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Virtual Work Works, But Don’t Confuse Technology with Change Management

I was in a brainstorm meeting about my team’s next-generation strategy last week, and we made a number of random connections that knitted together a pretty big idea — the kind of dot-connecting that only happens when people with different (and sometime conflicting) perspectives trust each other in the pursuit of an important goal.

Five of us worked on the idea, but only two of us were in the room physically together. Yes, I’ll say it out loud:  three people were working from home.

Much has been said and written recently about the value of working virtually, and I don’t think you can sub-divide mobility into “at home” and “on the road.” Social technologies, video and mobile platforms make it easy to work from just about anywhere.

But as leaders, we have to resist the temptation to confuse technology with change management — despite our love affair with technology. Any time technology brings a sea-change transformation to the way humans do stuff, especially work stuff, we can’t forget that people work in organizations — and organizations are an amalgam of culture, processes and technology.

All of Cisco’s experience has taught us that Read More »

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Thanks to IoE, the Next Decade Looks Positively ‘Nutty’

will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas gets the Internet of Everything (IoE).

“Everywhere we go in the world, the things that we come across aren’t intelligent. Like this wall that I’m looking at, it’s just separating the room from the other side. In actuality, that wall should be intelligent.”

He goes on to say, “The next 10 years [will be] nuts.” I couldn’t agree more.

Cisco defines IoE as bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before—turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.

To help more people “get it,” I thought it would be useful to provide more detail about each of the components—people, process, data, and things—that make up IoE. Read More »

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What is Cisco IBSG? Find out more here!

Well, first of all, Cisco IBSG stands for Internet Business Solutions Group. IBSG is the premier thought-leadership group within Cisco when it comes to helping customers realize the benefits of the trends and advances in technology, networking and new business processes. Listen to one of the key IBSG leaders for Industry to find out more in the video.

The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) is comprised of industry influencers and business strategists who have deep experience across multiple sectors and regions.  IBSG helps CXOs and public-sector leaders solve their most critical business challenges by developing strategic solutions based on business-process transformation and innovative technology.

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Technology Innovation: Disrupt—or Be Disrupted

An explosion of new technologies is creating new winners and losers in nearly every industry. You only have to look at the changing fortunes of Apple and Hewlett-Packard in the personal computer/tablet arena over the last decade to see how innovation can propel one company into superstar status, while another becomes irrelevant in the same market space.

So how can companies gain and hold an edge in technology innovation? In an engagement with a major global manufacturer, Cisco IBSG identified three key factors in the product innovation process that companies must clearly understand and be able to orchestrate:

  • Technology Strategy: Develop a technology strategy based on internal and external scans of rapidly emerging capabilities. These should include an assessment of each technology’s ability to disrupt, its stage of incubation, differentiating factors, competitive alternatives, and identification of platform choices. Developing a business and technology architecture for how the technology fits into your company’s platform portfolio is a critical step in this analysis.
  • Ecosystem Management: Arrange and manage ecosystem partners by assessing the need for technologies to perform certain functions that extend beyond your own internal capabilities, such as the ability to connect to a broader environment. You will need to understand existing and future profit pools to validate partner choices. For example, providing “smart services,” such as analytics, can extend a product’s useful life and be the source of long-term profitability, for both you and the ecosystem partners that deliver them.
  • Market Interactions: Prepare and execute detailed plans for managing market interactions, from initial introduction through full-scale market management. This includes an ongoing analysis of customer reactions, portfolio management, media communications, and potential competitors.

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Realizing Business Virtualization with Everything-as-a-Service

From the IT Executive Symposium at Cisco Live 2012

I think the enterprises of the future will look very different from those of today. Organizations will become leaner and more virtualized as their business processes grow more reliant on ecosystem partners. Process boundaries will transcend a specific entity.

Many macroeconomists believe that real shareholder value (and, ultimately, economic growth) will be driven by the speed and quality of innovation.  Historically, enterprises have been successful by capitalizing on a disruption (market transition) that plays into their core strengths, competency, and market position. Read More »

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