long captured our imaginations. And since many of these abilities are normal human traits stretched to a magical extreme, you may well have pictured how your own life would change with super speed, agility, or senses.

Today, such daydreams are getting just a bit closer to reality.  And while such powers won’t necessarily save the world (yet), they will make some common activities, such as shopping, a bit more super.

Smartphones have already assumed a central role in the retail experience. Yet the current level of smartphone interactivity is just the beginning. Exciting new capabilities are transforming the ways in which we interact — connecting our physical world to digital dimensions in very simple and intelligent ways. We will see more intelligent connections emerging across the entire customer journey: consideration, purchase, and usage.

#MobilizeMag : Shaping The Mobile Shopping Experience from Cisco Business Insights

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The IoE Enterprise: Diverse, Inclusive, and Hyperconnected

If it seems as if the roles of chief information officer (CIO) and chief diversity officer (CDO) rarely overlap, think again. In today’s hypercompetitive — and hyperconnected — global marketplace, inclusion, collaboration, and technology are merging as essential drivers of innovation and business success. And the relationship between the CIO and CDO may never be the same.

Indeed, fostering a policy of inclusion and diversity in your organization isn’t just the right thing to do; increasingly, it is also the profitable thing to do. And, it’s a clear business imperative, since great ideas come from all corners — and levels — of the organization.

In a Cisco survey of 7,500 companies, 93 percent of enterprises with a formal policy of inclusion reported that their collaboration technology investments outperformed their business value expectations. That’s just one example of the inclusion/diversity/value equation at work.

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