Out with the old, in with new: why companies need to run on a modern IT Infrastructure
Vice President, Architectures, APJ
Technology, Innovation, Digitization, Enterprise Networking, SDN
How often do you change phones? How about its software and apps – how often do you upgrade them? I know. All the time! The pace at which we do this is unbelievable, and that’s because it’s all so simple, fast and intuitive. Press a button and it’s done.
Unfortunately, the same doesn’t happen in the enterprise space and complexity has often been blamed for it. The fact of the matter is that upgrading IT infrastructure in enterprise is still hard and slow to do, leaving many companies discouraged to make the necessary changes to keep pace with the demands of a digital world. Despite the known limitations (such as scalability, agility and security), in speaking with enterprises every day, it’s clear they prefer to leave their legacy infrastructures untouched rather than going through the hassle. Companies just want to keep the lights on for legacy architectures.
Can we blame them? No, we can’t. But we can make enterprise technology more intelligent and, as a result, much simpler to manage and consume – just like in the tech consumer market.
This is precisely where Cisco is going, having delivered a great deal of amazing innovations in the last year that simplify IT dramatically and form the intelligent and secure platform enterprises need to succeed today and well into the future. The end game is to help companies shift their focus from IT management to the realization of new value, new innovation, new business models and new experiences. Finally, all good reasons for enterprises to modernize their IT infrastructures and do more with less.
I’m sure 10 or 15 years ago, none of us thought possible to be connected to the world all the time from wherever we are, be able to get to places with real-time maps or do our groceries from the comfort of our homes, with a few clicks. Today, the same is thought of enterprise – not possible. But change is already in motion and soon we’ll start seeing the same kind of experience in enterprise. In fact, that change is already happening out there.
Take Cisco’s Network Intuitive as an example. This is a totally different approach to networking that defies everything that made us a market leader for the last 30 years. Think of it as a machine learning at scale that allows companies to manage large digital environments centrally and automatically, with a few clicks, great simplicity and security. This is the type of innovation our customers crave for – the one that will let them have machines running machines, freeing them and their people to focus on what matters the most today: innovation and customer experience.
To stay relevant and competitive in this market, modernization is not a matter of if, but when. And, this is why, more than ever, it’s time to move past the old way of doing IT… with Cisco.
If there’s one thing we’ve all learned with the smartphone market is that in this digital world, it’s all about user experience. But legacy architectures are a barrier. They were made to connect A to B and didn’t anticipate the booming number of users and devices - 63 million new devices online every second by 2020, according to Gartner. For companies to be able to serve this massive pool of users and scale in this digital era, they require a user and application-driven infrastructure that prioritizes experience, ease to use and personalization.
In old infrastructures, the different IT layers and systems are static and work in silos, which has led to the complex environment companies are well familiar with today. Complexity is scalability number 1 enemy, so it’s important companies make way for a modern approach, whereby IT systems are data-driven, automated and communicate between themselves. So, for example, why would you add more firewalls when you can have the network itself detecting and fighting cyber-attacks based on machine learning?
Proof that this era is the era of integration is the rise of the APIs. These give the developer community and enterprises the opportunity to write application code once and reuse it for their own environment and needs. In networking, for example, we’re opening the gates to intent-based networking in the form of these APIs, which allow our customers to build new capabilities on top of our infrastructure.
Easier to manage
Today, 95% of the IT of operations are still done manually, box-by-box, resulting in 75% of errors. It’s just hard and time consuming to deploy and manage IT operations. When companies turn to an intelligent and data-driven infrastructure, all these operations can be done automatically in seconds, rather than months. In fact, when we use data and machine learning, any IT problems can not only be immediately fixed, but predicted and prevented altogether, which means minimal downtime and impact on the business. Assurance for the network is a great example of this.
Easier to protect
Security is top of mind for every single company today and, most of the times, it’s still a roadblock rather than a business catalyzer. For example, 71% of executives have concerns over security stopping innovation and nearly 40% have halted mission-critical projects due to security issues. These concerns are particularly evident in APJ, as it remains a primary target for cyberattacks. At Cisco, we believe security is the foundation of any modern IT infrastructure and we take an integrated approach from the network, to the endpoint and to the cloud, making it much easier for enterprises to avoid the risk and keep their customers’ trust. The fact is that with this approach it takes us just over 4 hours to detect threats and other vendors an average 100 days!
The age of intelligence is here, and that’s both a challenge and opportunity to redefine the role IT plays in businesses’ future success through automation, analytics and artificial intelligence.
We believe our secure and intelligent platform helps companies to seize the opportunity by empowering them with the freedom to focus on innovation, as opposed to keeping the lights, and elevate the role and value of IT. That is how we set the agenda for the future of the digital enterprise and make it more consumer like.