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Cisco futurologist discusses the coming technology avalanche

March 4, 2010 - 53 Comments

Many of you may not be aware that Cisco actually has a chief futurologist.  Well, meet Dave Evans from Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group who has this interesting remit.    Dave provides a fascinating view of some of the upcoming trends that technology could help enable in the near future, encapsulated in the concept of what he terms a coming technology avalanche.  There are several choices that people and business will face in addressing the phenomenon when it inevitably arrives.   Dave recommends riding it to success…

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  1. I think the technology trends fueled by our own unstoppable urge to make a difference and improve things around us, will bring us to that exponential growth in info processing.

  2. This technology can be very useful for all those who needs like this. Cisco is a good IT company & works for the welfare of the people.

  3. Love a good technology avalanche :) It is technology and innovation that grows any economy...keep up the good work

  4. Wow, this is crazy. It's already difficult to keep up with the rapid changes going on. If you work in the tech industry, you better be prepared for a never ending cycle of learning new stuff!

  5. Dear Mr. Evans,My name is Idan and I am 29 years old from Israe, my CV and experience are in the link below: read an article about your idea for hotel cards and how to give the guest a better experience while staying in the hotel.I am turning to you because I have a great idea on how to enhance the use of hotel cards.It would be a privilege if I could present the idea to your department and perhaps to join ventures in order to enhance Cisco's offering to the hotel industry.Thank you in advance,Idan HizkiIsrael+972542069427

  6. I love that term, chief futurologist"". I think perhaps all companies should have someone dedicated to helping their clients swim the 'technology' waters so they don't feel like they're drowning. Nearly makes your head spin."

  7. @Max M. Thank you. Appreciate the kind words.

  8. Thank you for this vision into the future. No one can dispute the sheer volume of change that is going to come before us. I enjoyed the video - keep them coming!

  9. @Dave:Thanks for the insights on what is Futurologist all about. Your really good in your field. Looking forward for that technology avalanche :)

  10. @Jinnie Smith - thanks very much. Appreciate the kind words. You can also follow me on Twitter (DaveTheFuturist) if you'd like to follow some of things I follow.

  11. Thinking ahead - that's probably one of the reason's of the success of Cisco!

  12. This is really a great post about the particular topic and i am really impressed to know about it. I have read your full article and truly speaking that it was really very knowledgeable and very interesting. I think you are really very close on your points. Anyways keep it up and keep continue with your valuable thoughts. In the near upcoming future.

  13. Forward thinking is what keeps Cisco in the forefront of technology. This video was very interesting, thanks for sharing it!

  14. @G.Zalez - In the majority of cases I think you are absolutely right, and while I'm certainly not advocating you try this, it can be done... see this video as an example:

  15. futurologist..This is another difference of Cisco than others.

  16. Good stuff Marc. Another excellent post, as you probably can tell by the feedback!

  17. Cisco debatably is on the money “Technological avalanche” is surely a brain wave by some techy in alabama?

  18. Thanks taking time out of your busy schedules for all the feedback and help Dave and Marc, greatly appreciated.

  19. quoteDave recommends riding it to success…/unquoteGo, Davie, go! :)

  20. @ Zalez - it's a metaphor. Don't take it too literally. :-)@ Michener - yes, Moore's law, Metcalfe's law etc., are relevant here, but it's more than simply getting faster, smaller, cheaper. It's about the explosion (avalanche) and acceleration of new devi

  21. Cisco seems to be very spot on. Technological avalanche"" is just an exponential improvement in tech, somewhat related to Moore's law. I love how they make up terms :)"

  22. Technology Avalanche""...I was not aware that a skier could successfully ""ride"" an avalanche. I though the vast majority of times, if a skier happens to be caught in an avalanche, it results in severe injury or death. Maybe an ocean wave + surfer would be a better analogy considering that surfers do successfully ""ride"" waves. Also, over time, waves do cause erosion and permanently change the respective land..."

