Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the first Cisco Data Centre (DC) Day held in EMEAR. On an unusually sunny but cold morning at Bedfont Lakes, we saw customers collect their registration packs and take their seats, curiously waiting for the day to begin.

From the kick-off, the theme was evident – the need for companies to be (technologically and culturally) faster in order to remain relevant and successful, as we all strive to become digitised. With this digital disruption, there’s a big emphasis on the role of the Data Centre and Cloud in making that journey. DC day was focused on sharing what we’re doing inside Cisco, as we ourselves move towards this notion of digitisation.


The Need for Speed

Throughout the day, we heard from various speakers sharing their take on this era of digital disruption and the need for speed. Alison Vincent alluded to a study titled How Digital Disruption is Redefining Industries that showed executives believe “…four of today’s top 10 incumbents will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years.” That was in 2015, so we’re at four years, now!

This underpins the messaging being shared; the fact that companies need to adapt their thinking, their processes, and their culture in order to avoid being displaced. Technology will enable, differentiate or define business strategy.

One such piece of tech that was mentioned a few times was Application Centric infrastructure (ACI). ACI is Cisco’s solution to software defined networking (SDN), and is helping us move towards being a faster IT company with benefits such as simple automation and open APIs. We project that ACI will reduce operational costs by 21%.

Security, Security, and Security. Oh, Did I Mention Security?

Irrespective of the session title or its focus, one thing was constant; the integral role of security. In this era of digital disruption, security should be one of the most important elements for every business. If you fail to engrain security inside the culture of your organisation, your risk increases, regardless of where you are technologically.

Looking inside our Data Centre

This was the first Data Centre event Cisco IT has held in Europe. At past Data Centre day events that we’ve hosted in Allen, Texas, the tour of our Data Centre facility was something of a highlight. Given that the EMEAR event was happening over 4500 miles away in Bedfont Lakes, a real life tour wasn’t viable.


It turns out that we got the next best thing…a virtual, live tour of the facility. With two IT SMEs across the pond, they walked us through the Data Centre covering what we were seeing, why it’s been set up in that way (to be secure, to optimise space etc.), and how it works for the business. The live tour, although not quite the real thing, was a fantastic experience that would’ve made the customers feel immersed and involved, despite being thousands of miles away.

Those were but a few of the takeaways that resonated with me during the day. For further insights and details on the role the Data Centre has to play in the era of digital disruption, stay tuned and check out the blogs coming soon on this platform!