Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Global Cloud Index: Traffic to Grow Sixfold by 2016

In the second annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2011-2016), Cisco forecasts global data center traffic to grow fourfold and reach a total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016. The company also predicts global cloud traffic, the fastest-growing component of data center traffic, to grow sixfold – a 44 percent combined annual growth rate (CAGR) – from 683 exabytes of annual traffic in 2011 to 4.3 zettabytes by 2016.

For context, 6.6 zettabytes is equivalent to:
  • 92 trillion hours of streaming music – Equivalent to about 1.5 years of continuous music streaming for the world's population in 2016.
  • 16 trillion hours of business Web conferencing – Equivalent to about 12 hours of daily Web conferencing for the world's workforce in 2016.
  • 7 trillion hours of online high-definition (HD) video streaming – Equivalent to about 2.5 hours of daily streamed HD video for the world's population in 2016.
The vast majority of the data center traffic is not caused by end users but by data centers and cloud-computing workloads used in activities that are virtually invisible to individuals.

For the period 2011-2016, Cisco forecasts that roughly 76 percent of data center traffic will stay within the data center and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data. An additional 7 percent of data center traffic will be generated between data centers, primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates.

The remaining 17 percent of data center traffic will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for Web surfing, emailing and video streaming.

From a regional perspective, the Cisco Global Cloud Index predicts that through 2016, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate, while the Asia Pacific region will process the most cloud workloads, followed by North America.



Overview of the Latest Worldwide Market Study:
  • The Cisco Global Cloud Index (2011-2016) was developed to estimate global data center and cloud-based Internet Protocol (IP) traffic growth and trends. The Cisco Global Cloud Index serves as a complementary resource to existing network traffic studies, providing new insights and visibility into emerging trends affecting data centers and cloud architectures. The forecast becomes increasingly important as networks and data centers become more intrinsically linked in offering cloud services.
  • The Cisco Global Cloud Index includes a "workload transition" forecast, which shows the workload shifting from traditional data centers to more virtualized cloud servers.
  • The forecast also includes a supplement on Cloud Readiness Regional Details, which examines the fixed and mobile network abilities of each global region (from nearly 150 countries) to support business and consumer cloud-computing applications and services.
  • The Cisco Global Cloud Index is generated by modeling and analysis of various primary and secondary sources, including 40 terabytes of traffic data sampled from a variety of global data centers over the past year; results from more than 90 million network tests over the past two years; and third-party market research reports. 

"As cloud traffic continues to proliferate in a new world of many clouds, the Cisco Global Cloud Index provides all cloud computing stakeholders with a very valuable barometer to make strategic, long-term planning decisions. This year's forecast confirms that strong growth in data center usage and cloud traffic are global trends, driven by our growing desire to access personal and business content anywhere, on any device. When you couple this growth with projected increases in connected devices and objects, the next-generation Internet will be an essential component to enabling much greater data center virtualization and a new world of interconnected clouds," said Doug Merritt, senior vice president, Corporate Marketing, Cisco Systems.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Europeans are Demanding More Open Video Calling

As video calling usage increases, 81 percent of Europeans say that they now see it as personally important for them that these communications technologies work together, according to the findings from a recent market study.

In a clear signal to the video communications industry, 86 percent want companies to agree to a common standard so that software and devices -- including popular video calling apps like Skype, Facetime, and Google Chat -- are able to communicate with one another.

Unfortunately, that is still not the case in video calling, as opposed to speaking on the phone or exchanging emails, where interoperability is already the norm.

Europeans appear to have a very healthy appetite for video communications. In a survey of 1873 consumers, conducted on behalf of Cisco Systems, nearly 40 percent of those who use video calling said they will use it more often in the next twelve months, whereas only 4 percent expect to use it less often.

Growing Applications for Video Calling

What particularly attracts people to video calling is that it allows them to talk face-to-face with friends and family across the world. However, they are just as enthusiastic -- and sometimes even more so -- about possible applications of video calling technology in areas such as healthcare, education, and in the workplace.

Of those surveyed, 80 percent see video calling as an important way for patients in distant rural areas to talk face-to-face to medical specialists in cities without travelling, while 69 percent believe the technology has an important role in enabling teachers and other educators to hold live lectures and classes by video calling and to interact with students in real-time.


However, survey respondents are even clearer in pointing out that they want multiple devices or programs made by different companies to be able to communicate with one another.

Of those surveyed, 81 percent indicate such communication to be extremely important to their use of video, an unambiguous indication that people have little tolerance for potential glitches caused by a lack of interoperability.

Given the size of its market share in particular, 78 percent of respondents believe that Microsoft should open its Skype video platform. Moreover, 72 percent deem Microsoft's decision not to make Skype interoperable to be unfair to its users.

