November 26, 2014

Guest blog post: Transformation means that you constantly reinvent yourself

Niklas Andersson

Cisco Sweden, GM

A while back, Tieto CEO Kimmo Alkio challenged his colleagues to discuss their ideas on how to ensure world-class services in the tightening competition. In this guest blog post Cisco Sweden's General Manager Niklas Andersson shares his views on the topic.

I have been invited to reflect on what transformation is doing to our industry in light of digitalization.

For Cisco digitalization means that we are reinventing the company from ground up. That means that everything is changing, while actually nothing is changing. How can such a contradiction exist? Well, nothing changes in the respect that our focus on creating great business outcome for our customers by offering the best service, the best technology and the best innovation remains steadfast. This goal has actually been the same since the foundation of Cisco in 1984. But since most of our products and services are leveraging on digitalization we have to reinvent ourselves to keep up at the rate of Moore’s law.

Recently our transformation is taking us in the direction of automation, meaning that we are simplifying the complex process of establishing and adapting a networking and computing system to be able to reduce the time and complexity needed to create new digital services. We do this by adding a layer of software between the complex and diverse hardware that our servers, storage and network consists of and making the whole network and even the datacenters programmable and “application centric”.

The advantage of this is that handling a network or datacenter can become more or less automatic. If a new application is needed or more hardware resources need to be allocated to an application – the software layer can “program” all the individual parts to the right configuration. Thus the system is becoming application centric. Naturally this means that deployment time for a new application or change is radically reduced and also that errors and minimized.

These technologies, called Software Defined Networks and Application Centric Infrastructures, are – as you read this – transforming datacenters and networks all over the world. But there is also another transformation that we can already see today, but are only at the brink of – I am talking about Internet of Everything and Internet of Things.

Cisco estimates that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Yet today, more than 99 percent of things in the physical world remain unconnected. The growth and convergence of processes, data, and things on the Internet will make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. This growth creates unprecedented opportunities for industries, businesses, and people.

The Internet of Things can potentially transform nearly every industry - locally and globally. It brings networking technology to places where it was once unavailable or impractical. The challenge is to build the right infrastructure. Your company faces changing requirements of scale and data management, and needs standards-based infrastructure that is highly secure and interoperable.

I am very pleased that Cisco and Tieto forms a global Internet of Everything collaboration, which helps various industries from manufacturing to healthcare take advantage of the tidal wave of data generated by machines and derive more value from their existing networks. This will truly bring transformation of businesses all over the world, and most likely in a way we cannot conceive today.

That is probably the most tantalizing and exciting with transformation – it’s a constant process and you never know where the path will take you; you reinvent yourself all the time.

Niklas Andersson is the GM of Cisco Sweden. You can follow Cisco Sweden on Twitter.

You can download the Future of Business Transformation study by Tieto here. The original challenge post can be found here.

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