  23. a big avalanche is coming, and cisco is going to ride it as well :)

  24. @Doug - yes, agreed, however, we are seeing a huge rise in M2M (Machine to Machine) communications. Human eyes will not see most data"" in the future. Also algorithms and techniques to analyze rich media (pictures, video, etc) will dramatically improve i

  25. For a reality check consider that the average person can only watch one video and read one line of one page at time. The enduring problem with hardware technology is that the software necessary to harnass it effectively often lags decades behind.

  26. Technology Avalanche is the exact term that describes what kind of technology we have now. The video imparts visions that are very vital and it is great that Cisco has no hesitation of disseminating the information.=')

  27. Lol, technology 'futurologist' huh?I consider myself one of those ... still waiting for the jetpack and hover skateboard as made popular by Back to the Future.

  28. One must look ahead to stay on top, I think Cisco is doing that quite well.

  29. I wasn't aware there was such a thing as a Futurologist. I guess it's just another thing that Cisco does or has which puts it above the level of others within the sector.

  30. Chief futurologist huh... I want that position!

  31. What does the futurologist mean? I wonder how Cisco deals with in this hard life with a practical look? Anyway, thanks for great video.

  32. Chief futurologist? I love to see the job description and the job requirement. I wonder whether fortune tellers can apply as apprentice futurologist?Joke aside, it is good to see a company plan far into the future.

  33. This onslaught of technology can be good or bad. We are creating new and innovative things everyday. What is more important. Do we need motion controlled video games with face and voice recognition, or do we need a breakthrough medical device that can scan for diseases that havent even formed yet? Do we care enough about the important things to even put that much effort into them? Or is it all about entertainment and convienience?

  34. Dave is exceptional. I love how Cisco is always looking ahead, looking into the future to foresee critical needs. Can't wait for the videos.I love the term futurologist! The technology avalanche of the future will be out of this world.

  35. Cisco does a fantastic job of defining the future.Thanks for the info sharing with us.It's an amazing blog.The way you have described all the things are superb.Keep it up.Keep blogging.

  36. Technology avalanche"" is almost as geeky as the term popularize by another futurist Ray Kurzweil, ""Technological singularity"". Both of them says the same thing that technology is growing exponentially. I have great respects for futurist. I think every company that deals with science and technology should have one."

  37. The chief futurologist would be a funny title to actually hold.Looking at the video I'm wondering how the implications of this technology could be used to change the current business model for the education system.I'm currently working on a project that aims to do just that.

  38. Wow, so how many futurologists are working for Cisco, since he's the chief futurologist? :DThanks for the fascinating video, I'm definitely looking forward to the next one!

  39. A close friend of mine used to work for Cisco and would always share info with me about the corporate culture. Forward thinking is what keeps Cisco in the forefront of technology. This video was very interesting, thanks for sharing it!

  40. Thanks for the link Mark. I think throughout following this blog I have seen the direct correlation between Cisco's ongoinging committment to business development, and the continued development of new forward thinking ideas. The closest corporate culture I see out there is Google, and look where they are because of it.

  41. Thanks for all the input - I think I got the URL slightly wrong in the original post (needs to be all lower case), so please visit: for more background on what the team does. Here's the official blurb from the site: The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), the global strategic consulting arm of Cisco, helps Global Fortune 500 companies and leading public organizations improve the customer experience and increase revenue growth by transforming the way they do business. IBSG designs innovative business processes and then integrates advanced technologies into visionary roadmaps that optimize business results and increase efficiency. Drawing on a unique combination of industry experience, business acumen, and technical knowledge, IBSG consultants work as trusted advisers to many of the world's leading organizations.

  42. Dave is an amazing man. I am really inspired by the Cisco's visionary approach. We look forward for such futuristics videos. Futurologists are the men of the future. Dave puts it rightly that new technologies will speed up computer and other PCs to an unimaginable scales and there will be a true technology avalanche. These innovations will present infinite opportunities to increase productivity and live a really technology oriented life.