Key Highlights from the Video Calling Survey
  • 85 percent of respondents want companies to agree to a common standard for video calling so programs work together.
  • 84 percent believe that video calling should be as easy as making a phone call.
  • 79 percent want Skype to be interoperable with other video technologies.

This survey was conducted by Purple Strategies and based on 1873 telephone interviews. For additional details on related trends, view an infographic that outlines business leader thoughts about in-person and online video meetings.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How Government Early-Adopters Use Cloud Services

What are the best practices for deploying managed cloud services? Case studies have now confirmed that cloud services can be a better, faster, less expensive and less risky way to source Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions, according to the latest market study by Ovum.

Results from recent research conducted by Ovum details the experiences of five public sector organizations that have successfully deployed cloud services -- either with Infrastructure-as-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

Highlighting the known benefits and the catalysts that empower organizations to embrace the cloud service delivery model, Ovum says they have developed a framework to assist government agencies in understanding the organizational factors associated with early adoption of managed cloud services.

Moving Beyond Analysis Paralysis

"Cloud services have long been debated across the globe, but it is now time to stop discussing theory and start discussing the actual experiences of early adopters,” says Dr Steve Hodgkinson, Director of IT research and advisory services at Ovum.

According to their assessment, many government agencies are stuck in a mode of perpetual cloud service evaluation. Meanwhile, they're unable to sustainably develop strong ICT capabilities because of funding, resource and skill constraints.

That being said, we know that mature enterprise-grade cloud services will provide an innovation edge to agencies -- enabled by ICT capabilities delivered at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible.

The five case studies included in this research reinforce this key fact. Each of the agencies used cloud services to overcome constraints in their ICT capabilities, and the results were compelling.

Cheaper, Faster and Better ICT Solutions

These organizations found that the benefits were greater than expected while the risks and difficulties were lower than typically experienced with traditional ICT projects.

"These proof points reveal that cloud services do actually live up to the promise of better, faster, less expensive and less risky ICT," states Hodgkinson.

The Ovum cloud services catalysts framework defines the key leadership decisions, business needs and forward-thinking that explain why early adopters were able to embrace cloud services.

The framework provides guidance for considering the degree to which a cloud service is a good fit for an agency. It also provides a diagnostic tool for thinking about the catalysts that may need to be created or nurtured in order to enable agencies to understand and embrace cloud services.

Ovum believes that the case studies of early adopters reveal more about leadership and decision-making than they do about the abstract benefits of the cloud delivery model.

"Why is it that some agencies embrace cloud services while others remain sceptical -- and even fearful -- of the cloud services model? Our framework is a major step forward for understanding the enablers, and sticking points, of cloud services adoption in the public sector," concludes Dr Hodgkinson.

All five case studies were conducted in Australia and include:
  • The Salvation Army Employment Plus: 750 employees in 80 locations, all applications moved to Telstra Dedicated Hosting IaaS.
  • Monash University: 15,000 staff and 63,000 students all moved to Google Apps Education Edition SaaS.
  • The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management: a CRM application for coal seam gas exploration regulation deployed for 30 users using Microsoft Dynamics CRM SaaS.
  • The Torres Strait Island Regional Council: 350 employees, all applications moved to Telstra Utility Hosting IaaS.
  • The Victorian Department of Business and Innovation: CRM and grant administration applications deployed for over 450 employees using Salesforce SaaS/PaaS.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Total ICT Spending to Increase by 5 percent in 2012

You may think that the worldwide economic downturn has negatively impacted most CIO's budgets, but so far that hasn't been the case. According to the latest market study by IDC, worldwide IT spending remains on course to grow by 6 percent this year in constant currency, that's only slightly down on last year's pace of 7 percent growth.

Strong performance in software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device markets has offset weaker trends in PCs, servers, peripherals and telecom provider equipment. However, the strength of the U.S. dollar in the first half of 2012 means that IT spending is on course for growth of just 4 percent this year.

Including telecom services, it's now estimated that total ICT spending will increase by 5 percent this year in constant currency to $3.6 trillion (that's growth of 2.5 percent in U.S. dollars).

"In spite of economic uncertainty, which continues to inhibit enterprise investment in some tech segments, the continuing demand for tablets, smartphones, storage capacity and network performance improvements actually outperformed expectations in the first half of the year," said Stephen Minton, Vice President, IDC Global Technology and Industry Research.

That being said, software spending has been very robust -- even in regions where economic trends have been weakest -- as businesses turn to software tools and cloud applications as a means of implementing their IT cost-reduction strategies.

