The CIO has an impact far beyond technology: they set the organizational direction, they contribute to customer focus, and they drive business excellence across all verticals. We call this role the Technology Orchestrator.
The emergence of cloud and subscription services, as well as the platform economy, have increased the pressures on IT departments. As the orchestrators of this digital innovation, CIOs are now agents and mediators for new solutions.
Above all, the CIO is a strategic business leader, and the role extends far beyond IT. The CIO doesn’t only identify the unique value proposition for an organization, they also develop the plan to implement it. By understanding key challenges and environmental factors, the CIO can get to the heart of what technology can do for a business.
There are five key elements in today’s rapidly-evolving technical landscape: the cloud, mobility, information, integration, and identity and security. Each of these elements is made possible by networks. Each also provides a clear example of the ways in which the power of the network can bring people together. The CIO, as Technology Orchestrator, manages and directs the network to support existing connections, and develop new ones.
- By 2019, there will be 10 billion mobile-connected devices
- By 2019, 80% of organizations will use the public cloud for storage and applications
- By 2020, 30 billion IoT devices will be connected to the internet.
We are at the cusp of a significant change in network technology, driven by mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), and above all, a desire for cloud-based storage and applications. Existing Wide Area Network (WAN) technology is unable to deliver the necessary performance and security needed to fully realize the benefits of mobile connectivity, cloud-based computing, and IoT technology. In fact, it’s estimated that within the next two years, more than half of all WAN infrastructure will move away from traditional routers, having been replaced by Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN).
By leading the transition to SD-WAN, CIOs can provide specific business benefits for their organizations, including:
- Significant cost reductions over traditional networks – up to 80% for some organizations
- Speed and performance improvements running platforms such as Office 365
- Up to 4x improvements in application performance and speed
- Ease of offering guest wireless at numerous locations
- Robust security for organizations that deal with multiple providers
SD-WAN provides the bandwidth and performance that allow for the continued growth of the IoT, mobile computing, and media-rich, business-critical applications such as Skype for Business. It enables organizations to deliver on-demand access, while retaining the ability to be flexible in response to evolving demands.
Cisco is one enterprise WAN solution provider that gives CIOs the tools they need to lead their organizations past the disruptions inherent in solving business problems. The true benefit of SD-WAN is that it drives business excellence by supporting connections between people, while also enabling lower costs, reduced deployment times, greater application resiliency, and improved security. In recent years there has also been increased emphasis on moving to the cloud, which brings additional advantages:
- Resiliency through the elimination of a single point of failure
- Agility – speed is no longer determined by the central component
At an organizational level, this trend is demonstrated by the growth of working remotely and the establishment of branch offices. Nearly half of Americans work remotely at least part of the time, and branch offices serve 80% of users while generating 90% of revenue.
People are the heart of any organization, and there is no downside to improving their ability to connect. SD-WAN is the technology that will provide the necessary bandwidth and security for these employees and businesses, and the CIO—the Technology Orchestrator—will use it to lead their organization towards digital and cloud transformation.