Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > The Platform

Reflections on the Fortune Global Forum: How businesses will win in the midst of the biggest revolution of high tech

I had the great privilege of attending and speaking at Fortune Global Forum this week, which gathers business leaders to discuss the most pressing challenges we face and to set the global business agenda. The theme of this year’s conference was “winning in the disruptive century” and focused on how businesses must operate in order to stay competitive in this environment. One common concept fueling discussions around the disruptive market we’re navigating was connectivity. CEOs across industries – manufacturing, technology, healthcare, finance and so on – are recognizing the need to not only digitize, but to reinvent themselves to stay ahead. As I reflect on the conversations I had at the Fortune Global Forum, here are some of the points that really resonated with me:

Businesses are poised to lead on digitization if we make it our priority.

Current forecasts around the number of connected devices are too conservative. By 2030, I believe that there will be closer to 500 billion connected devices. With digitization every aspect of day to day business will change, from supply chain to customer interface to productivity, every company will become digital. However, according to The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, only 25 percent of executives have a proactive plan to address digitization. Leaders at Fortune Global Forum agreed that value is created by not just connecting things, but by how you use these new connections to make an impact on not only business, but also on governments and society.

I’ve met with government leaders in France, Israel, UK, Germany and India who not only understand the impact of digitization, but they’re moving quickly to bring it to life for their countries. I think we have something to learn from these leaders. First, that digitization should be a priority on our national agenda here in the U.S., as technology strategy will play a critical role in our success as a country in the digital world. Second, that digitization should also be at the top of the corporate agenda. If governments are moving on digitization with this type if tremendous speed, our businesses have to move even faster and be even more dynamic to realize the full potential of this opportunity.

Your company is defined by much more than just your core products.

Most companies today make 90 percent of their revenue from two or three products that have been in their portfolio for some time. To stay competitive in today’s disruptive environment, you can’t stay doing the same thing for too long. Business leaders must have the courage to expand into new emerging areas ahead of market transitions. This takes courage!

An overwhelming majority of leaders at the Fortune Global Forum noted that this challenge keeps them up at night, and that it’s made even more pressing by the increasing number of connected devices that are coming online. For instance, with the rise of mobile, my fellow panelist BT CEO Gavin Patterson saw an opportunity to make a foray into a new market and had the courage to expand his business beyond voice. This was just one of countless examples of how BT reinvented itself over its hundred-year history. This theme of reinvention rang true for others too, including Wells Fargo. To be successful in the digital world, leaders must find new profit streams and tie everything back to customers’ expectations.

Your competition today may not be your competition tomorrow.

Forty percent of market leaders will be displaced or eliminated by digital disruptors in the next 10 years. In my opinion the average time to disruption (meaning a “substantial change” in market share among incumbents) is now about 3 years, a dramatic escalation in the rate of competitive change versus historical levels. These disruptors offer differentiated products and services and better value than incumbents. This creates a hyper-competitive landscape driven by digital disruption, where lines between industries are blurring and markets are changing exponentially.

Companies that fail to keep up with the accelerating pace of innovation in this environment will be left behind as new competitors grab hold of market share. We saw this type of disruption occur with cloud and mobile, for instance, and we must always be thinking about the next transition. It’s important to remember that the disruptors of today look much different than they have in the past. If we don’t pay attention to this next generation of competition, we risk being left behind entirely.

The Fortune Global Forum agenda has made it clear: business leaders recognize the tremendous sense of urgency around our digital future. We are in the midst of one of the most revolutionary changes in technology we have ever seen which will have 5 to 10 times the impact of the Internet to date and will impact all industries – manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and others. To win in this new age, businesses must make digitization a top priority.

Tags: , , , ,

Transforming the Global Landscape through the New Digital Age

Worries about diminished GDP growth, a shrinking middle class and rising geopolitical conflicts are rampant. Many may be concerned about the direction our world is headed in, but complete disruption of the ways our cities and countries operate is key to turning it around.