Key Trends in the Worldwide IT Market include:
  • American business spending on IT remains on course for weaker performance than 2011 with growth of 5.9% (down from 8.5% last year); the launch of Windows 8 in Q4 may help to drive a meaningful recovery in the PC market next year.
  • While Western Europe remains weak overall due to the slow economy, software growth in Northern Europe was robust, and mobile device shipments (smartphones and tablets) have remained on course; excluding mobile devices, however, Europe is on course for just 1% growth in constant currency (a -4.5% decline in U.S. dollars).
  • The recovery in Japan has lost some momentum, with IT growth in constant currency now on course for an increase of just 2% this year before flat lining again in 2013.
  • Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong,; in China, where the manufacturing sector has been impacted by slowing exports to Europe, IT spending is now on course for 14% growth this year in constant currency (down from 25% growth in 2011), with PC spending on course for growth of just 7% after a weaker-than-expected first half (down from 19% growth in 2011).
  • Strong growth is still expected in India (14%), Brazil (14%), Russia (11%) and South Africa (8%).
  • Overall Worldwide IT spending is now expected to grow by 6% in 2013 to $2.1 trillion (ICT spending including telecom services will increase by 5% next year to $3.8 trillion).

"In particular, the strength of software spending seems to prove that many enterprises have unlocked significant productivity and efficiency improvements. If the economy avoids downside scenarios in the second half of the year, a PC upgrade cycle in 2013 should help to maintain this momentum," said Minton.

IDC provides forecasts for IT spending in 54 countries around the world. These forecasts focus on 25 individual market segments across hardware, software, IT services, and telecom services for individual countries in all regions -- including North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Demand for Cloud Services Among Government Agencies

While much of the market attention on cloud services adoption tends to be focused on private enterprise applications, government agencies potentially have a lot to gain from its widespread use.

The cost-savings and scalability advantages of the cloud have been clear to those savvy IT leaders that are informed, but government adoption has been hampered by some unique challenges -- and the absence of a compelling mandate. That is, progress was slow until the "Cloud First" initiative was launched.

IDC has released a status update that details the growing demand for cloud services and enterprise architecture resources among U.S. government agencies. Their latest market study focuses on the results of an IDC Government Insights survey, which measured the progress of cloud solutions at government agencies -- while also examining the related architecture needs.

The results of the comprehensive survey revealed that despite the growing demand for cloud services, many IT managers are unsure of their organization's overall cloud strategy and the resources available to purchase and implement cloud services.

The Strategic Imperative for Cloud Services

The IDC report of the market study findings also highlighted that government employees now realize cloud solutions are becoming important for IT strategy. However, apparently many decision makers are still evaluating what cloud solutions will specifically mean to them and their organization.

In addition, in spite of the fact that managed cloud service offerings have been made available to government agencies for some time now, more than a third of the survey respondents lacked knowledge of cloud services budgeting.

IDC Government Insights finds that extensive government employee outreach is necessary to boost the comprehension or understanding of cloud migration strategies and related budgetary requirements.

Other findings from the latest IDC report include:
  • Across all levels of government 90 percent anticipate cloud services will have impact on computing infrastructure.
  • Local government participants were the least optimistic about cloud, with 14.7 percent saying cloud wasn't at all important.
  • Despite the fact that CFOs are often the people who drive their group's transition to cloud (due to potential cost savings) 60 percent of chief financial officers are only somewhat familiar with their organization's cloud strategy.
  • Indicating the presence of some progressive thinking, 15.2 percent of respondents said they would dedicate between 1 and 10 percent of their agency's IT budget to cloud services.
  • When it comes to cloud providers, there is a clear preference across all levels of government for large IT vendors versus smaller, specialty providers.

"Survey data indicates that significant progress already has been made for cloud services, but overall progress will only accelerate once several important issues have been addressed," said Shawn McCarthy, research director at IDC Government Insights.

IDC believes that these outstanding issues include lack of knowledge by some participants on the level of funding available to spend on cloud solutions -- as well as the needed IT architecture changes that can help agencies move more aggressively into cloud.

Furthermore, by focusing on greater outreach efforts to bring all IT employees in line with enterprise cloud plans, government agencies can begin to benefit from the readily available cloud computing services.

The IDC survey was conducted in the late spring of 2012 and measured the responses of more than 400 government information technology employees at various levels of the U.S. government. About half of the participants work for the federal government, with the remainder working in either state or local government.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Western European Private Cloud Infrastructure Growth

The detractors of cloud computing benefits will state that the typical adoption is still limited at most enterprises -- they're deploying cloud services to a few early-adopters. That being said, some leading markets are confidently moving ahead with mainstream deployments, regardless of the caution. While others, such as western Europe, are apparently in transition.

The western European private cloud market will grow at a CAGR of 23.2 percent for the next five years to reach $7.9 billion in 2016, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC has been looking in-depth at the private cloud marketplace -- from a hardware, software, services and networking points of view.

"The growth of private cloud is even more impressive in the context of the current economic situation," said Mette Ahorlu, research director, IDC European Services.

