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E. R, Ashok Kumar, Lead, Services Sales, Cisco India & SAARC

The article was published in The Financial Chronicle

The internet of everything (IoE) is the buzzword everywhere today. The world around us is moving towards an era where the intelligence of various types of connections will become critical to the way we live, work and play. This means enterprises need to be hyper-aware, predictive, and agile to capture new value (projected to unlock $19 trillion in value over the next decade) and experiences that IoE will bring.

IT is also experiencing a transformation which is driven by the diversity and volume of application workloads and technology that facilitate them. Virtualization, cloud, mobility, and data analytics have set the stage for the IoE across a number of vertical markets. The rate of change is accelerated further by the proliferation of new applications and application architectures being developed to accommodate the simultaneous growth in mobile devices. IoE, which adds myriad internet-connected endpoints to the mix, serves to further accentuate these developments.

Undoubtedly, IoE will involve a degree of complexity that cannot be accommodated by traditional network operations and processes. To fully benefit from the value that the IoE can deliver, IT departments must work to simplify network operations and processes. They must not only develop, deploy, maintain and support a steady flow of increasingly virtualized applications but also manage a growing number of devices.

In essence therefore, the new reality of virtualized applications, hybrid cloud, mobile devices, data analytics, and IoE presents challenges that traditional networks – and their operational models and processes &ndash were not devised to meet. For organizations to benefit from IoE, the network and its operational models must demonstrate agility, dynamism, and elasticity. For the network to meet the challenges posed by IoE and cloud, it must be able to sense and respond to developments and events instantaneously, all of which calls for real-time automation based on predictive analytics.

Clearly, in order to fully benefit from the value that the IoE can deliver, IT departments must simplify network operations and processes. In doing so, organizations will reduce IT complexity, optimize the value of limited IT resources, and expedite service delivery and value extraction associated with IoE. Services automation is the means by which network operations can be simplified. Businesses have to take a comprehensive view of the process changes that must be implemented as prerequisites to realize the full range of business objectives related to IoE.

Leveraging automated tools and services, such as smart services, provides the insight that will be a requirement to move forward to take advantage of IoE. Enterprise customers that take an introspective look at their network investments, tools, and operational policies will be best positioned to take the next steps for moving toward future initiatives of IoT and IoE. By implementing automation as a means to bringing IT as a service to fruition, enterprises will be able to attain significant efficiency gains. More importantly organizations will be able to devote greater attention and resources to revenue-generating IoE services.

The foundational elements of smart services enable enterprises to have actionable insight into their network architecture. Having real-time insight into the network infrastructure allows enterprises to make more informed technology, business, and competitive decisions. As the pace of change increases for enterprises, having the right toolsets to understand the impact that new technologies and business requirements will have on the network, will be paramount to capitalize on any new initiative. IoE can become a reality only if the network infrastructure is operating optimally to handle new challenges and opportunities.

Smart services help businesses capture more value in the IoE economy; Using business and IT consulting together helps to drive the people and process changes necessary to implement IoE. Consulting Services enable organizations make the right technology bets that will drive increased business value for enterprise customers.

By engaging with customers it is possible to estimate the value each organization can generate from IoE and provide a specific roadmap for unlocking that value. Depending on the type of service, organizations can for example reduce operational costs, achieve time savings, become more efficient and deliver more reliable uptime for customers. Within enterprises, smart services that span across security, collaboration and networking can addresses the mobility demands of a large workforce, and help enterprises establish a “work-anywhere” environment. RoI gains can extend upto 60 per cent while customer satisfaction can go up to 70 per cent. Likewise, sales can increase by 60 per cent and productivity can go up by as much as five times through real-time data access.

IoE holds great promise for a growing number of companies across a broad range of vertical markets. It has the potential to make consumers’ lives more convenient and satisfying while offering businesses and other organizations a means of leveraging valuable data insights that result from the interplay of devices, applications, and people.

For all its potential and promise, though, the IoE is dependent on the underlying network to provide the architectural and operational foundation for success. Enterprises that derive the greatest gains from the IoE will be those that have anticipated the implications and requirements of the IoE by defining and implementing automated operations and processes as early as possible.

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