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Future Innovators and Entrepreneurs: The IoTWF Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge is Open

GirlsForIoTInnovation sqIn October at the Internet of Things World Forum we announced the Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge.  This challenge was announced to help bring more women into the sciences as we connect more of the unconnected with the Internet of Things. I’m pleased to announce that the IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge is now open for submissions!

This challenge came about as a way to help address one of the biggest challenges to the Internet of Things – the dearth of technologically trained workers.  Over the next few years, technology jobs –those requiring a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM), are expected to grow twice as fast as non-STEM jobs.  While the demand for this workforce is growing, women are a significantly under-utilized resource.  In the United States, a little over 18% of computer science and engineering degrees are awarded to women – while in general more women are getting bachelor’s degrees, the number of women in STEM has declined over the last 20 years from highs of 20.9% for engineering in 2002 and 29% for computer science in 1991. Read More »

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Privacy v. Productivity: The CIOs Role in Shaping Future of Work Policies

According to Cisco’s 2014 Connected World Technology Report, the future of work will be more flexible and collaborative than ever before. In this two-part blog series, Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, explores how the IT and business landscape is changing based on this new research and how organizations can prepare. Read the first blog in the series, The Future of Work & Collaboration, here.

We are facing a generation of knowledge workers who have essentially grown-up online. Most of the future workforce will have an online presence from the day they are born – being online is as natural as breathing and its fundamental to their social and work lives. These “digital natives” also don’t see a tradeoff between security and privacy: they want the access they want when they want it.

This changing tide in the workforce means that CIOs must empower the next generation of workers with the latest applications to enable them to work how they want to personally – whether that’s on a corporate-owned device or not. Workers need access to the right collaboration tools at the right time; and if they don’t have those tools, they’ll find them on their own – outside the structure and purview of the enterprise.

For organizations to succeed in this future work environment, Read More »

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Get Ahead of the Curve in 2015: Invest in IoT

As the holiday season gets into full swing, executives like you are polishing off strategic and operational plans for the New Year. For many manufacturing companies, 2014 was a good year, for some outstanding, and most manufacturers are optimistic for more of the same in 2015. According to MAPI’s US Industrial Outlook, “manufacturing will continue to grow faster than the overall economy,” with 2015 growing at a higher rate than 2014.

Because manufacturers are looking to get ahead of this growth curve and set the stage for competitive differentiation and advantage in 2015, you are utilizing budgets remaining from 2014 to make smart investments now in new technologies, before the year comes to a close. With strategic investments in operations or R&D/engineering, companies position themselves to be more agile, productive and competitive while the economy slowly but surely continues to strengthen. In an Industry Week report, “Manufacturers are optimistic about their businesses as well as the economy as a whole, and are investing accordingly … Following a profitable growth strategy, they are controlling costs while introducing new products, increasing sales from existing customers, and leveraging data to make smarter business decisions.”

In recent conversations with a few of my Cisco colleagues who happen to be 20+yr Manufacturing / OT (Operations Technology) veterans, these industry gurus describe how they counsel manufacturing clients during the transitional holiday season. Steve Gansen points out that for many companies, budgets need to be expended this calendar year-end (‘use it or lose it’), which presents a great opportunity to change the prioritization for projects. “Many of my customers see this as an opportunity to reprioritize projects and drive budget to improve R&D or product engineering and offerings.” (His comments reminded me of the Sub-Zero’s innovative investments in their product development, NPI and processes.)

Jim Fledderjohn and Dwayne Edwards add that there are other considerations for a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) proof-of-concept (PoC) projects for production environments and engineering programs that present incremental, re-directional opportunities at year-end. From video surveillance to energy management, to factory wireless and plant virtualization, there are many compelling use cases that can be easily ‘piloted’ to deliver immediate business outcomes and measurable ROI. In fact, an option recently announced at Automation Fair is Cisco Services Factory Starter Kit, a fast-track, turnkey PoC package of wireless capabilities for your plant environments.

Jim further describes, “Piloting an IoT project on a small scale lets manufacturers test out a concept in their environment and puts them in a better position to win budget and additional investment in 2015.” Particularly in the US—where according to the latest ISM Report On Business for November, the manufacturing sector expanded for the 18th consecutive month—momentum in the industry just keeps building. And considering manufacturing technologies that include embedded intelligence and IoT, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), orders for 2014 are showing growth of >5%.

Are YOU planning end-of-the-year investments in IoT? Let us know what you think in the comment block below. Thanks for reading.

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The Internet of Everything: Catalyst for Change

I just returned from Moscow where I had the honor of speaking to more than 3,400 customers and partners attending Cisco Connect Russia and separately addressing 300 eager undergraduates at Kazan Federal University (KFU) in Tatarstan on what we call the Internet of Everything (IoE)

Our studies show that IoE can drive $19 trillion of economic benefit over the next decade, and more than $273 billion in Russia alone. The depth of engineering talent in Russia places them, as a country, with a very strong opportunity to capitalize on this value and quickly.

Chris Dedicoat with President Minnikhnaov & KFU President Gafurov

Chris Dedicoat with President Minnikhnaov & KFU President Gafurov

The Government of Tatarstan under President Rustam Minnikhnaov are true thought leaders in this respect. The President has the desire to make Kazan, the Capital of Tatarstan, the smartest city in Russia and one of the top five smartest cities in the world, and he is moving rapidly to do this. His goal is to create a city platform to enhance the interaction between Government and Citizens and throw open the opportunities to the talent in the city to develop solutions by citizens…for citizens.

Cisco has partnered with President Minnikhnaov, the Mayor of Kazan and Kazan Federal University in recently opening an Innovation Hub at the University to turn this goal into a reality. Read More »

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The Internet of Things Accelerates Innovation and Value Creation for Manufacturers

I wasn’t around during the Industrial Revolution, but I can’t help but think that today is an even more interesting time to be in manufacturing. I’m happy to be participating this week in the annual Rockwell Automation Fair, where it seems we can see the Internet of Things (IoT) evolving in real time.

Perhaps no other industry is being disrupted by technology more than manufacturing. As manufacturers digitize their businesses, operational complexity increases and competitive pressure builds—driving the need for faster innovation, quicker time to market, and more efficient processes. Those who can’t keep up are left behind. Read More »

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