According to IDC's assessment, demand in the region is being driven by the need for cost savings and efficiency and with a longer perspective of creating increased flexibility, and is across the board -- from hardware, to software, to management, networking and services.

Creating a private cloud has an impact on all aspects of IT infrastructure.

Key findings from the market study include:
  • Most enterprises are still in early phases of cloud adoption, typically testing out cloud and perhaps rolling out one or a few cloud services to the full range of relevant users, but not deploying cloud on a really large scale.
  • There is growing interest in pre-packaged private clouds, pre-configured with servers, storage, network and management that speed up implementation and reduce need for services.
  • The cloud computing approach is to become a critical part of the IT strategy for the majority of EMEA organizations in the next two to three years.
  • While security, compliance and data location are barriers to public cloud they become drivers for the adoption of the private cloud.
  • Partnering between technology companies and service companies is important to help create transparency in a complex market where clients think there are too many moving parts.
  • Hosted private cloud is not nearly as popular as clouds on customers' premises, but hosted private cloud will grow even faster and revenue will exceed on-premises clouds by 2016.
  • While the market is serviced by traditional IT providers and outsourcing companies, telecom service providers have also seen it as a great opportunity to expand their businesses.

IDC believes that managed cloud services is fundamentally a network-based offering. It's becoming an established commodity, scales to a mass market customer base, and builds on the kind of support or billing relationships that telecom service providers are capable of offering.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Enterprise Mobile Benchmark Study Offers Guidance

A comprehensive enterprise mobile device and application strategy, if executed correctly, can become a significant competitive advantage. But, there's a growing need for answers to the questions troubling many IT executives -- with regard to their mobile device policies, the adoption of media tablets, and mobile application development costs and practices.

According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), corporate-liable devices still prevail with 77 percent of survey respondent organizations providing smartphones to their employees and 49 percent providing media tablets in 2011.

Of these corporate-liable devices, 70 percent were purchased by the organization and issued to the employees while only 7 percent were purchased by the employee with full or partial reimbursement.

The goal of the study, based on responses from CIOs and IT professionals in the U.S. and Europe, is to provide IT organizations with insight into how their peers have addressed similar mobility issues.

Highlights from the IDC Mobile Benchmark Study include:
  • Employees in executive, sales, IT, and marketing job functions are more often issued a smartphone over other functions within an organization.
  • For corporate-liable smartphones, most organizations (73 percent) pay the entire mobile service bill (voice and data) directly to the mobile service provider. Similarly, 71 percent of organizations pay the entire mobile service plan for corporate-liable tablets.
  • To mitigate risk and support costs of letting employees bring their own devices, 45 percent of the respondents provide limited IT help desk support for business applications on individual-liable smartphones, while 42 percent report they provide limited IT help desk support for business applications on individual-liable tablets.
  • In both cases, hardware issues are relayed back to the mobile service provider. In 33 percent of the organizations surveyed, no support is provided for individual-liable smartphones and 44 percent of respondents reported no support for individual-liable tablets.
  • Surprisingly, a high percent of respondents reported they expect tablets will be a second device to the traditional laptop/desktop PC.
  • The notion that tablets would be treated as second devices to laptops -- and refreshed every 2.5 years -- will be costly for IT organizations in the long run. IDC estimates it will cost the average large organization an additional 1 percent of their IT budget every year just to refresh these media tablets.

"Many IT organizations are currently working through their mobile device strategy and policy issues. To be successful, IDC recommends that IT executives establish a governance committee including finance, HR, and Legal to outline a comprehensive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, including use policies and cost allocation methods," said Meredith Whalen, senior vice president, IT Executive & Industry Research, IDC.

Most importantly, IDC recommends that IT executives identify the costs associated with developing and supporting multiple mobile platforms, and apply a governance strategy to mobile application development efforts to ensure projects are prioritized based on the highest value add to the enterprise.

IDC's Mobile Benchmark Study was designed to address the biggest questions IT executives are facing around their mobile device policies, including tablet adoption and mobile application development costs and practices.

The study surveyed 52 CIOs and senior IT professionals in the U.S. and Europe during the months of September 2011 and November 2011. Ms. Whalen provides a summary the study findings in the following brief video presentation.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cloud Service Usage Now Mainstream in UK and Ireland

The increased uptake in cloud service adoption is truly a worldwide phenomenon. New research published by Cisco Systems demonstrates the dramatic shift in attitudes towards cloud services in the UK and Ireland.

The report -- entitled "Cisco CloudWatch 2012" -- is the second in Cisco's annual Cloud series and finds IT decision makers in a bullish mood, increasingly placing applications and services from across their business into the cloud and planning for further investment over the coming 12 months.

