In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, CIOs face a maze of challenges — along with a wealth of opportunities.

But for the IT organization to fully realize those opportunities — and become a source of organizational agility and a true partner for innovation in the business — a wholly new IT operating model is required. We call that model Fast IT.

Fast IT is the IT operating model for the IoE era. It is what the CIO needs to do to drive true business transformation.


To better understand the current state of IT — and the opportunity for IT transformation amid a dynamic time of change — Cisco undertook a comprehensive global survey and research study.

We surveyed more than 1,400 senior IT leaders in Brazil, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We interviewed leading industry analysts, authors, academics, IT executives, and IT practitioners. And finally, we compared this data with conclusions from numerous customer engagements.

Here are some key insights that we discovered along the way, including the pain points preventing innovation and the Fast IT solutions that will address them:

  • By offering automated, programmable, and agile infrastructure, Fast IT frees the IT organizations from the complexity of manual configuration, changes, and maintenance. This at a time when IoE-driven complexity is mounting — and many IT budgets are flat. According to our survey respondents, 89 percent of IT leaders consider complexity a key challenge. Indeed, one of our luminary interview subjects, Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research, indicates that IT organizations still spend up to 83 percent of their IT dollars “keeping the lights on” — a testament to the ongoing complexity of basic operations and the need for Fast IT.
  • Businesses of all sizes must operate in an increasingly complex hybrid cloud environment. Yet in Cisco’s survey, more than two-thirds “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed they are not realizing the full value of cloud. By implementing a Fast IT model, organizations can move seamlessly through a “fabric of clouds,” whether on-premise and off-premise, physical and virtual, fixed/mobile, or private cloud combined with public cloud. Workloads and infrastructure tasks shift as business (application) conditions warrant.
  • Service orchestration has been an elusive quest. It is the aspiration of 90 percent of IT leaders, especially higher value-added roles; but enabling business innovation is the number one area in which IT leaders concede they are falling short of expectations. And orchestration is not just about being a service broker and creating service catalogs. It requires being a trusted adviser who can partner with the business to understand the business requirements, identify the ideal solutions, and drive innovation. We contend that manual, non-programmable infrastructures are a key hindrance to taking on that new role.
  • Fast IT fuels much faster provisioning of enterprise applications, at a time when the lines of business are increasingly bypassing IT for their apps and solutions. Time to provision and scale apps can decrease from months to minutes, allowing any IT organization to move at the speed of cloud to meet business needs.

In our next blog installment, we will examine how Fast IT enables an exciting new competitive dimension in data analytics; how Fast IT facilitates the cultural changes that are as crucial to attaining fast innovation as infrastructure changes; and how Fast IT will underpin a critical new approach to security.

Finally, we will explore how Fast IT enables an exciting “IoE dividend” in savings (time, resources, and money) that can be reinvested back into the IT organization, to drive new capabilities and future innovation.

To learn more, visit the Fast IT website or join the conversation, #FutureOfIT.



Manjula Talreja

Vice President, Global Cloud Practice

Cisco Consulting Services