Feature Story

Building future ready innovation

Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins discusses how, together with our partners, Cisco is helping customers be ready for the future.

This week, Cisco is hosting our first fully-digital Partner Summit. For over 20 years, our partners have played a critical role in delivering the best innovation for our customers. While I will miss seeing so many of our friends and colleagues in-person, I am excited for what we can achieve together as we invest in new technologies for our customers that will help them be future ready and thrive in the most uncertain of times.

No one could have imagined the reality we are facing today – our world is forever changed, and many organizations have had to adapt – and do it fast. In the first six months of 2020, primary care’s adoption of telehealth increased by nearly 50% in the U.S. In a matter of months, 1.2 billion children across the planet moved to hybrid learning. As we embraced new ways of putting the needs and safety of our customers and employees first, retailers, restaurants and others fast-tracked new digital business models, while workforces in all industries shifted to operating remotely almost overnight. What we now know is that with the right technology and tools, we can be effective and productive in this digital-first world.

The speed at which we have had to rethink all that we do has also accelerated. 75% of U.S. companies have said they will accelerate their technology transformation as a result of the pandemic – because it’s absolutely imperative that we meet the demands of this new world. Customers are telling me that five to seven years of decision-making and action have now been condensed into five to seven months. Almost all communication is being done over video technology, like Webex. All agree that a form of remote working is here to stay and that a hybrid work environment will be the de facto workplace moving forward. We have been working with our partners to help our customers move from business continuity to resiliency, and now as we continue to navigate a world with little clarity, we are focused on helping them be incredibly agile.

I am excited for what we can achieve together as we invest in new technologies for our customers that will help them be future ready and thrive in the most uncertain of times.

This week, we are introducing new innovations that help our customers adapt to business disruptions, accelerate their shift to digital, operate in a hybrid cloud world and transform their operating models through new, agile automation platforms. With many accelerating their move to the cloud, we’re delivering new platform solutions to drive workload agility across public and private clouds. These new platforms will help IT teams accelerate cloud adoption, increase automation and transform their operations. We have also developed new solutions designed for hybrid work models – keeping workers safe in the office and productive at home, and even keeping critical functions of governments running, with the ability for example, to legislate securely from anywhere. Our world-class security teams also continue to deliver innovation on our SecureX platform. This effective platform approach includes new innovations to drive simplicity across the breadth of the portfolio, including XDR, Zero Trust and SASE. Together with our partners, we are working to deliver the innovation our customers need now and to be prepared for the future.

Not only do our customers need innovation more than ever, but they also want partners they can trust. They need choice and flexibility in how they purchase, consume and implement  technology based on their own individual needs. These anchors of trust, innovation and choice are core to who we are at Cisco and what we deliver with our partners.

As we consider our future, so many of us are fortunate to have the ability to work remotely, learn online or receive the critical healthcare that we need, but there are far too many in the world who cannot. This is why we remain anchored in our purpose to power an inclusive future for all. We know that technology has the ability to help solve the world’s biggest challenges. Today and in the future, people’s access to technology and connectivity will directly impact their access to the opportunity to participate in society, and in some cases, survive. I am incredibly proud of what we have done together for our customers, our communities and each other during such volatile times. The future we build starts with us, and we are more committed than ever to build a future in which we can all thrive.