Furthermore, the message that cloud services can deliver significant cost reduction is now resonating within the IT community -- cost saving has become a top driver for adopting cloud applications.

Granted, security remains the number one concern when migrating services and applications to the cloud. But that concern is noticeably less pronounced than in last year's report.

The use of public cloud is up 11 percent, although private cloud still dominates.


Key findings of the market study include:
  • IT decision makers say that cloud is now on their agenda -- a resounding 90 percent up from just 52 percent in 2011.
  • Of this number, 31 percent consider cloud as being critical and underpinning much of the organizations' activity (this was just 7 percent in 2011).
  • Of those organizations where cloud is on the agenda, 85 percent are planning further investment in the next twelve months.
  • In CloudWatch 2011, reducing cost ranked fifth in a list of most important things when considering cloud -- in today's report it ranks as the number one priority.
  • 20 percent reduction in concerns over security (52 percent in 2012 compared to 72 percent in 2011).
  • 54 percent of respondents currently use private cloud (up from 34 percent in 2011) and public cloud usage is up from 18 percent in 2011 to 29 percent in 2012

Cisco commissioned independent research amongst IT decision makers across a broad range of vertical sectors including retail, finance, healthcare, public sector and service provider.

The results clearly show that cloud has moved from hype to reality, with cloud now seen as a mainstream element of IT strategy.

"This new report validates a shift that many of us in the IT industry have been witnessing first hand over the last 6-12 months. Cloud usage has now gone mainstream. After several years of ‘hype' across the IT industry, it now seems that cloud is maturing and organizations across a broad range of sectors are realizing the benefits of moving to a cloud model, said Ian Foddering, Chief Technology Officer and Technical Director, Cisco UK and Ireland.

Foddering continues, "Against this backdrop it's encouraging to see progressive companies realize the potential of cloud to revolutionize their respective industries. All these signs point towards a well-established market where the previously blurred boundaries of cloud computing are clearing. IT decision makers now more educated about the distinctions between cloud and managed services and more willing to invest."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Unleashing Application-Driven Network Programmability

The ongoing transformation to a comprehensive Business Technology model requires savvy leaders to see beyond the traditional IT and networking silos within their organization -- thereby offering a cohesive portfolio of application-driven services to their key stakeholders.

Cisco has introduced a versatile and broad approach to network programmability -- Cisco Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE) -- aimed at helping customers drive the next wave of business innovation through trends such as cloud, mobility, social networking, and video.

Cisco ONE enables flexible, application-driven customization of network infrastructures to help realize business objectives such as: increased service velocity, resource optimization, and faster monetization of new services.

The Cisco Open Network Environment is delivered through a rich set of platform APIs, agents and controllers, and overlay network technologies. Cisco ONE complements current approaches to software-defined networking while encompassing the entire solution stack from transport to management and orchestration.


With Cisco's Open Network Environment customers can harness the intelligent network through programmability and abstraction across multiple layers, offering a choice of protocols, industry standards, and usage-based deployment models.

As part of the Open Network Environment, Cisco announced the One Platform Kit (onePK) which provides application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers across Cisco operating systems: Cisco IOS, IOS-XR, and NX-OS.

Cisco also announced proof-of-concept controller software and proof-of-concept OpenFlow agent for Software Defined Networking (SDN) research. Cisco is also enabling scalable virtual overlay networks for multi-tenant cloud deployments with the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch. New innovations include: OpenStack support, programmability, multi-hypervisor capability, and VXLAN gateway functionality.

"Our IT network engineers and computer science department researchers have been collaborating with Cisco to develop and advance SDN solutions that will help move SDN from the R&D lab to mainstream business and academic production environments," said Bruce Maas, vice provost for information technology and CIO at University of Wisconsin Madison. "We believe that programmable networks -- providing program interfaces to devices and software that take advantage of network intelligence -- will enable new research innovations that will advance science and boost economic development."

Cisco is collaborating on emerging network technologies with industry leaders, academic organizations, and standards bodies to meet their heterogeneous requirements for network programmability. Cisco's Open Network Environment supports a wide variety of deployment models including:
  • Universities and Research Organizations: Network partitioning or "campus network slicing" using proof-of-concept controller software and OpenFlow agents for SDN research.
  • Hyperscale Data centers: Network flow management with programmatic access via APIs.
  • Cloud Providers: Automated provisioning and programmable overlay network for scalable multi-tenancy.
  • Service Providers: Programmatic access, policy and analytics to optimize and monetize service delivery.
  • Enterprises: Private cloud automation for virtual workloads , including VDI.

Beta trials and phased general availability are scheduled to begin the last quarter of 2012.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Five Key Factors Drive the Internet Growth Trajectory

Cisco issued results of their annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2011-2016). It's the company's ongoing initiative to forecast and analyze Internet Protocol (IP) networking growth and trends worldwide. The VNI Forecast update projects the significant amount of IP traffic expected to travel public and private networks -- including Internet, managed IP, and mobile data traffic generated by all users.

