Cisco Services engage with IDC to look at the extent of a technology shift and how Smart Services can accelerate the implementation of advanced technology.

According to IDC, the ICT industry is in the midst of a “one every 20–35 year” shift to a new technology platform for growth and innovation — which IDC calls the Third Platform — built on mobile devices and applications, cloud services, mobile broadband networks, Big Data analytics, and social technologies.

This complexity of the business and technology environment is not only forcing the ICT industry to transform, it is also changing the role of the CIO. Complexity in IT infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges that CIOs continually face as they try to align IT with business outcomes while supporting more data, more applications, (on-premises or in the cloud), and more workloads through a highly connected and intelligent network that gives customers access to outcomes that are not always inside the traditional datacenter.

“CIOs that have the ability to manage evolving business models through smarter services platforms will be able to scale their environments in a profitable, competitive, and faster manner than their competitors.”

IDC Benefits of Smart Services for the CIO, November 2012

Beyond cost cutting and the return to the growth agenda, all indicators point to the importance of the network to the CIO. IDC sees the following market dynamics impacting network investments:

  • Virtualization efforts will continue, as will datacenter consolidation, as enterprises move to cloud computing solutions
  • Unified communication and convergence efforts will gain pace among organizations
  • Increasing numbers and types of devices requesting access to the enterprise network will proliferate. New devices will bring great complexity in traffic patterns and different user requirements.


“Cisco has evolved its services offer, Smart Services, over time to add increased intelligence and value to its customers’ devices and networks.”

IDC Benefits of Smart Services for the CIO, November 2012

IDC predicts that by 2020, when the ICT industry reaches five trillion dollars — $1.7 trillion larger than it is today — at least 80% of the industry’s growth, and enterprises’ highest-value leverage of IT, will be driven by these Third Platform technologies as well as an explosion of new solutions built on the new platform with rapidly expanding consumption. Today, Third Platform technologies and the services around them generate only about 20% of all IT spending, but they are growing, collectively, at about 18% per year — six times the rate of the rest of the IT industry. With an eye toward 2020, it’s easy to see how these technologies will inevitably
become the 80% of all IT spending.

This transformation will have a dramatic impact on the CIO: the Third Platform will mean a massive expansion of connectivity (think of all the applications in the cloud, often being accessed by non-enterprise [mobile] devices). It also implies a world out of the control of the CIO at least compared to the strictly regulated worlds of the mainframe and client-server computing. The CIO’s challenge therefore is to compress, contract, refine, and simplify the ICT on offer, effectively the opposite of the trends feeding the Third Platform.

The question then becomes: how can the CIO compress connectivity, IT platforms, applications, management, UCC, and internal and external facing systems, while at the same time ensuring that his/her company does not get left behind as the world moves to the Third Platform.

Read the full version of the paper from IDC, written by analysts Vernon Turner, Chris Barnard and Leslie Rosenberg, for insight and information for CIOs who will be required to create and manage business-relevant cloud services, enable a real-time analytics environment to process and analyze vast amounts of data, delivered using a multitude of devices over a secure and highly available network to an increasingly mobile base. Find out why IDC believes that Smart Services that leverage software and installed base information will play a key role in this process, not least because of their capability of removing complexity from the ICT environment.


Four pillars of Cisco Smart Services
  • Leveraging automation and intelligence within devices and networks
  • Analyzing and correlating real-time customer data coupled with historical databases
  • Wrapping Cisco’s intellectual capital around mined data in a meaningful and actionable way
  • Providing partners with the ability to leverage Cisco’s Smart Services in a manner that benefits their business and provides value to their customers
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