Feature Story

Technology to power an inclusive recovery

by Todd Nightingale

Technology to power an inclusive recovery

From vaccine rollouts to cloud transformation, Cisco helps organizations drive agility for the post-pandemic world.

Technology groups have always been about empowering, driving, and managing change.  COVID-19 gave us a year-long case study into just how critical technological agility and the ability to react to change in real-time are to every organization.

Cisco spent the last year focused on making sure every CIO around the world had the tools to connect, secure, and automate all their technology and applications so their organizations could transform at the necessary speed. From seamlessly connecting people working from home to supporting the frontline workers who keep us safe and healthy, we helped hospitals, businesses, schools, and governments rise to the challenge. 

Now it is time for us to turn toward what comes next.

An inclusive recovery starts with a successful vaccine rollout

Incredibly, scientists delivered this vaccine four times faster than any others in the past. Now it is up to logistics and technology groups to break records and exceed expectations as we scale and deliver safe, healthy, and rapid vaccine distribution worldwide. This effort is critical to ensure the recovery is done right, and no one is left behind. 

The rollout encompasses a complex ecosystem — everything from hospitals and mobile vaccination centers to retail pharmacies and elder-care facilities. There are also government leaders, communities, and shipping companies, who play an essential role that spans borders, oceans, and continents. Having the right partner who can deliver on the flexibility and visibility needed without compromising the power and performance is everything. 

Cisco Webex, Cisco Telehealth, and other tools enable healthcare professionals, supply chains, contact centers, and patients to share important insights and data.

Cisco Webex, Cisco Telehealth, and other tools enable healthcare professionals, supply chains, contact centers, and patients to share important insights and data. And our advanced networking, mobile routers, and security solutions tie it all together.  

Vaccines are not only sensitive to temperature and other environmental changes; they are also high-profile targets for criminals in the cyber and physical worlds. Cisco technology is being deployed to ensure that vaccines are carefully monitored at every stage, whether in a shipping container or at a mobile vaccination center. Cisco Meraki cameras and sensors help monitor movement and door access and turn any suspicious activity into real-time alerts. Specialized IoT sensors — developed with Stanley Healthcare — track environmental conditions, spoilage, and other factors, while inventory management solutions track syringes, test kits, and other essential items. All of these insights are available on intuitive, centrally managed platforms.

We’re also helping to make patient data easy to access while supporting security, privacy, and compliance. That includes our latest AI-powered contact center solutions that take the burden off human agents and mobile vaccine centers that scale at lightning speed. We worked with Cooper Medical School at Rowan University in New Jersey to set up their Webex Contact center in a matter of days.

Around the world, sites are being set up to administer vaccinations, and Cisco is ensuring these sites are safe, connected and secure. At Renown Health, based in Nevada, we helped build solutions for a temporary field hospital in a parking garage in a little over a week. It uses Wi-Fi analytics to monitor the temperature and location of medications while tracking other critical assets. Renown expects to stand up more sites in the future.

Fast, flexible, and agile 

The cloud has proven to be an indispensable tool in building agility into any technology group.

As we’ve seen throughout the crisis, agility, flexibility, and speed rule. The faster that organizations adapted to the pandemic’s challenges, the less the disruption to their businesses, customers, and employees. And through all this change, the cloud has proven to be an indispensable tool in building agility into any technology group.

In the past year, our customers accelerated their cloud transformations ten-fold. Driven by the demands of the pandemic, we helped many to drive changes in days instead of months or years.  

Moving forward, all organizations will need to be even better prepared — by building in business resiliency and faster response, whether it be for the next crisis or the inevitable disruptions and opportunities of normal business.  Whatever “normal” turns out to be.  

When I talk to CIOs, we all hope brick-and-mortar offices will reopen, but we also know we are not returning to the same world we left a year ago. Like many of you, I’m eager for that first meeting back in the office with my team. At Cisco, we’re innovating new ways to ensure that it is safer, smarter, and more secure. We know hybrid work models will dominate, and the need for speed, agility, and flexibility will only increase. Top talent will expect it. And market changes will demand that we reimagine the way we work and the way we work together. 

At Cisco, we’re bringing to bear all of our expertise in networking, security, collaboration, and IoT, to ensure that sites are the most automated, the safest, most intelligent, and most connected.

A better world, post-COVID   

As excited as we are about our newest innovations, the real goal is to ensure that they impact everyone. I believe we can provide access to better healthcare, deliver innovation to every corner of the globe, and strive to power an inclusive future for all.

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