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Network-Centric Warfare: How IoE is Transforming Defense

The power of the Internet of Everything (IoE) lies in connecting the unconnected, bringing together people, process, data and things to create new and exciting possibilities. These connections are already transforming the world today, from corporate business to local government. One area in particular that has been significantly transformed by connectivity over the years is our nation’s defense.

Throughout the past 30 years, Cisco has been working closely with the Department of Defense to transform its operations from a point-to-point world to one that is fully connected. We are proud to have played a role in building the first defense-wide enterprise network, known today as the DoD Information Network (DoDIN). These networks were rapidly extended into the deployed environment, and Cisco was there helping to make that transition. Today, DoD networks are being pushed out even further into the tactical edge connecting sensors, platforms and mobile users. This network capability is critical to supporting all branches of the U.S. military, serving as the connective tissue that transitions enterprise to deployed to tactical edge establishing the Defense Department’s global IoE environment.

Modern battlespace boundaries are consistently harder to define, but IoE technologies such as sensors and collaboration capabilities operating on a secure mission fabric are enabling shared situational awareness, accelerating rapid indications and warnings, and improving real-time collaboration. For example, every element of today’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations – from unnamed vehicles and autonomous sensors to a solider in the field with a handheld decision aid or intelligence analysts in the operations centers – requires a secure, reliable network to connect a vast defense landscape.

In the garrison, the emergence of connected base environments illustrates how IoE is impacting daily military operations. IoE-driven solutions such as energy-monitoring, smart street lighting and advanced asset tracking can help bases around the world operate more effectively, provide information for better decision-making and improve cost efficiencies. The medical and logistics environments, for example, are replete with sensors that can monitor, control, optimize and automate their unique mission operations. From bases to tactical edge, the DoD will continue to adapt and refine its “Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs)” necessary to improve mission effectiveness across every branch of the U.S. military.

So what’s next?

As today’s battlespace boundaries continue to evolve, the need for agility, resilience and adaptability is more critical than ever. Similarly, the strategies and technologies required to achieve success will change and Cisco will be there to support the defense community with solutions for service members around the world. We are committed to helping the DoD build and maintain the secure mission fabric necessary for efficient and effective operations.

For more information, check out this new white paper highlighting on how IoE technologies and Cisco are supporting the Department of Defense. Also, keep an eye for future blogs that will take a closer look at connected bases and how the Navy is leveraging the power of enhanced connectivity.

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Big Data. Big Opportunity. Real Simple: Practical Steps to Building Your Big Data Practice.

I talk to partners every day about the big data opportunity. We know that partners who sell UCS see dramatically larger deal sizes for big data opportunities.  We know all of this and still there is a lot of caution and skepticism from partners about jumping into this new world of big data and analytics.  I have heard comments from many partners, like:

  • “It’s just hype, another fad”
  • “I will ride this out and wait for the wave to pass and go on with business just like I always have”
  • “I am driving revenue and growing my business, why do I need to worry about this Big Data thing. I am not going to hire a “data scientist”!  I’m not even sure what I would do with one if I hired one!”

There is indeed is a lot of hype about big data and analytics today – it is everywhere. However, it is not a fad, and it is not going away. The world is moving to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE), and big data is projected to be the next evolution of IT.

As IoT and IoE gain momentum, enterprises are deploying new data-creating sensor at the far reaches of their networks and billions of new connections are being made.  Cisco anticipates that 50 billion things will be connected by 2020.  Those connections are creating enormous amounts of data.  The ultimate success of IoT and IoE is all about being able to turn that data into insight.  Insights that drive organizational improvements such as delivering products faster, fueling higher productivity or predicting customer demand.  Big data and analytics is all about driving business outcomes from IoT and IoE. Read More »

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The Digital Vortex, Where Disruption Is Constant and Innovation Rules

Given the breakneck pace of technology change, business leaders can be forgiven for feeling as if they are living in a vortex. That’s because, in many ways, they are.

In a real vortex, rotational forces draw everything to the center, where objects collide and combine in unpredictable ways. To me, that sounds like business as usual in the Internet of Everything (IoE) era.

The Digital Vortex is the inevitable movement of industries toward a “digital center” in which business models, offerings, and value chains are digitized to the maximum extent possible. The result is “components” that can be readily combined to create new disruptions that blur the lines between industries.

Digital Disruption by Industry. Source: Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 2015

Digital Disruption by Industry. Source: Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 2015

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Digital Transformation in the Oil & Gas Industry: “Drill, Data, Drill!”

“Drill, baby, drill” makes for an easy mantra when it comes to energy exploration, but the oil and gas (O&G) industry moved past simply drilling long ago with the introduction of digital information processing. For example, integrated production modeling was introduced in the 1970s. With the recent turmoil in the energy industry, the stakes are even higher for O&G companies to work smarter and more efficiently. Forward-looking businesses are making the transition to true digital transformation, which requires the adoption of the Internet of Everything (IoE)—the networked connection of people, process, data, and things—throughout the entire O&G value chain. According to a recent Cisco study, of these four IoE elements, essential “data” is the component most in demand—and the element that needs the most improvement.

Survey respondents identified “data” as the area of IoE they need to improve most to drive insight and value.

Survey respondents identified “data” as the area of IoE they need to improve most to drive insight and value.

However, in many cases it’s not data that’s lacking; O&G firms are awash in data generated by sensors and machines spread throughout their far-flung operations. The struggle comes in capturing real-time operating data closest to the point it’s created, analyzing it in real-time and applying the results to improve functional and business capabilities. To capitalize on the wide range of data IoE generates, O&G firms must overcome three key challenges:

  • Automating the collection of data
  • Integrating data from multiple—and often far-flung—sources
  • Analyzing data to effectively identify actionable insights

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Co-Innovating With Our Customers

In the past couple of years, I have been delighted to see how the digital revolution has accelerated the pace of innovation at warp speed. It has been even more gratifying, however, to experience how this trend has disrupted traditional relationships between technology suppliers and their customers.

Today, the most successful suppliers and customers have become more like trusted partners co-innovating solutions together. Fading fast are the days when the relationship between seller and buyer consisted of a handshake and a few check-in calls before re-engaging again when contract renewals came up. Read More »

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