In our previous blog, we began our exploration of how Fast IT will transform the role of the IT organization — enabling it to drive innovation in unprecedented ways for the business. And to do so amid the rapid disruption of the Internet of Everything (IoE) economy.

Specifically, we examined the role of Fast IT in simplifying complex, cumbersome infrastructure. And how this added agility will open the door to faster provisioning of enterprise apps; a new dimension in value derived from cloud; and a true place for IT as a service orchestrator and trusted partner for the business.

But Fast IT transformation extends further still, enabling expansive and dynamic new capabilities through analytics and security; driving the cultural change that must accompany infrastructure change; and liberating the IT organization through dividends in cost and time savings.

As we stated in our previous installment, 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 need for Fast IT transformation, 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.

I shared some of the key insights from this research in my previous blog. Here are some additional critical learnings that arose from the research:

  • Fast IT builds cutting-edge processing capabilities at the edge of the network, capturing “data in motion” for real-time decision-making and contextual insight. This data, along with infrastructure data and analytics, gives IT the tools to transform business processes and end-user experiences and enter one of today’s most crucial competitive frontiers. For example, a retailer can leverage data in motion to offer personalized, contextual prompts and offers, in-store and real-time.
  • With Fast IT, security evolves to a more platform-driven approach in which visibility is improved across all infrastructure domains, devices, applications, and services — enabling protection before, during, and after attacks. Leveraging analytics, a policy-driven, agile IT infrastructure can detect and quarantine cyberattacks before they can inflict grave harm — what we call automated threat detection.
  • IT can no longer afford to be seen as the department of “no.” To deliver on its new mission — accelerating innovation for competitive success — IT needs to marry infrastructure change (data and things) with organizational change (people and process). CIOs cannot introduce a cloud service catalog and expect leaps in capability, or “reinvent” the IT-LoB partnership without architectural changes. These strategies must complement each other. And both are indispensable. By enabling programmability, new analytics capabilities and service orchestration, Fast IT opens the way for organizational change and the elimination of silos. Which brings us to one of the greatest advantages of Fast IT….
  • Cisco estimates a 20 to 25 percent improvement in IT costs as a result of Fast IT. These savings — what we call the “IoE dividend” — can be redeployed to address new business capabilities. As
we have seen, companies currently devote less than 20 percent of total IT spending to transformation-oriented initiatives, with the vast majority of budgets allocated to maintaining existing systems. So, the savings from Fast IT amount to a doubling of the IT organization’s contribution to the firm’s overall “innovation capacity.”

Business outcomes are paramount. And by adopting a Fast IT model, the IT organization will become a key player in driving them. Agility, analytics, security, and savings — all will underpin a new era for IT. One in which innovation is at the forefront, and IT is a true partner and trusted adviser for the business.

We welcome your ideas on Fast IT transformation. Leave a comment below or join the conversation, #FutureOfIT.


Manjula Talreja

Vice President, Global Cloud Practice

Cisco Consulting Services