Imagine a future where data, processes and people are all digitally connected to provide real-time insights that change the user experience for the better. No need to wait. You can experience that future today. Forward looking businesses today are transforming themselves into digital enterprises. The choice is disrupt or be disrupted. Are you ready to get connected? Learn how with Cisco connected platforms.
Connected processes, connected analytics and connected experiences work in concert to complete an organization’s digital transformation. System and operational improvements provide the analytics and processes needed to drive new customer interactions. To define requirements for user experience, evaluation of input and actions of all participants and their modes of connection are necessary. The goal is to enable people to seamlessly and transparently access and interact with hyper-distributed centers of data, whether via smartphones, tablets, laptops, or specialized devices, so they can make and act on informed decisions. In other words, it’s about delivering the personal and/or professionally-relevant information that an individual needs, when and where they need it, and in the best way for them to understand or apply it.
Back in 2011, web pioneer Marc Andreessen wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Why software is eating the world”. I couldn’t agree more!
First, let’s have a look at what’s going on in the industry at large. Every company in every vertical industry is facing unprecedented competitive pressure from new players making innovative usage of software and data analytics. It forces companies to embark on a digitization journey, which ends up having profound consequences on network infrastructure.
Great, so what does it mean to the network and to you?
If you’ve been to an industry event over the past five years and heard a service provider speak, it’s pretty apparent that our industry can no longer continue with business as usual. Cost and agility are critical business needs driving major industry transformation. But, things are a bit different this time around, since they are being accelerated by digitization.
Based on the Cisco Global Cloud Index, digitization is forecasted to increase total data center traffic by 300% between 2014 and 2019. During that time, traffic patterns are also expected to change —- increasing processing closer to the network edge by 37% and driving traffic between data centers by 31%. As cloud-based traffic scales, there will be a need for a transformed network and IT architecture and operational model. The new measuring stick for service delivery in the era of digitization is focused on operational efficiency, optimized utilization, and service agility.
This summer’s announced development alliance between Apple and Cisco reminded me of a quote from Tim Cook, Apple CEO, that I once read, “Most business models have focused on self-interest instead of user experience.” Needless to say, Apple has built one of the most successful brands in history by focusing on consistently delivering an exceptional user experience, whether interacting with its product family or its various service offerings. Apple has raised the bar for what both consumers and business professionals have come to expect from technology.
In earlier blogs, I discussed the importance of connected processes and connected analytics in the transition toward companies becoming digital businesses. The final piece in digital transformation is connected experiences. Ultimately business outcomes from operational improvements are driven by new interactions and experiences. Both the process and analytics requirements need to be informed by the shoppers, service consumers, business professional, citizens and so on – all participants among who and what is being connected — and how they are connected. User requirements define how people can transparently access hyper-distributed centers of data, whether via smartphones, tablets, laptops, or specialized devices. But it is not just about simply having access to the data. Most importantly, it is about delivering timely insights so that users can make informed decisions. Put simply, it is about delivering personal and/or professionally relevant information that an individual needs, when and where they need it, and in the best way for them to understand or apply it.
Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice-President and Global Head of Research at Gartner, summed it up this way at the firm’s recent ITxPO event, “In five years, 1 million new devices will come online every hour. These interconnections are creating billions of new relationships. These relationships are not driven solely by data, but algorithms. Data is inherently dumb. It doesn’t actually do anything unless you know how to use it, how to act with it.” I believe it is incumbent upon us to guide customers to discern the value of collected data, extract meaningful information from it, and analyze and use the data to offer new capabilities, richer interactions, and unprecedented opportunities for businesses, individuals, municipalities and more.
As organizations move toward digital transformation, they are embracing the benefits of delivering timely, personalized information to customers, citizens, and patients. Connecting people with information and services when, where, and how they want, is a pivotal point in the way organizations process, apply data and deliver that information.
Given my busy schedule, I appreciate a shopping experience that is hassle-free and fast. I also want the information I need about a product or service to be easy to find. And for that matter, I expect that a retailer knows what I am looking for and provides relevant promotions and discounts. These rising expectations have been born out of leading digital retailers and now that the bar has been set – anything that falls short feels like a disappointment.
Today’s shoppers are looking for efficiency, ease in problem-solving, and faster time to purchase. They want to take advantage of savings through discounts and promotional offers and they want to be engaged when learning about new items, entertainment, and product options. To address these growing expectations, Cisco and Panasonic are partnering to transform the shopping experience through their Powershelf solution. The solution enables brick and mortar retailers to automate inventory tracking and pricing data, helping them optimize their supply chain and better manage demand. In addition, real-time product information can be delivered to a customer’s mobile device.
The future involves much more than improving customer engagement. Cities are challenged with delivering enhanced citizen services and information on a limited budget. In the face of inclement weather and emergencies, it is critical that cities link dispatch, first responders and the community with timely, accurate information. For example, the City of Mississauga is leveraging sensors and wireless connectivity to make these connections, analyze trends and share information between citizen services, public communications, and operations.
As more and more citizens prefer to receive information and updates via their mobile devices, this integrated public service system will allow cities to put a request into action quickly and efficiently and provide real-time updates. Now, the City of Mississauga can deploy operations teams and emergency services faster, enable new services without recognizing an increase in IT budget and improve public safety with immediate, actionable information.