  43. yeah,just like andrew says we are like hitting critical mass""looking forward to your sites"

  44. Futurologist may be a geeky term and the post may just redefine industrial organizations. Cisco is already a futurist enterprise so its not surprising to know this but it will be very interesting to find out how this new corporate position steers the enterprise.

  45. I believe that some industries have already hit this 'technology avalanche' while some are still quite behind the times. It it pretty neat to see what is coming down the pipeline.

  46. LOL chief futurologist. Didn't know there was such a term. Sounds like a prestigious job.

  47. can you tell me more about Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group""?? thx"

  48. lol echnology avalanche"""^0^1^^^0^0 18752^8290^Niklas Nikolaidis^^^^2010-01-04 16:29:07^2010-01-04 16:29:07^Believe podcasting will be left behind as it's trickier to record than write a blog article and many interviews are being made on Twitter nowadays. Haven't heard that many sucess stories on podcasters.^0^1^^^0^0 18599^6639^C-map^^^^2010-01-07 16:38:33^2010-01-07 16:38:33^Good quality video. Wim Elfrink knows his area!^0^1^^^0^0 24515^8747^Dave^^^^2010-04-07 05:01:58^2010-04-07 05:01:58^A Cisco VPN app for the iPad would be fantastic. Cisco's SSL VPNs have always given us some of the fastest vpn performance on pretty much all platforms. I suspect Apple won't allow the underlying API access to allow such high-speed VPNs to work on the iPad though.^0^1^^^0^0 18601^8301^Lois Landau^^^^2009-12-22 18:26:47^2009-12-22 18:26:47^Hi Ayelet,It's been too long since we last talked. We at Reach Communications have been creating a sharing information system for businesses that could have strong applications for your goals. Sharing needs to be the driving force to connecting to others within your circle and out to others. I hope we can talk soon.^0^1^^^0^0 26202^8800^JW Brown^^^^2010-04-17 20:51:20^2010-04-17 20:51:20^Great facebook page. I think that it is important to use tools like facebook and twitter as auxiliary inputs to your main site, but far to many people are using ONLY those things to market themselves.^0^1^^^0^0 19653^7545^Murali Nemani^^^^2010-01-25 19:29:40^2010-01-25 19:29:40^Hi Steven,You can either lease or buy a modem through the cable operator's local retail stores. Cable operators tend to only allow direct from MSO modem acquisition when they first deploy a new technology so they can insure a smooth transition. You will also notice that they will only allow specific D3.0 modems on their network initially to insure a smooth consumer experience. But as the service adoption rate increases, you will see various types of modems from a number of vendors available at Best Buy and other retail stores.Most of the operators that have launched D3.0 are sending out vouchers for new D3.0 modems. You should take advantage of that since that will be the most inexpensive way to get the modems. Price varies by operator, modem vendor, modem features and retailer but you should be able to get a good deal(under $100) on a D3.0 modem with the rebates and vouchers they are promoting.Good luck and enjoy the benefits of the new must have. Murali^0^1^^^0^0 18593^7512^Jena^^^^2009-12-22 18:32:55^2009-12-22 18:32:55^I agree in the point, that the internet can bring access to information for underdeveloped regions like west-africa. Thatswhy broadband is a importand infrastructure, that most of our countries in germany can´t provide^0^1^^^0^0 18594^8304^Mark^^^^2009-12-21 18:20:42^2009-12-21 18:20:42^Plus sheep flock dynamics are just like networking.^0^1^^^0^0 18597^8130^Sean Leonard^^^^2009-12-22 18:34:02^2009-12-22 18:34:02^Sounds like a great service. Does the service provide enterprise email archiving and ediscovery?^0^1^^^0^0 19635^7506^Mike^^^^2010-03-26 22:33:23^2010-03-26 22:33:23^God knows as a business we receive lots of spam and the idea you have here sounds brilliant, lets hope it reduce spam in the email box then we can (in the UK) reduce the amount of printed spam mail we get which is on the increase.^0^1^^^0^0 18614^8304^Brad^^^^2009-12-22 18:31:17^2009-12-22 18:31:17^Congrats on 25 years of innovation.And yes innovation is key.The sheep are cool too.