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Step into the IT Fast Lane with Automated Integration

Last month, Japan’s Kenichi Ito broke the world record for the 100 meter dash – running on all fours – with a time of 15.71 seconds. Known as “the monkey man,” having perfected the art of moving like a monkey on the ground, Ito sprints on his hands and feet towards the finish line. His performance is reminiscent of Samuel Johnson’s famous adage about dogs that can walk on two hind legs, “It’s not done well but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

But this is exactly what many enterprises are still doing today – building and managing their network on all fours when they should be sprinting on their toes. With network speeds now often exceeding 100 bits per second, traditional approaches to harnessing today’s hyper-distribution of information aren’t sufficient. What’s needed is “Fast IT.”

Fast IT: The Quick Definition Read More »

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Service-Oriented Everything and Digitization of Your Business

The next big phase of the Internet is the race toward digitization, which brings together people, processes, data, and things in new, more productive ways. In this emerging hyper-distributed digital world, connectivity is even more vital than ever before. Companies that are going to thrive and realize new opportunities will be the ones that adopt digital strategies to bring new services to market faster, securely connect people, things, and stitch hyper-distributed processes across internal and external systems.

Cisco’s research shows that 75% of organizations need help in clearly defining the digitization opportunity that exists for each of them. This research is consistent with what I hear from customers across many industries that are challenged with integrating systems and processes rapidly for:

  • Becoming agile as a business, adapting to changes with speed
  • Engaging better with customers and leveraging partner ecosystems
  • Improving productivity to improve revenues and profits

Expose, Compose, and Govern Any Asset

If every enterprise asset ranging from legacy applications, cloud services, data, partner services/apps, machines or things, to network/compute/storage infrastructure is viewed as a service, we need the following three capabilities to make those assets available within and across the enterprise:

All this sounds good on paper, but difficult to realize in practice. This requires organizations to think about their assets differently – both tangible assets such as people, machines, buildings etc. and intangible assets such as processes and data. All organizational assets need to be treated as services that are consumable by external or internal consumers; treated as services that are produced by various producers within the enterprise in a federated fashion.

  • Expose assets as services provide a catalog of assets exposed securely as apps, services, or APIs via marketplace catalogs and web or mobile portals
  • Compose new services via mixing services – create new services, apps, and outcomes by connecting data, cloud, and enterprise systems
  • Govern the services – develop policy-based access and control via API access control, fully federated single sign on and ID management.

These three capabilities will enable organizations to treat any asset as a programmable service that can be used by various consumers; to mix it with other services as needed to make new services, and to govern these services with the right authentication and authorization. This new approach to managing hyper-distributed assets provides your business with a framework that lets you automate and integrate your unconnected processes with complete security, governance, and visibility at every stage, allowing us to effectively collaborate with your customers and partners and improve operational efficiencies.

To help with this transformation, today I’m excited to introduce the Cisco Automation and Integration Platform that allows organizations to quickly Expose, Compose, and Govern (“E-C-G”) every enterprise asset as a service. The platform enables customers to act on insights through process automation within and outside of the enterprise, and across business and IT. It offers lifecycle management of digital assets across design, provisioning, publishing, and support. With the Cisco Automation and Integration Platform, our customers will be able to accelerate digital transformation initiatives by streamlining processes and simplifying collaboration amongst customers, partners, and internal stakeholders, as shown below.

AIP graphic

Banking on Adaptive IT for Digitization

Organizations are putting pressure on IT to deliver solutions to business challenges that create value and leverage technology as a real differentiator for the organization. It’s a tall order under any circumstances, but especially in an age of rapid technology changes and high customer expectations. Existing solutions, as many organizations have discovered, are not up to the task.

For example: a large bank seeking to deliver on-demand IT services struggled with pressure from the business to deliver new services.

Like many enterprises, the bank was burdened with legacy IT architecture and manual processes that hindered service provisioning and resulted in average service fulfillment times of four to six weeks. To meet the business need to innovate and deliver new mobile and digital services, the IT organization needed to find a way to quickly use and reuse digital assets with speed and simplicity, while reducing process complexity and lowering delivery costs.

The bank leveraged the Cisco Automation and Integration Platform to automate organization, delivery, and consumption of information, creating an internal IT services marketplace portal that automated the workflow and delivery of development resources. The bank experienced rapid development, expanded offerings, and streamlined the procurement of IT services.

The bank cut their development time of new business applications from 180 days to 2 days, while reducing their costs by 30 percent. They transformed their IT delivery model to one of on-demand self-service for their employees and became a Fast IT organization.

The Mantra for Digitization: Expose…Compose…Govern

The Cisco Automation and Integration Platform helps you digitize your business processes. It gives you the business agility to re-imagine existing business processes and create new business processes that better serve your business needs. The platform automates interactions at scale and captures key data for operational intelligence and service utilization. Tying business interactions to trigger actions within the IT infrastructure paves the way for business SLAs to be provided by an intelligent infrastructure, such as adapting network bandwidth for business needs. At Cisco, we are well on our way to the next stage of the Internet – to enable industrial automation at scale.

In future blogs, several experts from Cisco and I will showcase examples of customers who have achieved digital transformation in many ways: through business process automation, supplier collaboration, IoT integration and network automation. Meanwhile, I’m interested to hear about your challenges and opportunities to achieve digital transformation through process automation. Let me know what you are experiencing in this race to digitization.

