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It’s All About Connections

Last week I had a chance to spend time with some of our Cisco Partners at the 2015 Best of Breed Conference in Orlando. The conference focused on the disruptive technologies that are transforming our business landscape and what leaders can do to both embrace these changes and innovate to retain – and capture – market share. I really enjoyed Jeremy Gutsche’s keynote “Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas” and Robert Faletra’s interview with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.

What really struck a chord with me was during Logicalis CEO Vince DeLuca’s keynote. Vince shared his insights on how the rapid changes in IT are dramatically impacting engagement models with customers and partners.

Logicalis Slide

(image shared with permission)

The Logicalis survey of CIOs shows what we’ve seen in the industry for a while now: Budgets and decision making are steadily shifting to the line of business (LOB) and more purchases are being made outside of IT.

The statistic that really jumped out at me is that 66% of CIOs surveyed report that the IT department is responsible for managing LOB-purchased technologies and services. My take-away on this is that IT doesn’t always participate in the strategic discussions, but they are still accountable for the management of these decisions. If these business decisions complement their IT environment, great; if not, it’s their headache to figure out.

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Summary: The Internet of Things: Why Now?

An excellent overview of some of the key topics that are top-of-mind for industry executives in both power utilities and oil and gas. Written by Maciej Kranz, Vice President, Corporate Technology Group, the blog covers many of the ‘essentials’ that are going to make the difference between success or failure for many companies in the future:

  • Business Relevance – how important is Line-of-Business (LoB)? What is Cisco doing to address the new buying centers?
  • IT/OT Convergence – IT techniques are increasingly used for OT (Operational Technologies). OT has critical needs that IT must take notice of. Is a coming together happening?
  • Open Standards – Cisco leads the charge here, but proprietary and legacy protocols still endure. How is the industry adapting?
  • Cross-industry Use Cases – All industries are different, or are they? Maciej talks about commonalities and the inefficiencies of learning from different industries.

Maciej Blog re IoT Oct2015 compressedMaciej talks about the number of connected “things” in the world that has skyrocketed from about a million in the early 1990s to 13 billion today.  He adds that…

“As the Internet of Everything (IoE) gains momentum—digitizing business processes in every industry—we expect to see 50 billion connected devices by 2020. The technology connecting all these devices has become affordable and easy to integrate. But that is not the primary reason for this explosion in connected devices. I believe we are entering a “golden age” of digitization because of the confluence of the following factors”.

I know John Chambers and others are talking about there being 500bn devices connected by 2030, so the challenges and opportunities will grow exponentially.

It is those four elements mentioned above, combined with the “network effect,” which multiplies the value of connections as their number grows,which are are driving the rush to connect everything, Maciej concludes. At Cisco, we have thousands of customers who have already adopted IoT solutions—and every day there are more who see the evidence in their own businesses and industries that the time is now for IoT, he adds.

Read his blog hear to find out his views on the four critical elements here: The Internet of Things: Why Now?

…and let me know what you think!

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Enabling the next wave of hyper-context aware mobile experiences: Cisco Enterprise Mobility Services Platform (EMSP)

AN52162-2 v2The profound impact mobile devices has had on IT over the last decade is undeniable. Many can argue is it the largest of the four forces driving the next evolution of IT: Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC).  It’s hard to imagine the pace of social network evolution without mobile devices. Or the mass migration to cloud without the ‘App revolution.’ Our mobile devices are the critical ‘sensors’ driving the mass movement of big data and analytics, quickly evolving to connected things, the ‘Internet of Everything.’

With the advancement of ‘IoE,’ the next wave of mobile applications is upon us.  The days of on-demand, ‘client-pull’ information is becoming legacy. We are moving to the ‘IoE’ world where context aware mobile applications, combined with big data and sensory networks, will intelligently push data in a very targeted, personalized and non-invasive way to clients.  Read More »

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How Aligned Are Business and IT Priorities?

Are Business and IT Groups Innovating Together -01.17.14

Innovation is critical to the success of every organization. According to a recent Cisco survey, 84% of business leaders agree that technology innovation is a critical or very important strategic differentiator for their companies. However, this survey also revealed that technology investments made by business and IT leadership are not always aligned. So how can business and IT work better together to deliver more innovation and business impact?

To address this challenge, we recently conducted the first phase of the Cisco Business and IT Priority Survey, which asked 1,800 business leaders globally about how their business and IT priorities are linked, and how these groups manage their innovation processes and technology investments. The good news is that 70% of business leaders indicated that their priorities and IT’s are aligned.

However, 67% of business leaders also said IT will influence less than half of the business technology budget next year. This means that two thirds of all organizations have an opportunity to better align IT and business technology spending, and deliver more innovation and business impact in the process.

Furthermore, this opportunity is growing as business’ investments in technology increase faster than IT’s. More than half of business leaders expect their technology budgets to increase up to 25% next year, and 11% expect their tech budgets to grow more than 25%. These business technology budget increases also vary widely by country – see the next installment in this series for details on our survey results different countries, industries, and business roles.

So how can business and IT better align their technology investments to deliver more IT innovation and business impact?

  1. Simplify – align and map technology and business priorities at every level. Then innovate with integrated solutions that map to more of your business priorities now – and longer term. For example, Fredericksberg Commune in Denmark reduce IT helpdesk incidents by 90% by integrating wired, wireless, routing and security technologies.

    Using SDN and automation capabilities, there are also many new ways to simplify IT and free up resources to fuel more innovation – across your entire network. See our upcoming CiscoLive! Milan announcements for more details on how to dramatically improve IT productivity.
  2. Unify – breaking down technology silos can yield huge ROI and, in turn, spur innovation. Two Cisco solutions that exemplify this principle of unity are Unified Access and Intelligent WAN. Unified Access, where policy, management and networks all work better together as one, can deliver orders of magnitude more capacity and performance than independent wired and wireless point products that may be deployed as separate initiatives. For example, the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan recently deployed an integrated wired/wireless solution, and plans to grow revenues by 15 to 20% by offering new guest services in addition to the outstanding guest experiences they’re already providing.

    Similarly, combining MPLS, Internet and 3G/4G-LTE into one Intelligent WAN can reduce overall costs by more than $500,00 annually for companies with 100 sites, and dramatically improve performance, security, and reliability in the process.
  3. Multiply – with the right network, you can add many innovative new services and applications, as well as capacity and performance more quickly to reach business goals sooner. For example, Copenhagen Airport is transforming passenger experiences by integrating wireless, mobility and location services in new ways.

    This potential value is in many current networks, but it’s even more important as the Internet of Things brings connectivity to billions of new devices and applications and previously unconnected things, changing business models in profound ways.

Because the alignment of IT and business priorities is so important for innovation and business outcomes, on January 27th, we’ll begin collecting and sharing these priorities on a global basis in the next phase of our Business and IT Priority Survey. With this intelligence, people can see how their priorities  compare to those of their industry peers, and we can all better understand how to drive business and IT together.

Our findings to date indicate that opportunities for innovation live in virtually every organization. Please join us in the coming weeks as we dive deeper into these results and show real-world innovation examples that will help your IT and business groups innovate and deliver more business impact than ever before.

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