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How to Improve Your IT Budget and Your Career

COO or CMO for CIO Partnership CiscoWith increasing demands and decreasing budgets, these are challenging times for many IT professionals. Some savvy IT people, however, are growing their budgets and improving their careers by forging partnerships with business groups who can benefit most from IT’s expertise, and are willing to help pay for it.

Which business groups are most likely to team with IT? Actually, we asked the same question in our recent Business and IT Priority Survey, which queried 1800 business leaders across many VP and CXO roles, including finance, marketing, sales, strategy, human resources, diversity, operations, manufacturing, business development, and more.

Based on this global data, Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) are great potential partners, because while their priorities often align with IT, their budgets may not:

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Five Predictions for the Future of Wi-Fi and Mobile

New devices, changes in customer behaviors, and technological advances are rapidly changing the mobile market and consumers’ expectations of mobility.  A recent Cisco study of mobile consumers reveals how much, and how quickly the world of mobility is changing.  The survey uncovers some startling revelations about what consumers are doing on their mobile devices, how and where they are using them, and how they are connecting them to the Internet.  Highlights of the research are revealed in my recent blog Discover What Consumers Want from Wi-Fi and Mobile.

The majority of devices are now Wi-Fi-enabled, and the fastest-growing category is “nomadic” devices like tablets and eReaders.  We now need to speak of the “mobile home,” as the home is by far the most popular location for consumers to use their mobile devices. Surprisingly, Wi-Fi is the network connection of choice for most consumers for all of their devices.  Public Wi-Fi is now a big part of mobile life.

Consumers are generally satisfied with their public Wi-Fi experience, but they want it to be faster, more secure, better quality, and most of all, available in more places. Consumers are anxious for enhanced personal mobile experiences that can be delivered by unlocking the inherent business value hidden in the Wi-Fi infrastructure.

While it is never easy to foresee the future, we are making five predictions for key changes in the mobile industry over the next two years based on insights from the Cisco mobile consumer research: Read More »

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Increasing Business Investments and IT Opportunities

Charting a New CourseAs business groups increase their technology investments and gain more access to new technologies and consumption models, IT’s balance between operational excellence and innovation is shifting. Technical innovation can now happen anywhere. This change presents a huge opportunity for IT to drive innovation in new ways. So which organizations are seizing this opportunity?

To find out, we recently conducted the Cisco Business and IT Priority Survey to determine how these groups manage innovation, and how their business and IT priorities are linked. See the info graphic and previous blog for global results and observations, and see how your priorities compare to your peers by taking the survey here.

As today’s innovation and technology investments can dramatically impact tomorrow’s business results, the investment levels by region are particularly interesting.

For example, 50% of business leaders in China see technology innovation as a critical differentiator to their business, whereas in the US, only 21% rank innovation as critical. Multiple times in the survey, the responses from China indicated a collective interest in innovation as a top business priority. In Germany, 23%, and the UK 25% of business leaders also see innovation as a business priority as critical.

Companies in India and China also indicate that their investments are growing faster than other regions’. About 81% of Indian business leaders surveyed, and 75% of Chinese ones expect their technology budgets to increase next year – many by more than 25%. By contrast, 54% of UK businesspeople, 48% in Canada and Germany, and only 41% in the US expect their technology budgets to grow.

Indian and Chinese business leaders also indicate that they’re spending a bigger proportion of their own growing budgets on technology. In China 82% of those surveyed plan to spend at least 25% of their business budgets on technology, and in India 71% are doing the same. By contrast, only 41% of US and 45% of Canadian business leaders are spending more than 25% of their budgets on technology.  Read More »

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New Insights into Shopper Behavior – with Some Surprises

Happy New Year to all my readers, and best wishes for 2014! Of course, the retail year starts off with a bang at the NRF trade show being held in New York on Jan.  12-15. Cisco is at the show expo on Jan. 13-14, and will be featuring four company thought leaders in the annual NRF Big Idea sessions. I sat down with Jon Stine, director of solutions development at Cisco and a widely recognized expert in retail analysis, to find out more about his NRF session.

Q: Jon, tell us what you’ll be talking about at NRF this year.

A: For the fourth year, we are featuring our annual “Catch ‘Em and Keep ‘Em” survey, which polls 1,200 demographically selected respondents across the US to assess current shopper behavior. This year we expanded the survey to collect information on personalization and the use of data gathering on shoppers in the store.

Q: Any exciting or unexpected findings?

A: Yes, definitely. I won’t give away everything, but let me give you just one example: Right now, we’re experiencing a flurry of fear in retail, and much negative press coverage, around how much information it’s appropriate to gather on customers. But guess what? Our survey shows that a large percentage of shoppers are actually willing to share personal data with retailers if they receive sufficient value in return.

Q: What do you think are the most important topics you’ll discuss at NRF?

A: We’ll talk about the frameworks and service models that retailers need to develop when it comes to thinking about their data relationship with shoppers. We’ll cover the new “uberdigitals,” an emerging group of new consumers who always shop using a device, and the latest news on Millineals now entering their primary consumption years. And, I’ll discuss consumer data preferences, how social media is being used in shopping decisions, and the latest trends in cross-channel behaviors.

Time and Place:

“Digital Shopper Behavior in Today’s Internet of Everything World” with Jon Stine takes place on Monday, Jan. 13, at 9:15-10:00 am, in Room 4 on Level 3 of the Expo Hall. For those who can’t be there, a recording of the session will be available after the show. Visit Cisco’s NRF website to learn more, and do take the time to stop by Cisco booth #1954.

I’ll see you at NRF!

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Suitable For Everyone or Restricted to Some…

This is the third in a series of blogs comparing and contrasting the Microsoft and Cisco approaches to providing enterprise collaboration in the post-PC world. The first blog from Cisco SVP and GM, Rowan Trollope, discussed the differences between a purpose-built architecture and a desktop-centric approach that needs third party extensions to make a working enterprise-class system. The second blog discussed how the two companies are approaching the trend towards “Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work. Today’s blog discusses how the two companies deliver voice and video.

Suitable For Everyone or Restricted to Some…

We’re seeing more and more advisory labels on products these days that inform us whether they are suitable for everyone to use, or should be restricted to certain groups.  I’m wondering whether Microsoft should apply such a label to Lync? Let me explain, starting with Cisco’s point of view.   Read More »

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