This year, Cisco has also developed a new complementary study -- the Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast, which includes global and regional residential, consumer mobile, and business services growth rates.

By 2016, annual global IP traffic is forecast to be 1.3 zettabytes -- (a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes). The projected increase of global IP traffic between 2015 and 2016 alone is more than 330 exabytes, which is almost equal to the total amount of global IP traffic generated in 2011 (369 exabytes).

This significant level of traffic growth is driven by five key factors:
  1. An increasing number of devices: The proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, and other smart devices as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are driving up the demand for connectivity. By 2016, the forecast projects there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections -- almost 2.5 connections for each person on earth -- compared with 10.3 billion in 2011.
  2. More Internet users: By 2016, there are expected to be 3.4 billion Internet users -- about 45 percent of the world's projected population according to United Nations estimates.
  3. Faster broadband speeds: The average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase nearly fourfold, from 9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2011 to 34 Mbps in 2016.
  4. More video: By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes -- the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) -- would travel the Internet every second.
  5. Wi-Fi growth: By 2016, over half of the world's Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi connections.

The Cisco VNI Forecast Methodology

The annual Cisco VNI Forecast was developed to estimate global Internet Protocol traffic growth and trends. Widely used by service providers, regulators, and industry influencers alike, the Cisco VNI Forecast is based on in-depth analysis and modeling of traffic, usage and device data from independent analyst forecasts.

Cisco validates its forecast, inputs and methodology with actual traffic data provided voluntarily by global service providers and more than one million consumers worldwide. The following Cisco VNI Forecast resources and tools are available online:
  • The updated Cisco VNI Forecast Highlights Tool provides key forecast predictions in short sound bites that can be chosen on a global, regional or country level (these include device, traffic and network speed projections).
  • The Cisco VNI Forecast and Methodology, 2011 – 2016 White Paper provides the full detailed findings of the study.
  • The Cisco VNI Forecast widget provides customized views of the growth of various network traffic types around the globe (revised for this 2011 - 2016 forecast period).
  • The Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast White Paper provides a unique view into global and regional trends of next-generation residential, consumer mobile, and business end-user services and applications, underlying addressable markets and relevant devices and connections.
  • The Cisco VNI Service Adoption Forecast Highlights Tool provides primary global and regional takeaways on user and subscriber, device and connection, and service adoption penetration rates.
  • The New Cisco Data Meter application (beta version 1.0) for Android smartphones provides users with the following valuable network-related data: estimated and projected bandwidth consumption, individual app usage, Wi-Fi and cell connection speeds, and the location of nearby Wi-Fi networks.
    Historically, Cisco VNI projections have generally been viewed as conservative; however, the forecast has proven to be quite accurate throughout its six-year history.
    • In the initial 2007 VNI Forecast, Cisco projected an overall IP traffic volume of 28.4 exabytes per month by 2011. The actual volume in 2011 was 30.7 exabytes per month. The actual volume was about 7 percent higher than what Cisco projected five years ago.
    • In the 2008 VNI Forecast, Cisco predicted that in 2010 Internet video would surpass P2P in traffic volume. In 2010, Internet video surpassed P2P in traffic volume -- confirming the Cisco VNI Forecast.

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Top 10 BYOD and Virtualization Market Insights

    Like it or not, some enterprises have already entered a post-PC world -- where their business communication network must accommodate new user-driven choices. These include traditional applications, mobile apps, social apps and operating systems; various server architectures; and an array of mobile devices ranging from smartphones to tablets and other mobility tools. Are you experiencing this phenomenon? If not, you will soon. Moreover, this latest business technology trend has huge ramifications.

    Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) conducted extensive research and analysis to uncover key insights about BYOD (“bring your own device”) and desktop virtualization trends in U.S. enterprises. The Cisco IBSG Horizons BYOD and Virtualization study surveyed 600 enterprise IT leaders from 18 industries.

    The Top 10 Market Insights


    Insight 1: Mobility Is Pervasive
    • Seventy-eight percent of U.S. white-collar employees use a mobile device (e.g., laptop, smartphone, or tablet) for work purposes.
    • Respondents indicated that 65 percent of white-collar workers in their organizations require mobile connectivity to do their jobs.
    • Forty-four percent of knowledge workers telecommute at least once per week.
    • Cisco IBSG estimates that telecommuting once a week saves $2,500 per employee annually.

    Insight 2: Growth of Mobility Has Impacted IT Profoundly
    • By 2014, the average number of connected devices per knowledge worker will reach 3.3, up from an average of 2.8 in 2012 (18 percent increase).
    • On average, mobility initiatives will consume 20 percent of IT budgets in 2014, compared to 17 percent in 2012.

