As you watch the leaves begin to fall and send the kids back to school, you may also be enjoying one or more of the local festivals or state fairs that are traditionally held this time of year. For those of you who may not know, these events were originally held to celebrate the harvest, and share in the bounties of a hard summer’s work.

Now think about this. If harvesting crops was the output of an agricultural society, is harvesting data the output of our new digital society? Because we’re in the nascent phase of this digital society, we’re still learning the power of data—and the exponential power of combining data sets and leveraging analytics to gain insight and knowledge.

Gartner_ITxpo_2018This fall, we’ll be embracing this new type of harvest at a “digital festival”: the 2018 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. There I’ll be sharing some of the ways advanced technologies are leading us through the next phase of digital transformation including network architecture, software, cloud, and the Internet of Things. And as our public sector team works to build and connect these advanced technologies, we also have the great privilege of seeing tangible results and impacts for students, citizens, and our armed forces. Here are just a couple I think deserve special mention.

Digital infrastructure for safer schools (and buses)

Watkins Glen School District is the perfect example of how feeling safe can increase engagement. The district wanted to ensure the safety of their students before, during, and after school so educators could focus on their primary mission—education. And they wanted to stay in touch with and better track their bus fleet, so they implemented GPS and video surveillance on buses. They realized that this infrastructure could also help students use downtime on buses to connect to wireless to complete their school work and give teachers more options for engaging students during long bus rides.

More effective fleet management via digital MRO

The Navy has many high-value assets, and many factors influence the overall readiness of the fleet. Maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) is a huge, and expensive, process that greatly influences overall readiness of the fleet. Ships and planes in the Navy are aging, and the machines that maintain them are aging as well. Simply connecting the machines and monitoring systems and delivering a digital process for MRO can have a massive impact on the ability to keep these vital assets in service.

What’s next for digital transformation?

We’re just at the beginning. Digital transformation will occur in every industry and across many functions within those industries. Manufacturing is seeing higher throughput, hospitals are providing better and safer patient care, and retail chains are delivering better customer service through digitization strategies. In business and public sector environments, the deployment of digitization can be complex—but the outcomes are dramatic.

Our Cisco public sector team has worked with many customers across Public Sector on this digitization journey and look forward to discussing some practical strategies that can help you along yours. So be sure to stop by and visit with us at this fall’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on October 14 to find out how you can leverage the growing harvest from digital transformation.

Until then, check out the latest digital transformation topics our team has been writing about:


Dan Kent


Public Sector Engineering & CTO