Archive for July 2015

If you know the man, then you know why the company has been so successful and has such a strong culture.

As Cisco’s John Chambers passed the leadership baton to Chuck Robbins on July 27, so ended his tenure as iconic CEO and head of one of the most successful companies of the last 20 years.

A lot has been written about Cisco in that period, but very little penned discussing Chambers, the person, and how he transformed Cisco from a single-product company with barely a billion in revenue to the dominant IT solutions provider it is today.

In this era of digitization, multimedia and cloud, the network needs to evolve from connectivity to business continuity.

The topic of network evolution is certainly hot right now. It’s something the networking industry has been discussing for the better part of two decades. In the past, however, when it came to the network IT leaders had an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. Even though the network didn’t run optimally, it wasn’t really hurting the business, so it stayed as it was.

But today in this era of cloud services, mobility and converged networks, traditional networks are no longer adequate. The network architecture currently in place is static in nature and highly under utilized. ZK Research estimates that traditional networks have an average utilization rate of 25 to 35%. What’s worse is that it’s actually hurting the performance of real-time, cloud and bandwidth intensive applications. If IT is ever to achieve the level of agility and dynamism required to enable businesses to become digital organizations, the network must now evolve.

Credit: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

As we reach the end of the John Chambers era at Cisco, here’s a look back at some of the most memorable “Chambers-isms” over the years.

After all the pomp and circumstance, July 25th is almost here, officially marking the end of John Chambers’ 20-year run as CEO of Cisco. Over the years I’ve had the good fortune of meeting Chambers several times as well as hearing countless keynotes. Below are my most memorable Chambers quotes, or “Chambers-isms.”

One industry that is capitalizing greatly from the Internet of Things is hospitality.

There’s no question that the Internet of Things can make an enterprise more efficient. The harmonizing of sensors, devices, and data harmonized into one system gives rise to context-aware computation and enables the environment to respond instantly to change, be it in temperature, light, movement or other factors. This not only brings numerous new opportunities, but also significant cost savings, music to the ears of today’s business leaders.

A company known for visibility for network management launches a cybersecurity tool with a similar approach.

If you’re familiar with Gigamon, you likely know them as the market-leading vendor in the emerging “visibility fabric” space. The company’s products provide businesses with pervasive and intelligent network data across physical and virtual environments. The GigaVUE portfolio delivers the appropriate network traffic to management tools and platforms. I’ve often said that “you can’t manage what you can’t see,” and Gigamon provides the necessary visibility data so organizations can improve the management of their IT infrastructure.

The IoT introduces new cybersecurity challenges for IT. Tempered Networks aims to provide help by taking an entirely new approach.

The concept of the Industrial “Internet of Things” (IoT) is still a bit of an enigma for most organizations, but it is certainly of high interest. I’ve been presenting on this topic at the IT Roadmap events and the sessions have been packed. If you find yourself in New York on July 29, stop by the Javits and see the session.

Adaptive security is becoming more important as breaches appear to become inevitable.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post discussing why security needs to be adaptive. The high-profile breaches of big-name firms like Target and Bank of America, not to mention the Office of Personnel Management, have acted as a wake-up call to businesses. No matter how much money and how many people are thrown at securing the perimeter, it will not stop 100% of malicious traffic from penetrating the enterprise.

Solving the security challenge continues to confound IT professionals as well. In the 2015 Network Purchase Intention Study, run jointly by ZK Research and Tech Target, we asked over 1,000 respondents globally, “What are your company’s top 3 priorities for next 12 months?” To no surprise, security came back as the No. 1 response. Another question we asked was, “What IT products are taking up more time than in previous years?” Again, security was overwhelmingly the No. 1 response. So security is a top initiative for IT, but it’s taking more and more time. Something has to change if the acceleration of breaches the industry has seen over the past few years is going to reverse course (disclosure: I am an employee of ZK Research).

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