    Insight 3: How Much Longer Will Traditional Funding Models Exist?
    • Sixty-two percent of respondents’ organizations pay for both employees’ devices and their voice/data plans.
    • Seventy-five percent of respondents expect the share of employee-owned devices connected to company networks to increase “somewhat” to “significantly” over the next two years.
    • Forty-one percent of respondents indicated a majority of smartphones connecting to their company network are actually employee-owned.
    • According to Cisco IBSG, employees are willing to invest to improve their work experience. Cisco BYOD employees, for example, pay an average of $600 for their preferred devices.

    Insight 4: BYOD Is Here, and It’s Not a Bad Thing
    • Eighty-eight percent of surveyed IT leaders perceive growing technology “consumerization” in the enterprise.
    • Seventy-six percent consider consumerization “solewhat” or “extremely” positive for their companies.

    Insight 5: BYOD Delivers Several Benefits to the Enterprise
    • Among respondents, the top two perceived benefits of BYOD were improved employee productivity (more opportunities to collaborate) and greater job satisfaction.
    • The benefits of BYOD vary based on an employee’s role and work requirements. Cisco IBSG estimates that the annual benefits from BYOD range from $300 to $1,300, depending on the employee’s job role.

    Insight 6: BYOD Does Bring Its Share of Challenges
    • Respondents cited the top challenges of BYOD as (1) ensuring security/privacy of company data and (2) providing IT support for multiple mobile platforms.
    • Thirty-six percent of respondents said that their organizations’ IT departments provide full support for employee-owned devices connected to the company network, with an additional 48 percent indicating that their IT departments support selected devices. Eleven percent said that their companies tolerate employee-owned devices but don’t support them, and just 5 percent said their organizations forbid employee-owned devices.
    • According to Cisco IBSG, 86 percent of BYOD costs are non-hardware-related, highlighting the importance of choosing the right governance and support models to control these costs.

    Insight 7: Employees Want To Control Their Work Experience
    • Employees are turning to BYOD because they want more control of their work experience, thus improving productivity and job satisfaction.
    • Forty percent of respondents cited “device choice” as their top BYOD priority (the ability to use their favorite device — anywhere).
    • Respondents’ second BYOD priority is the desire to perform personal activities at work, and work activities during personal time.
    • Employees also want to bring their own applications to work. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that unapproved applications — especially social networks, cloud-based email, and instant messaging — are somewhat to much more prevalent today than two years ago.

    Insight 8: Desktop Virtualization Is on the Rise
    • Desktop virtualization enables employees to enjoy a similar experience across a broad range of devices — from desktop and laptop PCs to smartphones and tablets. This capability is alternately referred to as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), hosted virtual desktop (HVD), desktop as a service (DaaS), and server-based computing.
    • Eighty percent of respondents indicated that they are “very aware” of desktop virtualization, and 18 percent said they are “somewhat aware.”
    • Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed that a majority of knowledge worker roles are suitable for desktop virtualization.
    • Fifty percent noted that their organization is in the process of implementing a desktop virtualization strategy.

    Insight 9: Desktop Virtualization Also Poses Challenges
    • While 70 percent of IT leaders recognize that half or more of their organization’s employees could benefit from desktop virtualization, they also expressed some concerns.
    • Respondents’ top concern (33 percent) was data protection — ensuring that only the right people have access to sensitive company and customer data. The No. 2 concern was business continuity — the ability to continue operations under adverse conditions, such as interruptions due to natural or man-made hazards.

    Insight 10: Desktop Virtualization Will Impact Much of the Business
    • Desktop virtualization is already making its mark and will continue to have a significant impact on enterprise business. Survey respondents noted the following as the three areas that will benefit most from desktop virtualization: (1) business continuity, (2) employee productivity, and (3) IT costs.
    • Among devices, respondents listed their top desktop virtualization priorities as laptops (81 percent), desktops (76 percent), smartphones (64 percent), and tablets (60 percent).
    • Survey respondents stated that the top four job roles being targeted for desktop virtualization are (1) field-/customer-facing employees, (2) employees who handle sensitive company data, (3) employees who work from home frequently, and (4) executives.
    • Desktop virtualization and BYOD are changing the way applications are provisioned to employees. For example, 35 percent of respondents said that employees can download only pre-approved applications from the company app store, while 23 percent indicated that both approved and nonstandard applications are available from the company app store.

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    How CIOs Migrate their IT Applications to the Cloud

    As the role of cloud computing is growing around the globe, many CIOs and other senior IT decision makers are facing challenges with their existing network infrastructure -- to support the migration of their business applications to the cloud. A new international study by Cisco Systems revealed the ongoing challenges associated with public or private cloud deployments.

