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Hope for Securing the Internet of Things

I talk and write a lot about the benefits of connecting more things to enterprise networks, and the most frequent concern that I hear is the worry that deploying an industrial IoT will open up thousands more security holes to the network. With an understanding of the new threats and important defenses that come with the IoT, industrial organizations need not let fear prevent them from leveraging the transformative possibilities of Internet of Everything. Read More »

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The Hyper-Relevant Retailer: From Dark Assets to Dynamic Processes

As I was walking the aisles at the National Retail Federation “Big Show” in New York last week, I was impressed with the myriad of connected, smart solutions now available to retailers. Augmented reality, data analytics, video-enabled in-store robots and warehouse drones, you name it, it was there.

I’m just as dazzled as everyone else by these new technologies, but I believe it is important for retailers to view them within the wider context of making their organizations digital enterprises by taking action on the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the networked connection of people, process, data, and things, and Cisco projects these connections to surge from 13 billion today to 50 billion by the end of the decade. With a total value of $19 trillion from 2013 to 2022, IoE is a profound market transition. Read More »

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Exploring Global Digital Transformations for 2015

2014 ended with a flurry of technology conferences in Europe and the Middle East.  In November, the European Commission’s (EC) annual Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Conference addressed how to make the EC a 21 Century organization.  In December, the International Telecommunications Union Telecommunications Standardization Sector ( ITU-T) hosted a meeting in Doha, Qatar for CTOs.  Among the issues discussed were updates on the Global Standardization Landscape, status of Internet of Things Standardization and next generation video technologies and standards.   Also in Doha, at the same time The ITU hosted World Telecom whose theme was “Future in Focus: how disruptive developments in technology, business and society are transforming the ICT industry.” All the meetings gave us much to think about for 2015. Günther Oettinger , European Union  Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society kicked-off the ICT DIGIT-IT conference by outlining his strategy for achieving a digital transformation within the European Union.  He went on to detail specific areas he thought needed the most attention including:

  • Effective Workplace
  • Real time administration
  • Open Data
  • Collaborative working tools
  • Security and cyber-security (mentioned as number 1 priority)
  • Growing usage of Cloud for non-strategic data
  • Importance of Big Data and Internet of Everything
  • Openness and Collaboration between the different EU organizations
  • Attracting young generation within EU, build and retain talent

Effective workplace

As Commissioner Oettinger concluded his presentation, I was struck by how similar Read More »

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2015 Predictions: The highest-impact IoE advancements in Retail

Co-Authored by: Shaun Kirby, CTO, Cisco Consulting Services

The IoE promises to revolutionize industries by providing access to a wealth of previously hidden information obtained from a myriad of new connected sensors fused intelligently by novel real-time analytics. Retailers have seen early success by connecting dark assets in stores, warehouses and other venues. This week at the Retail’s Big Show by the National Retail Foundation, Cisco shared specific stories about cutting edge IoE use cases in retail operations, , along with the release of a comprehensive, three-pronged research study on IoE in retail. Read More »

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New Study Tells Retailers: Win Consumers’ Trust to Deliver the Hyper-Relevant Experiences They Want

As Cisco’s chief marketing officer, an important part of my role is to build and maintain the trust of Cisco’s customers.In fact, “brand promise” ultimately relies upon the trust consumers have placed in a brand. Customers who are loyal to a brand will trust that the next product or service introduced under that brand will fulfill the brand promise. However, trust can also have more widespread impacts that affect an organization’s ability to compete and to provide the innovative customer experiences required in the Internet of Everything (IoE) era.

This week at the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show” in New York, Cisco released a new study that uncovered some unique insights about shopping behaviors and attitudes among U.S. and U.K. consumers in the digital age. The findings point to the need for retailers to provide “hyper-relevant” shopping experiences that deliver value to the consumer in real time throughout the shopping lifecycle. Hyper-relevance comes with the ability to dynamically compare real-time customer information with historical data, and the resulting insights allow retailers to improve operations and the customer experience. At stake, according to our research, is an estimated profit improvement of 15.6 percent for an illustrative $20 billion retailer that builds agile business processes for turning these insights into value.

Our research shows that consumers are looking for retailers to deliver hyper-relevance via three value proposition categories: efficiency, engagement, and savings. In the area of efficiency, for example, 77 percent of respondents said they would be “somewhat” or “very likely” to use a solution to optimize the checkout process. In terms of savings, 79 percent indicated a willingness to take advantage of in-store offers provided via digital signage, while 73 percent said they’d like to receive special offers through augmented-reality solutions. And, in the area of engagement, 57 percent indicated a desire to learn more about products in the store by using augmented-reality capabilities.

One of the points I found particularly interesting is that consumers are relatively willing to provide certain types of personal information to retailers—such as name, age, past purchasing history, interests, and hobbies—in order to get a more personally relevant shopping experience. But beyond this basic information, there is a “trust cliff,” a steep drop-off in willingness to share certain types of personal information. A significant 16 percent of respondents were not willing to share any personal information at all.

This trust cliff presents an interesting conundrum for retailers. On one hand, our study shows that customers want personalized and contextually relevant shopping experiences. But on the other hand, they are reluctant to share the very information that can help provide these “hyper-relevant” experiences.

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