^0^1^^^0^0 19634^8358^iPhone Apps^^^^2010-01-25 03:26:43^2010-01-25 03:26:43^I agree with you about how this decade will be the decade of the consumer. It has already kind of been that way for most of the last decade in the way the consumer voice and choice have risen the best companies to the top. The internet is an amazing tool the way it can help with distribution of the most exciting applications or sites.^0^1^^^0^0 18616^8317^alterity^^^^2009-12-23 19:52:49^2009-12-23 19:52:49^Environmental sustainability is connected to technology on many levels. I'm still astonished at just how much time and energy is wasted in business travel given that some journeys are no longer necessary if we utilize web based technology such as video conferences, text messages, websites, etc.^0^1^^^0^0 18617^8312^Monique Morrow^^^^2009-12-22 10:00:27^2009-12-22 10:00:27^I had a wonderful opportunity to speak at the ITU World Telecom 2009 Women's Breakfast in Geneva this past October 2009. Indeed I was most impressed by the desire from women throughout the world to enter into the ICT field, but most importantly, to use ICT as a platform enabler in society.I shared the podium with Lima Ahmed from Afghanistan:^0^1^^^0^0 29648^7480^phong chieng^^^^2010-05-26 18:20:05^2010-05-26 18:20:05^Allan makes a great point about trying to focus on customer satisfaction, I think teleconferencing is so important..^0^1^^^0^0 20826^8515^James White^^^^2010-04-02 22:30:20^2010-04-02 22:30:20^I did some work recently for Cisco and had to use their videoconferencing system, the technology was incredible, the crispness it was almost as if those I was talking to were in the same room even though they were 6000 miles away. Technology has made the world so much more accessible,I can remember doing my insurance brokers exams and having to spend an hour every evening trekking to class and back thinking how much time was being wasted. Having this technology available should help to make higher education available to many more people across the globe.^0^1^^^0^0 20166^6710^Shashi Kiran^^^^2010-02-03 19:40:28^2010-02-03 19:40:28^@JCCramer: Contest link is and @Logo Designs - Sorry, so far no plans for a similar contest this year, but then, who knows?^0^1^^^0^0 19628^8379^Jori Credit^^^^2010-01-28 12:05:32^2010-01-28 12:05:32^I see another great thing about social networking, beyond directly attract users with them : I think Google can use social networking as a new way to determine if our content, our website, is worthy to be in the first page of their index.And to be in a good place in a search engine results is a great way to drive traffic...^0^1^^^0^0 18623^8304^Gomez^^^^2009-12-22 18:34:27^2009-12-22 18:34:27^I don't really have a problem with the metaphor. Especially if you DO have sheep grazing near by!^0^1^^^0^0 18624^8148^Christopher A. Cotto^^^^2010-01-07 16:38:33^2010-01-07 16:38:33^"Cisco has become one of this planet's top leading companies. I travel to many countries and see that the Cisco brand is not only there but is increasingly more popular than the competition.charlotte north carolina real estate"

  49. Wow. It really is mindblowing how fast technology keeps moving.

  50. Marc,I definitely learned something new today, I have never heard the job title chief futurologist"" before! As far as Cisco, and technology in general goes, I think in the future both will grow exponentially. Look at all the technological advances in the past 100 years as an example. With the current advances in technology, it will make it easier to create even newer technology in the future!"

  51. I never heard about futurologist of Cisco. I'm pretty sure that we can all handle all the possible changes in our technology. However, we can expect drastic changes since more and more think about improving stuffs.

  52. This is my first time i visit here. I found many interesting stuffs in your article. Well-done!

  53. Never quite heard it put in terms of a technology avalanche, but it seems that is more than accurate in describing the situation. It is almost like we are hitting a critical mass in terms of technology and creativity.