I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and I love coming up with wildly innovative ways to solve problems and create business value. This entrepreneurial mindset is a requirement in today’s digital age—as technology changes business landscapes and rules.
If you read the media, you associate entrepreneurs with start ups and small companies. But as technology rapidly disrupts every industry, the challenge for every enterprise—small and large—is to rethink their business models and enable their entrepreneurs to drive their digital strategy. I can tell you first hand that there is amazing entrepreneurial talent hidden in large enterprises like Cisco. This hidden talent can help identify new revenue streams, increase productivity, or even transform an entire industry.
That is why I am so excited about my mission as Cisco’s Chief Digital Officer. I have license to rewrite the competitive and operational playbooks for Cisco—to unleash the capability and innovation across the company. And I have the opportunity to do it for every one of our customers, in every industry, who wants to rewrite their playbooks with digitization at the core.
We’re well on our way to making Cisco the best example of a digital company. It’s a journey for every aspect of our business—from our systems and tools, to our engineering, to our people, and I am thrilled by the partnership, energy and commitment across the company.
As I talk with customers about what we’re doing and what they want to do, the conversation always goes to “Where do we start?” I thought I would share a few critical observations and conclusions I’ve drawn:
Driving a digital transformation is not automating existing workflows or layering new tools and technologies on top of traditional processes. It isn’t an IT strategy trying to catch up with a business strategy. It isn’t cloud, collaboration, systems or applications. And it isn’t just a technology issue.
Leading digital companies connect all the motions of our business—from engineering, to servicing customers, and everything in between—in a synchronized and agile way. It’s about creating a continuous cycle of innovation in the product portfolio and in the operating model. It’s about going to market more efficiently without institutionalizing old processes. It’s about monetizing every investment we make with the intelligence we have access to. It’s about reaping all the benefits of technology, new processes, great talent and the reams of information sitting in our data systems.
Our customers ask us all the time about business transformation and reinvention on a completely different scale than even during the Internet age. The conversation is about business challenges and opportunities, with technology as the key enabler. How their business and technology strategies come together is now top of mind for all companies that see the potential, and the risks, of this digital transformation in their industry and world.
We’re moving fast to help lead this digital transformation across our company and with every one of our country, city and enterprise customers. Many have asked me to share what we’re seeing and doing, so you’ll hear more from me soon. We can see the future and potential, and the fun part comes in realizing all that is possible.