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A New Approach to Connect Processes in a Hyper-distributed World

In a recent blog  written by Mala Anand, she discussed how hyper-distribution of assets in organizations is creating demands for new insights and enabling new interactions and experiences across every industry. Mala shared how our hyper-distributed world has created remote centers of data which require access by people and processes within and beyond your organization. And, it is your ability to connect data, connect processes and connect experiences that will be the cornerstone to succeeding in this new digital era. Through this blog, I want to focus on some of the top considerations when deploying and integrating systems and processes in today’s complex hyper distributed environment.

Surviving in this hyper-distributed and digital era requires new levels of business agility and re-imagining existing processes. Yet there exists a big divide. A report published by Gartner Research Consulting—Cisco IoE Engagement Findings, December 2014 states: “78% of organizations have not yet established the capability to manage and transform processes across different parts of their organization.” This transformation requires extending the value of existing infrastructure; integrating partner ecosystems to streamline and automate processes within your enterprise and across your value chain of partners, service providers and customers.

Cisco_DigitalBusiness-Infographic1 process

Figure 1: The importance of integration.

Here are some key considerations as you embark on this journey:

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Breaking the Silos and Connecting the Unconnected

In the past, enterprise architecture was designed to be silos – Data, Voice, Clinical and many more. Demarcation, Control and Ownership was given special emphasis. IT departments ruled and decided what, when, how systems were procured, installed and operated.

As market transitions happened and new consumption models became available, the line of business started procuring cloud based services to keep up with their demands outside of the IT’s enterprise systems. While this accelerated innovation and efficiencies, with applications everywhere, challenges grew alongside.

CIP-EnterpriseAs health care providers adopt more cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) services, their application environment has become extraordinarily complex. With billions of new cloud, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) connections coming over the next few years, things will get even more complicated. IT is facing high operational costs and inefficiencies as they struggle to simply and manages all of these diverse applications, systems, data, and things, many of which no longer even reside within the enterprise. They look for new ways to capitalize on existing resources and data, augment other services outside of the enterprise and deliver new customer experiences to stay ahead.

To keep up with the needs of our customers to enjoy seamless services from anywhere, the Cisco Integration Platform helps to connects all of your diverse on-premise, cloud, and SaaS applications across the enterprise, and makes it easy to securely exchange data and services between them. And it does it in an automated fashion, reusing application integrations and APIs to radically accelerate the delivery of patient experiences.

CIP-Enterprise-2

Cisco is connecting infrastructure with data, applications, and devices to enrich the collaboration and sharing of data between patients, physicians, and providers. Market leading infrastructure solutions can now be integrated into back office clinical applications, and utilized in new ways. Integration is playing a key role in creating a connected healthcare experience. This is leading to more personalized care, self-service, and extending the value a health system can provide outside the four walls of the physical facility. Please visit the Cisco HIMSS booth (#2002) to see the Cisco Integration Platform and many other solutions in action.

It’s my privilege to join Kristen Wilson-Jones, CTO, Sutter Health RD&D and David Chao, Director of Industry Solutions at Mulesoft in a panel discussion at the Mulesoft event at HIMSS 2015 (Time: on April 14th at 5.00pm, RSVP Link: http://himss15reception.splashthat.com). We will talk further about how Internet of Everything will shape up Healthcare delivery and experiences. On behalf of the entire team, I want to invite you to join the conversation.

Look forward to seeing you at HIMSS 2015.

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Building Innovation: Achieve Fast IT with Customers

Recently I had the privilege to exchange thoughts at a roundtable discussion about the Future of Managed Services with our strategic partner Presidio. I would like to share some highlights from that dynamic dialogue.

We all agreed, the services industry overall is heading to a tipping point. Managed services are becoming more attractive to IT, and consequently the demand is growing exponentially. Our discussion focused on the key factors driving this demand and what managed service providers can do to stay ahead of customers’ needs.

Business leaders have ever growing expectations for increased IT speed and responsiveness. As the pace of change in business grows ever quicker, IT needs to become “Fast IT” – delivering new solutions at a more rapid pace In order to do that, IT needs to be able to integrate and automate all support interactions that it’s responsible for delivering.

Customer needs can change in a heartbeat. To meet these needs, organizations and service models have to be more fluid in order to adapt to the ebb and flow of the customer’s business. This embodies a new type of relationship between the customer and the managed services provider. Customers may want to use one service model for a few months or for a few years, changing models as the business changes – gone are the rigid, long-term outsource agreements that lock customers into one model for many years. Ryan Jordan, VP of Managed Services at Presidio put it well:

“Customers want more flexibility from their managed services providers. It’s true that just off-loading managed services allows IT to be faster on their feet. But offering a managed service that is also flexible and responsive adds tremendously to the goals of Fast IT.”

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in an era of ever changing business needs. For instance, rolling out a new application and updating the infrastructure to support the trading desks for a global financial services company requires a different service approach from supporting the operations for a hospital.

A standardized cookie-cutter approach gives you better economies of scale, which supports profitability, but can sacrifice the opportunity to customize offerings by industry or customer. This can affect your competitiveness. The future of managed services is in tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of customers and can adjust as the relationship develops over time.

Presidio and Cisco are working together to implement a new model – built on a foundation of real-time service integration. In this model customers, managed service providers and the technology vendors are all connected in real-time. It creates a new level of transparency and collaboration, speeding resolution times and ensuring all parties have a common view of what’s happening as its happening.

I encourage you to watch the video and read the case study to learn more:

 

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