At the 7th International Internet of Things Expo in New York, I spoke on behalf of Cisco’s education services and the IoT Talent Consortium about the people side of organizations’ digital transformations. Here are my thoughts, summarized:

Digital disruption is happening all around us.

Most people think of the term “digital disruption” as a buzz word. But the truth is that it’s much more. According to the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, 40% of market incumbents will be replaced in the next 10 years. This means that almost half of businesses today will be replaced in the next 10 years. It’s something we need to pay attention to now and get ahead of to survive in the digital era, Cisco included.

A new culture is necessary to embrace the IoT.

Within this new, IoT-infused environment, it will take not only technology change but also culture change to move businesses forward. Information technologies and operational technologies have converged to be on the same network. This means that we have to break down siloes, reskill traditional employees and think beyond simply “hiring-it-out” when approaching our own IoT implementations. We need a culture of continuous learning, collaboration and innovative talent acquisition in order to evolve with rapidly changing technologies and to push our businesses forward.

We must build trust, generate buy-in and encourage continuous learning.

In theory, it sounds easy to change a company’s culture. In reality, it’s more challenging. But I do believe that there are key elements from models for organizational change that can be used to aid in the process. Specifically, when talking about organizational change in Industrial IoT (IIOT) environments, a mixed model of strategies can be used. First, we must build trust with OT employees. Traditionally speaking, some employees in operational technologies have relied on human judgment in high risk scenarios as opposed to technology. In today’s environment, leaders must build trust with the OT in order to bring departments together. Once we have trust, we need to generate buy-in and engage employees by clearly communicating the business need for digital change. Finally, we must encourage continuous learning. Without continuous learning, our talent simply cannot stay up-to-date with the latest opportunities to generate business outcomes. By encouraging continuous learning, we encourage continuous growth of our organizations.

By building trust, generating buy-in and encouraging continuous learning, we as leaders create an environment in which culture change and digital transformation can actualize. To learn more about how Learning@Cisco is creating training to embrace a culture of continuous learning, visit our webpage. To learn more about how the IoT Talent Consortium is enabling organizations to accelerate the talent transformation in their IoT-enabled digital journey, click here.


Sudarshan Krishnamurthi

Head of Business Strategy, Cisco's education services

Cisco Services