Key CIO takeaways from Cisco India Summit 2019

At the recent Cisco India Summit 2019 held in Kerala, senior leaders of Cisco shed some light on what customers can expect over the next few months.

Key CIO takeaways from Cisco India Summit 2019 - CIO&Leader

Over the last couple of years, US-based tech giant Cisco has undergone a massive transformation. The networking giant has not only transitioned from a hardware-centric model to a software-centric one, but the company has also transformed the way it approaches CIOs and the future of the enterprise. At the recent Cisco India Summit 2019 held in Kerala, senior leaders of Cisco shed some light on what customers can expect over the next few months. Here are the key takeaways for the CIOs.

# 1. Software is driving new business models

Software is in the center of every business strategy today. The new world of mobile apps, cloud services, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping how all industries get business done. CIOs and IT leaders are increasingly taking on strategic business roles, with a focus on radically new user experiences and business models. 

Traditionally known for its routers and switches business, Cisco has reinvented itself in many times, with its latest focus being on software and services. Today, software is at the forefront of the Cisco strategy and the company believes that enterprise customers can expect the software pursuit to continue in the days to come.

“Creating a new business model, finding the right partners and getting the last mile connectivity are key pillars of success for businesses in this world which is increasingly getting digitized,” Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India and SAARC says.

According to him, IT and business leaders should focus on creating, new market and new business models. “Your job is to go figure out how you can touch customers you thought you would never be able to touch,” he asserts.

# 2. Multi-cloud strategy leads to better business outcome

In the last several quarters, Cisco has been aggressively pursuing its multi-cloud strategy. The IT major entered into a hybrid-cloud alliance with Google and more recently offered Kubernetes for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Anand Patil, Director, Systems Engineering states, “A well-planned multi-cloud strategy can help organizations avoid vendor lock-in, lower the risk of DDoS attacks, and improve reliability.”

“Multi-cloud allows organizations to shift to the cloud at their own pace and take a flexible approach. In other words, businesses can control and run an application, workload, or data on any cloud (public, private and hybrid) based on their specific requirements,” says Patil, adding that Cisco will continue its multi-cloud plans to be at the centre of its transition.

As Makarand Sawant, Senior General Manager – IT, Deepak Fertilizers and Petrochemicals Corporation observes, “Businesses are looking at a multi-cloud strategy, where they take their pick from the best cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure offerings to work alongside in-house systems in their data centers. The benefits of deploying multiple cloud services enable us to fine tune our capabilities to meet or exceed our business requirements, and focus on what matters most to the business.”

# 3. 5G, Wi-Fi 6 will accelerate super-high speed and agility

Along with its software transformation and multi-cloud strategy, Cisco is also poised to be a major player in the 5G mobile connectivity deployment space and the sixth-generation wireless standard known as Wi-Fi 6.

 “Advances in networking architecture, especially via 5G and Wi-Fi 6 wireless network standards are poised to deliver improvements in speed, performance and capacity that will help remove the network bottleneck that restricts enterprise agility,” Sandeep Arora, MD, CX India said.

Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director, Service Providers sales, Cisco India and SAARC, informs that at present, Cisco has 100 engagements around 5G going on globally, while 40 trials are in different stages of roll out. He added that 5G will have a critical role to play in making India a $5 trillion economy in the next five years.

He believes that CIOs can better enable digital transformation and superior customer experience. For CIOs wireless technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6 can also equip new ways of working, as employees today work from any location and across device and staying connected is the need of the hour.

#4. Adding intelligence in every network

While last year at the CIS, Cisco played on the buzzword ‘intent based networking’ which resulted out of the need for greater network automation, it was still early days. This year, the networking major said that the concept has already gained momentum. “India’s response to intent-based networking has been phenomenal,” says Rajesh Shetty, Managing Director, Enterprise Sales at Cisco India.

Needless, to say, Cisco has updated its intent based networking technology in the last several months. Cisco leaders explain how orchestrating artificial intelligence and machine learning deeper into the network can help CIO and his IT teams glean more insights and visibility from network data.  

Seeing a greater traction from enterprises, government and service providers, senior leaders at Cisco boasts that network automation tools can improve configuration deployment, accuracy, operations efficiency and maximize use cases for organizations. Overall, it can be a great bet for CIOs and network engineers as it minimizes the likelihood of human error and improves network agility.

# 5. Embrace change rather than resist it

While organizations can leverage the best of technology to their advantage, it is important the most successful are those that embrace change rather than resist it. That’s a key takeaway for CIOs from this Cisco summit. VC Gopalratnam, SVP-IT and CIO-International, Cisco, believes that sees today’s digital CIO as strategic, creative, growth-minded, understanding both technology and people and thrives on collaboration.

At the Summit, Cisco announced the expansion of its Networking Academy program to train one million techies in India in the next 5 years.  This commitment aligned to Cisco’s goal of positively impacting 50 million people in India by 2025, is aimed at creating a pool of highly-skilled technology professionals who will accelerate India’s digital transformation. 

 “Faster adoption of technology trends and more agile working practices are now a crucial part of the CIO skillset,” he states, adding that CIOs should embrace new technologies, IoT, Augmented Reality (AR), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to conceive digital solutions for real-world business and community problems.


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