The holy grail of IT might be the single pane of glass, but it eludes many IT professionals because of all the segmented technologies and platforms they have to manage. How can an organization get there? Two words: visibility and control.
Which is why those topics will be major themes at this year’s Cisco Live, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas.
Cisco’s many acquisitions in the last year, including Internet of Things (IoT) platform Jasper and a plethora of security-oriented companies, all weave around the common threads of visibility and control. These moves highlight the industry trend toward tools that provide more insights into an IT network and answer the call for stronger asset management.
At Cisco Live, four challenges in particular stand out as major opportunities for these tools. These are the top four topics to pay attention to at Cisco Live 2016:
1. Harnessing the power of the IoT. Who isn’t talking about the IoT? It’s the future of consumer and industrial technologies, and is being deployed to build smarter and safer cities. The power of IoT devices is collecting and visualizing data that was hidden from view until recently, and these devices, from body cameras to widgets on the manufacturing floor, help organizations and governments arrive at data-driven decisions.
Look for Cisco’s Connected Safety and Security products, which give cities and police departments new intelligence and analytics, as well as its manufacturing products that help find and correct hidden inefficiencies. Of course organizations still must consider how to decode and store that data, as well as how to arrive at the right decisions. At the SHI booth, we’ll demonstrate some of those challenges for police body-worn cameras and how to solve them.
2. How to better control cloud accounts. There’s no one-size-fits-all cloud solution, which is why well-meaning employees open rogue cloud accounts as needed. That makes managing costs and data incredibly difficult for IT. Plus, the problem presents data leakage challenges and compliance risks. Can organizations control their many accounts from one interface?
Cisco’s answer to this question is its Cloud Center (formerly CliQr), which helps organizations simplify and control cloud accounts while minimizing risk of data leakage. Add it to your list of Cisco Live must-sees.
3. More efficient collaboration. Traditionally speaking, collaboration platforms require a ton of infrastructure, from software portals to servers to LAN connections. That era might be over, as IT providers have stripped away the need to combine hardware with collaboration tools and moved it all into the cloud.
Now, organizations are using the cloud to collaborate more efficiently and across a multitude of devices, so end users have more control over how and when they work. Cisco’s Spark collaboration tool is run on its servers, meaning organizations are always connected without the requirement of operating the traditional hardware systems. Cisco is also partnering up with IBM to create a Watson-powered work assistant, giving you the best AI available on your phone.
4. How to regain control of complex licensing. Licensing and maintenance contracts are exceptionally difficult to manage (SHI has an entire division helping organizations with IT asset management). No organization is immune to these challenges, and IT departments are investing more in tools and personnel that can manage license agreements and reduce costs.
They’re also looking for help from publishers in controlling their licensing allotments and management. Cisco is making that easier through SMARTnet Total Care and Smart Accounts; SMARTnet customers also receive access to Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center. Overall, these tools provide greater visibility into commitments and permit more control over how an organization is licensed.
Preventing a bloated and unwieldy IT network
IT professionals want a clear view into their environment. While that might seem impossible with some complex and difficult-to-manage IT environments, SHI will be on hand at Cisco Live to showcase services and solutions that enhance your visibility and help you control the size and scope of IT. Come visit us at booth #942 in the World of Solutions!