Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Collaboration

The Consumerization of Popcorn… and IT

Technology continues to change not only the tools we use, but the language we use to describe it. Wikipedia describes consumerization as:

…an increasingly accepted term used to describe the growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organizations.

Consumerization absolutely affects technology, but confining the definition to information technology too narrowly defines it. The etymology pins the emergence of the term itself as early as 2001, which is a long time in dog years and at least a half century in technology. But the concept goes back far before Y2K. I could delve into Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, but I’ll stick to less distant history.

Before we get to IT, consider the impact of consumerization on time and choice.

Consumerization & Time
In some ways, our experiences with consumer technology have changed the very speed at which we live our lives. We don’t make time for things the way we used to. We want them now.

It’s the popcorn. OK, it’s the microwave oven. Food is both a human necessity and great motivator. The microwave changed our concept of time and convenience. We haven’t abandoned traditional cooking, but how often do you compare the conventional-oven directions to those for the microwave and think, “I want this to take 45 minutes, 3 minutes just isn’t long enough to wait”?

Popcorn showcases the evolution of our concept of time. Once upon a time, popcorn preparation was at least a 12.4-minute process, start to finish, including the ceremonial melting of butter and cleanup. Plus it required mastering the technique of keeping the pan in constant movement, carefully timing removal to optimize the number of kernels popped.

The mid-1970s arrival specialized popcorn appliances and Jiffy Pop brought popcorn faster and required less clean-up time, while largely eliminating the need for technique. Satisfaction came more quickly and with reduced effort.

And then came the microwave oven and magical little flat packages that fluffed up with aromatic salty goodness in three minutes. Clean up consisted of wiping the buttery stuff off your hands and tossing the bag in the trash. Instant gratification. Near zero effort. Our concept of time? Changed forever.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Should IT Fear Mother’s Day?

This past weekend was Mother’s Day here in the United States, and being a mother of two high-tech savvy teenage children, I pondered what my kids has in store for me. I was surprised with the latest iPad! Eventually, I started asking myself: would Cisco allow me to use it for work?

Luckily, Cisco has a BYOD policy in place and a long-term vision for an Any Device, empowering our employees to use the device they want to be productive. For other working mothers who may have also gotten a new iPad or mobile device for Mother’s Day, what does  your company say about using this new personal device? Will you “Lock It Up or Free It Up”? (a notion introduce at RSA conference this year). How will IT department respond to this request?

One of the biggest concerns folks have for BYOD is security. Just this past week, Cisco was showcasing our Secure BYOD solution at Interop, with the TechWiseTV folks sitting down with my colleague Bill McGee to help you answer the call of mobile devices on your corporate network. Take a look at the video for yourself, but blurring the lines between personal and corporate device doesn’t pose such a security challenge anymore. Related to this topic, we are holding a webcast May 16th focused on the Network Built for the Mobile Experience. You can join our CTO and SVP, Padmasree Warrior, along with stories from British Telecom and Eagle Investment on how they are transforming their workplace, and allowing their employees to work “Your Way” without compromising the business. For more details click here, and for those who want to continue this conversation–

Working Mothers: I would like to hear from you – did you get that new mobile device this Mother’s Day or do you already have a neat personal device – Do you bring it into work? Do you share it with your family?

IT departments: What is your BYOD policy is, and are you busy provisioning all those new mobile devices from this past weekend?

Tags: , , , , ,

Taking Advantage of the BYOD Trend

The rapid evolution of mobile technology has changed many things, from how we work to how we communicate with our families and friends. From how we play to how we learn.

Webcast: The Network Built for the Mobile Experience

It started with the simple convenience that came from the portability of mobile phones and has escalated to smartphones and tablets that weigh less than two pounds, yet give us access to nearly anyone or any piece of information we might need, nearly anywhere. We customize them inside and out, from the cases we put on them to the information we put in them. We organize our applications, contacts, photos, videos, music, calendars, e-mail, and information exactly to fit how we find things best. It’s a device, yet it’s all very personal.

As these devices work their way toward ubiquity in our consumer lives, they’ve become prevalent in the workplace as well. It’s not just that people have their own phones and tablets, but they want to bring their own devices into their work lives. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Making Money from Wi-Fi

The insatiable demand for smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices is generating staggering amounts of mobile data. The much-quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold from 2011 to 2016, reaching 10.8 exabytes per month.   In tandem, the use of Wi-Fi for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed it as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications.  And they most certainly never considered a role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business.  The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that.  Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and should, play a significant role in reducing clogged networks and the number of unhappy customers.

Mobile operators understand that off-loading data traffic to cheaper Wi-Fi defers significant capital expenditures for further build-out of the licensed network.  Operators around the world however, are asking if there is more to Wi-Fi than just data offload? Can they actually make money from Wi-Fi by turning the cost of doing business into profitable business models?  Read More »

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

It’s Not Enough to Be Connected

I attended Enterprise Connect for the ninth time this year, but it was the first time I delivered a keynote address. With the advances in technology today I could have delivered my keynote via TelePresence from Oslo, my home town in Norway. But I chose to attend in person because in this case face-to-face was the best way to tell my story.

I spoke to how “It is not enough to be connected.” This may sound strange coming from me, especially since I represent “the” networking company, but Cisco has evolved, as technology, businesses, and customer needs have evolved. Just being connected is not enough to drive the next levels of productivity. So, we need to think beyond connectivity. Read More »

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