“This is the year of AI,” declared Chuck Robbins recently at Mobile World Congress. With demand growing from a broad range of enterprise customers who plan to build out their own artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure, the market is changing and expanding rapidly. Consider the key results of the Cisco AI Readiness Index, based on detailed surveys of more than 8,000 business and IT leaders around the world, which revealed that 84% of organizations surveyed expect AI to have a significant or very significant impact on their business.

When it comes to the impact of AI, there is more than technology at stake. AI will transform many aspects of our lives. Today’s broad focus on AI spans organizations in most fields, including business, education, environment, finance, healthcare, government, science, transportation, and, of course, information technology.

This level of impact is why 97% of those surveyed for the AI Readiness Index reported an increased urgency to deploy AI-powered technologies. Of that 97%, only 14% of respondents felt that their organizations were “ready” for AI. This is the time for companies to define an AI strategy and devote the necessary investments in people, products, and processes to become AI-ready. Cisco can help.

How Cisco Powers AI

AI requires vast amounts of data from a wide variety of sources to train underlying models and schemas. This is the case for both predictive and generative AI – the former is about drawing inferences through pattern recognition, while the latter is about using data to create original content in the form of text, images, and videos. Cisco uses both AI paradigms across our portfolio to improve operational efficiency, network intelligence, and end-to-end digital experience.

The key to powering AI is optimized infrastructure – for everything including compute, networking, security, sustainability, simplicity, and visibility. With integration and intelligence up and down this stack, Cisco is well positioned to guide this journey. As a market leader in both networking and security, we see billions of security events and take billions of measurements daily, giving us an extraordinary data set to analyze for prediction, automation, and generative AI assistance.

We are using AI-driven insights to help customers analyze complex issues in their deployments, identifying a failure across any network for quick remediation. Cisco is actively developing AIOps, using machine learning and reasoning to simplify and streamline IT operations. By providing increased visibility and intelligence, we can ensure customers reap the benefits of automation and predictive and generative AI.

At Cisco Live Amsterdam we announced a strategic partnership with NVIDIA, a powerful combination of two industry leaders delivering advanced AI infrastructure solutions to accelerate our customer’s AI initiatives. Ahead, we see a broad ecosystem of partners we will work with to empower our customers.

AI Changes Our Role, Not Our Responsibility

In what is looking more and more like the year of AI for networking, I am optimistic about our AI-enabled future. I believe that the combination of AI capabilities and human interaction will generate incredible and unforeseen breakthroughs.

Fully autonomous and self-defending IT infrastructures? Yes, they’re possible. Life-saving pharmaceutical development cycles that are defined by months, not decades? Yes, they’re possible. New energy sources that are safe, cheap, and plentiful? I believe this is possible, too. With the right technology and responsible AI approach, we will empower and enable our customers, partners, and employees to maximize the potential of AI for everyone.

This blog is Part I of a three-part blog series on AI, providing an overview of Cisco AI networking strategy and vision. In the next blog, Kevin Wollenweber, SVP/GM, Cisco Networking: Data Center and Provider Connectivity will focus on the critical elements of AI networking infrastructure. 

Read the Cisco AI Readiness Index


Denise Shiffman

SVP, Strategic Innovation and Incubation