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Boosting Your Digital Reflex Through Application and Infrastructure Convergence: Key Takeaways from Cisco Live 2020 in Barcelona

There were a number of important announcements from Cisco Live 2020 — around application management, intent-based networking, security and collaboration — that you can expect to help to boost your digital reflex through application and infrastructure convergence.

February 10, 2020 6 minute read

Our newsfeeds today are swarmed with headlines littered with familiar buzzwords: compete as a digital business, adopt a digital first strategy or become digitally native. Missed within these headlines is the common thread unifying these phrases together. 

Embracing digital is a journey that seeks to create an underlying digital reflex. We at WWT define this as the capacity of a business to harness technology, both dynamically and rapidly, to respond to external market trends while satisfying customer needs and expectations. Creating this technological capacity is clearly at the forefront of discussions, with research by IDC predicting $7.4 trillion of investment in digital efforts between 2020 and 2023.

At this year’s Cisco Live in Barcelona, the digital reflex was a core theme, with David Goeckeler (EVP Networking & Security) in particular declaring the 2010s as the decade of applications. The next step for this decade will see the convergence of applications and infrastructure to drive next generation digital experiences. The latest announcements saw innovations around application management, intent-based networking, security and collaboration.

Re-imagining the application experience

Applications today guide experiences as the first frontier of interaction between users and businesses. The underlying infrastructure which supports them predicates the type and quality of experience users will have.

Cisco is mindful of this. Danny Winokur, VP AppDynamics, announced enhancements to the AppDynamics and Intersight offerings with the Experience Journey Map and Workload Optimisation Manager. This integrated software solution provides insight into business performance through visibility and intelligence into application and infrastructure interdependencies across Cisco and third-party estates. The AppDynamics Experience Journey Map and Intersight Workload Optimisation Manager solution provide three key capabilities:

  1. The ability to gain end-to-end visibility of a customer journey through a performance lens by visually mapping the user experience across your entire web or mobile application against business metrics.
  2. A real-time recommendation decision engine that analyses IT health across the full technology stack in any cloud environment, assuring application performance by intelligently automating workload resource allocation as and when needed.
  3. Bringing data-driven insights to application owners, IT operations and developers who can make informed, real-time decisions on methods to continue delivering a high-quality user experience.

Digital experiences are how we as users engage with the world and brands around us today. The latest Cisco application visibility and intelligence offerings bring infrastructure elasticity to your business that allows for dynamic adjustment to the needs of the application which can have only a dual positive impact on raised brand equity and overall business profitability.

Extracting insight from your network 

Scott Harrel, VP of Cisco's Intent-Based Networking group, highlighted in Barcelona that Cisco’s intent based network offering across the branch, campus and data center has revolutionized the industry, providing a network vision built for the future. Specifically, the focus at this year’s conference was on the ability of the network to provide:

  • multi-domain, multicloud interoperability with IT operational consistency; and
  • advanced business, IT and security insights from net flow analytics.

Cisco seeks to provide IT consistency by allowing you to program multi-domain infrastructures as an integrated fabric, managed from a central controller where common policies can be applied across any cloud environment, bringing simplicity and speed to network operations. Coupled with the Data Centre Network Insight Analytics and Automation engine, IT operations teams have a single pane of glass for anomaly identification, root cause analysis and capacity planning. 

The rise of microservices architectures hosted across multicloud environments has increased the risk of compromised connectivity, which can have a monumental effect on the experience users have with revenue-generating applications. Cisco’s network offerings are game changing in allowing you to view the network as a rapid facilitator and enabler in propelling you forward with confidence to compete in a dynamically evolving business environment.

Borderless collaboration

How often have we all taken part in meetings that have felt unproductive? This is a common problem, with the issue only intensifying as workforce trends change the nature of how and where employees work. 

Sri Sirinivasan, SVP of Cisco Team Collaboration, is laser-focused on allowing organizations to innovate the future of work by providing next-generation cognitive collaboration capabilities to the market through Webex meetings. These software innovations augment the Webex platform through two key feature updates:

  • Cisco Virtual Webex Assistant for Webex meetings; and
  • Interoperability between Cisco Webex and third-party solutions.

The Cisco Webex Assistant breaks down the barriers that impede efficiency and productivity in meetings with voice command technology, closed captioning, real-time translation/transcription and intelligent note-taking. When combined with platform interoperability, which gives the user the ability to join a Webex meeting from a Microsoft Teams room and vice versa, Cisco is redefining traditional communication boundaries and reinventing modern collaboration. 

Safeguarding IT and OT environments

As highlighted by Liz Centoni, GM of Computing and IoT, one of the biggest issues concerning industries today is the dominance of IoT, requiring secure integrations of IT/OT to enable more complete monitoring, control and data analysis from these systems. However, bringing these operational technologies into the IT network comes with high levels of risk as these systems are not known to be regularly patched or architected for remote accessibility. As a result, connectivity between the two spheres can greatly increase the risk posture of an organization.

The introduction of the Cyber Vision Center by Cisco tackles this issue head on by giving you a single management dashboard for full visibility into your industrial systems. The solution integrates seamlessly with other Cisco platforms and is built upon three key principles: 

  • giving you visibility into operational assets;
  • providing operational insights of industrial processes; and
  • the ability to detect and remediate threats.

The objective of this solution is to ensure continuity and resilience of your industrial operations by bringing together security leaders, control engineers and network managers across a platform that unifies your IT/OT threat management strategy. Bringing these two worlds together securely builds a robust digital reflex that keeps pace with disruption by improving operational efficiencies that ensure maximum profitability from operations.

Conclusion

Cisco has always been a leading software business. At the start of this new decade, the industry is changing to driving software at the forefront of innovations across technology architectures that deliver next generation services and experiences to customers. Harnessing these market leading solutions seamlessly bridges the gap between the virtual and physical world to create a digital reflex that reminds businesses and organizations of the original value technology provides: to be an enabler and facilitator for competing and achieving business goals and outcomes.

As Cisco’s largest global partner, WWT has a diverse range of unique capabilities and service offerings designed to build your digital reflex across Cisco’s multiple technology architectures. Contact us today to understand how you can embed Cisco’s latest innovations into your business.

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