Digitization will impact productivity like no other disruptive trend being discussed right now – tapping into the 50 billion devices that will come online over the next five years – this will have 5 to 10 times the impact the Internet has had on our lives so far. This will be key to how countries maintain global competitiveness, increase GDP growth, foster innovation and create new jobs.

A great example is France. Government leaders clearly understand the importance of digital transformation and are taking the digitization process a step further by building an ecosystem that will grow innovation power. Collaboration between corporations and startups will be key to maintaining international competitiveness across Europe. I traveled to France last week for the opening of the Paris Innovation and Research Center, which will bring together government, companies like Cisco, startups, universities, developers, researchers, and the venture capital community to ensure continuous innovation and accelerate of France’s digital transformation. With tools like a floor to ceiling interactive video wall, groups from around the world can collaborate seamlessly. Through the right infrastructure and resources, France will be able to build an environment that supports new ideas to improve the citizen experience and transform the way the country operates. Over the next 10 years digitization could help France generate $101 billion contribution to GDP, 1.1 million jobs, and $51 billion in value from a sustainable innovation network.

While people question whether economic slowdown in emerging markets is an ongoing trend, India has laid the groundwork for prosperity. I sat down with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his trip last month to Silicon Valley. As the first Indian head of state to visit California in three decades, he sent a clear message about his commitment to partnering with industry on projects for his Digital India initiative. One key area that this will impact greatly is a highly skilled workforce – we’re already seeing this in the ICT industry, a frontrunner in creating a talent pool ready for jobs of the future. Additionally, Modi has set a vision for India to be a key manufacturing hub for the world, which will enable local innovation, jobs creation and increase India’s global competitiveness. Finally, with the Startup India initiative Modi has shown full support for creating an environment that is conducive to next generation companies. With the right technological investments, and partners, India can completely change how citizens, businesses and the government interact, potentially adding $224 billion in economic value for the country over the next decade.

I believe the time is now for industry and government to take the initiative on transformational projects to harness the power of digitization. We must take advantage of the $4.6 trillion public-sector opportunity the next phase of the Internet holds. Through training programs for the workforce of the future, harnessing an innovation ecosystem, leveraging the power of partnerships, and building a secure digital infrastructure with the ability to scale, countries can not only survive, but will thrive in this new Digital Age, unlocking new economic growth.


Tags: , , ,

Announcing the IoTWF 2015 Registration is Now Open!

The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF), Dubai is just three months away! In its third year, the IoT World Forum is continuing some of our hallmark programs while introducing new activities.

As in previous years, the industry’s leaders in public sector, private business and education will gather again to collaborate, network, partner, and build the IoT ecosystem together.  The IoTWF is the one place where the entire IoT community can share the latest developments and emerging applications, all of which will be on display onsite.

Back this year are amazing keynote speakers, targeted business breakout sessions, our expanded research symposium, an exciting tour to highlight local IoT deployments, our IoT Hack-a-thon, and Innovation and Security Grand Challenges. New this year are technical breakout sessions, proven customer stories to highlight lessons learnt, IoT talks, an interoperable demo, the service provider angle on IoT, and increased time for networking.    With registrations recently opened, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite aspects to this year’s World Forum.

iot_infographic-banner 091015
Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cisco Live: We Are Ready. Are You Ready, Service Provider?

Igor-DayenGuest Blog by Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

June 7, 2015 was the day when Cisco Live was officially kicked off in San Diego. 25,000 attendees came together to open the next chapter in Cisco’s history. The convention center and surrounding area was buzzing with excitement, with conversations including and focused on security, service provider, app development and becoming digital, to name a few. An additional 80,000 joined Cisco Live online throughout the week.

Chuck & John

John Chambers, Cisco CEO, emotionally delivered his 20th and final Cisco Live Welcome Keynote address where he shared Cisco’s vision one final time with our customers. The keynote featured a Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,