Cisco: Agility is the new superpower for IT

By Janet Brice
Cisco reveal platform strategy with “best-in-class agility” to delegates at Cisco Partner Summit...

Agility is the new superpower for IT, was the message to delegates at Cisco’s Partner Summit where leaders shared strategies for building resilient organisations of the future.

“Changes are more unpredictable and faster than ever before,” Oliver Tuszik, Cisco’s SVP for global partner organisation, said at the summit. “And this can have a massive impact on your competitive situation. Agility is key to allow you to stay relevant.”

Being ready for an unpredictable future, highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and responding to change with speed, agility and resilience were some of the crucial talking points during the event.

“Everyone has to learn how to react more quickly,” said Todd Nightingale, Cisco’s SVP and general manager for enterprise networking and cloud during a Q&A session.

“Not just now through this change, but for years to come. The new measure by which technology groups will hold themselves is agility. That's why we've been talking so much about agility being the new superpower for IT.”

Ease of operation

Delegates heard how agility demands an infrastructure that enables you to navigate across multiple clouds, capture critical insights and detect and manage security threats. In that complex environment, ease of operation is key.

Jeetu Patel, SVP and general manager for security and applications, laid out some of the core concepts driving Cisco’s newest technologies. “One of the big areas that we are going to double down and focus on is simplicity,” he said.

Patel said, Cisco strives to make every experience 10x better, and the company is turning to emerging technologies to make it happen.

“We’ve made some formidable investments over the years in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Patel said, “which have now started delivering their dividends with a great, great experience.”

An agile platform strategy

Cisco can help by deliver automation and insights through a focused set of agile platforms. This creates a simpler environment, and with greater simplicity comes increased agility and faster speeds.

“I’m talking about being able to transform your infrastructure with the click of a button,” Nightingale said, “We’re going to be delivering insights and automation and best-in-class agility through a platform strategy at Cisco.

“We will focus the dozens of different management products across our portfolio on a small number of high-value agile platforms. We’re talking about transforming our customer’s infrastructure, using DNA Centre, Meraki and vManage; securing their data using Secure X; empowering their teams using Webex, and re-imagining their applications with Nexus Dashboard, Intersight and AppDynamics.

It’s all about responding fast: to competitive changes, to customer demands or to unexpected events.   

“Being truly agile, being able to react, is how we measure success,” said Nightingale. “At Cisco, we sent practically our entire workforce home over night, and it was only because of our IT agility that we were able to do that.”

“Agility is only really delivered through insights and automation,” Nightingale said. 

“The ultimate in insights is end-to-end visibility. And that’s why we just purchased ThousandEyes. It really gives you unprecedented visibility across the entire experience from the user through the private networks, into the internet, all the way in, through the SAS clouds as well. That visibility is so, so crucial,” said Nightingale.

In an opening statement Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins reiterated Cisco’s core purpose: powering an inclusive future with technology innovation.

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