CISCO: Top 5 Game Changers for 2018


CiscoCisco’s MD of Digital Acceleration in EMEAR, Gordon Thomson had a one-on-one talk with CIOs about how they can leverage the offerings of technology to make the world a better place. Gordon is particularly excited about 2018 because the year holds great promise where technology will have impactful influence than before.

Before Thomson’s top 5 technology game changers can be highlighted, it should be noted that Cisco has always strived to connect people for three decades or so. In essence, connectivity remains to be the corporation’s primary mandate, coupled with its goal in connecting devices securely, reliably and at a high level of performance.

Having said that, Gordon Thomson insists on …

Putting your data at work

In modern times, organizations collect more data that a human brain could possibly accommodate, let alone process in a lifetime. The bulkiness of information has forced the same businesses to rethink their approach to handling data, which is why tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are deployed to collect and interpret data from everywhere. The collective goal of these efforts is to help organizations make better decisions.

“We already see this trend in action. Hospitals can track if doctors and nurses wash their hands at the right times. Banks can find and fix issues with their mobile apps before users have to call in. Museums can see which attractions people visit most frequently. The list goes on. In 2018, we expect to see many more examples of human imagination pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” says Mr. Gordon.

Reinvent how networks work

For about 30 years, the working principle of networks has remained the same. For instance, an organization needs an IT team to manage networks settings manually. However, future actions in this regard will change as businesses move away from manual operations.

“Think of your network as a car. Until now, someone had to drive. But an intent-based network is a self-driving car. You tell it where to go, and it gets there by itself. Let’s say you tell your network to ‘Set up a new building site.’ The network will automatically set up the machines and connect them in the right way. And it will do this in milliseconds, rather than the hours it takes to do it manually,” remarks Mr. Gordon.

Automate your virtual assistants

Personal assistants are easing into our day-to-day life based regardless of the kind of smart devices we use. Chip makers, OEMs, among other companies, have realized the importance of big data, which is why they are leveraging AI and voice recognition technology to build better virtual assistants in a bid to improve our lives. It is possible that these tools will be better in 2018 up to that point where they figure out what you need – before you tell them.

“Picture this: You walk into a smart meeting room big enough for six people. The room can tell from your phone that you’ve arrived. Behind the scenes, the video conference tool talks to your calendar, sees you have a meeting in two minutes, and starts the call on time. The room also notices that you’re the only one here, so it raises the temperature by a few degrees to keep you comfortable,” says Mr. Gordon.

Embrace the clouds

It should be noted that it is no longer about the journey to the cloud; rather, it about a business putting its data and applications where they work best, and moving around them at will while keeping everything secure.

“So, 2018 will be the year you get to store data wherever you’d like. Adopt a private cloud in your data center. Pick public clouds from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Or use all of the above. The more the merrier. Because your data will be secured, managed, and orchestrated effectively—whether you’re using one cloud or one hundred.”

Embed security in everything

It is imperative that people take note of this statement because it is not about ‘security on everything or security everywhere.’

In 2018, business will be forced to embed security in everything they do based on how people or things behave, their behavioural patterns and get alerts if some variable changes.

“Imagine an employee named Pam. Every day, Pam checks her email, uses WebEx, and goes to certain websites. But then one day, Pam tries to upload files to a server she hasn’t used in two years. That’s odd. It could mean that Pam plans to leave the company. And it looks like she wants to take some of your data with her.

With security embedded in everything, your systems would notice this change in behavior right away. And they could automatically block Pam—and alert you. This helps you catch security issues before they happen. Or at least respond to breaches more quickly,” he concludes.