Digital disruption. IDC says that 40% of market share leaders in their respective industries (our customers!) will be out of business in 10 years, because they will miss their transformation to Digital. What they need? Fast IT. Cisco experienced (both first hand and with our customers) that Fast IT is the key capability that enterprises need to build to successfully transition to a digital model. Over the last 8 years, Cisco has built a truly unique approach to Fast IT, grounded on our own internal IT transformation, which led (among others) to the Cisco eStore. We learnt that adopting a Fast IT model is less about technology and more about progressive cultural and process changes. The transition requires pervasive shifts in the way IT is organised; how services are defined, delivered, consumed, and financed; and how IT measures success, evaluates costs, and assigns roles and responsibilities.

This week, at the Partner Technical Advisory Board (PTAB), we have the pleasure of hosting around 40 Cisco Partner CTOs for three days in beautiful Marbella, Spain. The objective is to hear and gather their views and advice on the vision, strategy and deployment to market of Cisco technologies, products, architectures, services, and solutions. We are having a fruitful open exchange, ultimately helping us meet our mutual growth and profitability goals as we together deliver business outcomes to our customers.

PTAB - day2

On the agenda of the day 3: Cisco’s approach to Fast IT Business Transformation, and more specifically what is the opportunity for Cisco partners. To understand Cisco’s core message for Fast IT, you can watch the following short video.

Here are 3 collaterals summarising our message:

Interested to know more? Read further.

  • Digital Disruption. It’s happening everywhere, in organizations of every size, in every sector. While the likes of Uber, Tesla, AirBnB, Apple Pay and eEstonia are capturing the media headlines, none of our customers are immune to this tectonic shift in the way consumers are served and businesses operate.
  • In fact, a recent study from IDC (“Disrupt or be disrupted”, Dec 2014) reveals that 40% of market share leaders in every industry will be disrupted, and won’t exist in a meaningful way in 10 years. Everyone should be concerned.

“Consumer centricity (the consumer becomes the “hub”) creates a need for organizations to think differently about their businesses — traditional silos are breaking down, and organizations and industries need to collaborate in new ways, ‘intersected’ by the digital consumer.”

  • For our mutual clients to thrive (or at least survive), their business leaders need IT to improve internal operations and raise the quality of services offered to employees and customers. But the way most IT departments are structured and governed today is inadequate to surf the tsunami of emerging technologies (e.g. big data), while staying compliant with regulations and internal policies (e.g. security).
  • More often that not, internal IT departments are too slow and expensive. So to move forward, the business is often compelled to bypass local IT, signing unilateral outsourcing contracts or even “going to the public cloud”. Cisco routinely finds that the number of public cloud services being accessed at work is 10 to 15 times greater than the CIO estimates. Unfortunately, this results in further inefficiencies, more silo’es, as well as major risks around security and compliance…
  • Cisco is working with our partners to help CIOs reinvent how the IT department works, making it a lot more agile, customer-oriented and cost-effective than it currently is. More than just an internal provider of technology, the IT department becomes the broker of all IT Services, either internal or external. This requires not only new technologies, but also new processes, new organisation, and new culture.
  • Are you, our valued Cisco partner, holding this holistic conversation with the CIO?

Seeding questions to Cisco partners:
1. How aware is your client of their need to drive their own digital transformation/disruption? Who might be sponsoring this effort inside the customer (e.g. CIO, CFO, COO, CMO, etc.)?
2. What are the main challenges facing your client’s IT department to better meet the accelerating business needs of their enterprise? Is it more about technology, about processes, or about people/culture/organization of the IT department?
3. Moving forward, does the CIO intend to balance his/her role as “IT Provider”, with another role as “IT Service Broker”? How are you, Cisco’s partner, influencing this decision and positioning yourself as the trusted supplier of ITaaS offerings.
4. What are the main inhibitors for you, Cisco’s partner, to lead an IT transformation engagement (cf. ITaaS Operating Model) at your strategic clients? What are the potential capabilities you are missing?
5. How are you helping your clients evolve their IT investment/financial strategy, ensuring the appropriate balance between flexibility, agility and risk? Do you consider the evolution to flexible IT consumption models either a threat or an opportunity for your own profitability and cash flow?

  • If the IT leaders at your client want to evolve from merely “running IT” to becoming business enablers, a Strategic Roadmap to Fast IT is essential. Yet it’s surprising how few CIOs have one.
  • Working hand-in-hand with our partners, Cisco can help. How? At the core of Cisco’s value proposition to Fast IT lies a simple, yet powerful, 3-phased methodology:
    1. [BUSINESS] Using COBIT5, we clearly identify and document the strategic drivers for IT from the user and business perspectives.
    2. [IT] We then build the IT Value Map – a large, printed infographic – to clarify how IT is structured to deliver value and how success will be measured.
    3. [ROADMAP] Finally, we identify and prioritise the key programmes and initiatives that will deliver the biggest impact. Indeed, many CIOs struggle to translate their vision into a pragmatic implementation journey.
  • Cisco has developed this approach – called Fast IT Business Transformation – over the last 8 years, strongly leveraging Cisco’s own internal IT transformational journey.
  • Key to Fast IT is the eStore—a one-stop-shop web portal for IT services that sits at the heart of the business, and is easily accessed by employees and/or consumers. This pay-per-use, OpEx consumption model is an efficient and agile way of delivering IT services, enabling faster response times, reduced costs, and better control.
  • But setting up an eStore requires deep, multi-discipline expertise. Cisco partners have a huge opportunity to become custodians of the eStore, working in close partnership with their clients.

Still in doubt? Here are 3 quotes collected from CIOs in recent Fast IT engagements:
– “Your guidelines will be integrated in our management plan, we are very grateful to Cisco who helped us transform our internal IT to better support the business.”
– “I would like to thank you again for Strategic IT Roadmap Report and IT Value Map. Both documents are excellent starting point for our Cloud strategy and great help for communication with local CIOs. I am looking forward to present both documents to my minister.”
– “You have structured all the issues I had in mind for years, and now I have an actionable plan that I can work on. […] I intend to place the IT Value Map in every meeting room of the IT department building!”

  • CIOs are undergoing a seismic shift in their role, from managing and operating technology to driving innovation. The pressure is on to shift their focus away from cost-efficiencies, to creating real value within the business and becoming the broker of IT services that the business needs to progress and transform.
  • But making the transition is a significant undertaking, requiring a great deal of energy and persistence. Most of our clients don’t have the resources to do this alone. Cisco partners can help CIOs to conceptualize and implement a new IT service delivery model – Fast IT.

How to start a Fast IT Business Transformation engagement, jointly with Cisco?
– Engage your local Cisco partner account manager and/or contact fast-it@cisco.com to identify the best client(s) to jointly work on.
– Engagements are typically Cisco-funded. The impact on client resources is minimal.
– Organize an executive briefing session (CIO-level) to position our value proposition.
– Get the list of 8 key stakeholders who we can interview. These stakeholders should be selected as those people “with an opinion” (managers and/or single contributors).
– The interviews (90 minutes each) are done 1:1, and typically take place over 3-4 days.
– Cisco’s and its partner’s architects will deliver the final report after 3 weeks.


Patrick Bikar

Global Systems Engineer Transformation Programs Lead

Global Systems Engineering