Organizations want to know how they can innovate more and deliver new offerings for their users and customers with cloud. As I shared in my last blog, the focus has shifted from making workloads portable or getting the best pricing, to centering on how you can take advantage of the incredible innovation happening in cloud. I’m excited about how Cisco’s differentiated approach is helping customers do just that.

For those of you joining us at Cisco Live in Las Vegas next week (June 25-29), we look forward to elaborating on some of these blossoming opportunities. For now, and not in any particular order, here are a few of the most prevalent customer scenarios we are seeing.

“I want to evolve our infrastructure to support cloud and deliver innovation”

Many IT organizations are opting to move to public cloud to take advantage of cost savings and faster innovation as they adapt and expand where workloads reside. As an example, they’ll choose to use some combination of AWS or Microsoft Azure as their cloud computing platform, adding cognitive capabilities with IBM, and dabbling with Google’s TensorFlow. Customers want a common way of modeling applications, projecting cost, and viewing their multicloud environments, without having to look at different platform tools to normalize, add up, and compare. Many are using Cisco CloudCenter as a single pane of glass framework across their data center, private cloud, and public cloud environments. We are helping our customers to find the flexibility, openness, and options they want, regardless of the cloud platform or resources they choose to use.

 “I want to add cloud services for specific use cases”

Customers may want to turn on new services, create new applications that engage customers, or improve workforce productivity. Or maybe they are looking to better collaborate with partners by moving their web and application tiers to co-location facilities and keeping their database tier intact and on-prem. The reasons vary, but many of our customers want rapid innovation and the economic benefits of public cloud, while keeping some productive capabilities on-prem. They are using solutions like Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000v (CSR1000v) to extend the network and securely connect to public clouds like AWS and Azure or private clouds like VMWare or OpenStack. They also realize the value an extended network brings by securely connecting SaaS solutions to enable teams to do more. One CIO of a large consumer manufacturer that I recently spoke with is adding Cisco Spark Call to move his call manager team away from updating and patching to focus on the things that are central to delivering innovation and better experiences for customers.

“I want to manage my multicloud environment”

A big concern for customers is securely managing a growing cloud ecosystem. They don’t want a different way of managing connections, governance, and policy with Amazon than the way they do with IBM or Google, and ideally they’d like it to work well with their on-prem infrastructure as well. Customers are asking for a unified approach to how they manage connectivity across the enterprise. They also want a common framework for analytics to understand how workloads are performing, experience customers and employees have with applications, and trends (i.e., is it getting worse, staying the same, or performing as expected). They are using Cisco CloudCenter to provision infrastructure resources and deploy applications to data center, private cloud, and public cloud environments and AppDynamics to measure and improve application and business performance.

The sky truly is the limit when it comes to cloud. We’ve seen dozens of use cases come to light as companies recognize that cloud is not just about platforms of efficiency or cost savings, but a way of accelerating innovation that will deliver compelling customer experiences. I hope to share more with you at Cisco Live next week!

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Kip Compton

No longer with Cisco