    These latest research findings provide insight into the current state of cloud service adoption and the chasm between IT expectations and network realities. The survey also examines the experiences of IT professionals regarding the level of difficulty and time required to update their networks and migrate their applications to the cloud.

    The 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey addresses the applications that are most critical for businesses to move to a cloud services delivery model, as well as the network challenges and potential disruptions and road blocks they are facing during this process. The report also takes a closer look at the typical length of these cloud migrations, and how confident IT professionals are in the ability of their own network deployments to securely deliver an optimal cloud application experience.

    Among its findings, the study reveals that updating the network is one of the top focus areas for cloud migration. In order to successfully move more applications to the cloud, the majority of respondents cited a cloud-ready network (37 percent) as the biggest infrastructure element required for further cloud deployments, ahead of a virtualized data center (28 percent) or a service-level agreement from a managed cloud service provider (21 percent).

    This data expands on the Cisco Global Cloud Index, which predicts that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year – the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on Earth.


    Key findings from the global market study include:

    Cloud Deployments in Perspective
    • Almost two in five (39 percent) of those surveyed said they dread network challenges associated with private or public cloud deployments so much that they would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes.
    • At the same time, nearly three quarters (73 percent) feel they are confident with enough information to begin their private or public cloud deployments. However, the remainder (27 percent) feels they have more knowledge about how to play @ngry Birds than the steps needed to migrate their company's network and applications to the cloud.
    • In a clear sign that many IT organizations are still considering and planning cloud migrations, nearly one quarter (24 percent) of IT decision makers said that over the next six months, they are more likely to see a UFO, a unicorn or a ghost before they see their company's cloud migration starting and finishing.
    • Without proper processes and planning, more than one quarter (31 percent) said they could train for a marathon in a shorter period of time than it would take to migrate their company's applications to the cloud.
    • A majority (76 percent) predict their cloud applications are likely to be breached, yet only one quarter (24 percent) are confident to the point in which they believe the odds are better for them to be struck by lightning than have their cloud applications breached by an unwanted third party.

    Cloud Deployments Expected to Increase Significantly by the end of 2012

    • Presently, only 5 percent of IT decision makers have been able to migrate at least half of their total applications to the cloud. By the end of 2012, that number is expected to significantly rise, as one in five (20 percent) will have deployed over half of their total applications to the cloud.

    Most Critical Infrastructure for Cloud Deployments

    • In order to successfully move more applications to the cloud, the majority of respondents cited a cloud-ready network (37 percent) as the biggest infrastructure element required for further cloud deployments, ahead of a virtualized data center (28 percent) or a service-level agreement from a cloud service provider (21 percent).

    Top Infrastructure Roadblocks to Cloud Migration

    • During the cloud migration process, data protection security (72 percent) was cited as the top network challenge or roadblock responsible for preventing a successful implementation of cloud services, followed by availability/reliability of cloud applications (67 percent), device-based security (66 percent), visibility and control of applications across the WAN (60 percent) and overall application performance (60 percent).

    Top Choice of Application for Cloud Migration

    • If given the choice of only being able to move one application to the cloud, most respondents would choose storage (25 percent), followed by enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to manage HR, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and project management systems (20 percent). Email (16 percent) and collaboration solutions (15 percent) followed.

    Reality Check: Status of Cloud Application Migration

    • When asked which applications have been moved, or are being planning to be moved to public or private clouds in the next year, the majority of IT decision makers cited email and Web services (77 percent), followed by storage (74 percent) and collaboration solutions such as Web conferencing and instant messaging (72 percent).

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Cloud-Based Collaboration Services in Asia-Pacific Gov

    Government agencies are reportedly one of the primary benefactors of managed cloud services. According to the results from a recent market study by IDC, IT decision-makers across the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) found that 59 percent of public sector respondents are confident in the ability of their internal IT departments to deploy private cloud environments.

    However, IDC Government Insights cautions that high levels of private cloud adoption may not bode well for a collaborative and citizen-engaging government and preemptive measures should be taken for collaboration to take place across organizational boundaries. More insights can be found in the IDC report entitled, "Cloud Computing for Government: a View from Asia-Pacific."

    Frank Levering, Research Manager for IDC said, "An efficient and productive internal IT department is definitely a good to have in any organization, private or public. However, a department that is highly confident in running its own private cloud environment may run the risk of not reaching out to other internal departments to collaborate on cloud opportunities."

    To counter this possibility, IDC recommends that whenever possible, governments should consider cloud-based collaboration services rather than independent private cloud solutions.

    Although governments will initially be seeking cloud-based solutions to deliver cost advantages and better manage resources, eventually, cloud implementations need to be about inter-department collaborations and citizen relationship management in order to reap the full benefits of its capabilities to deliver optimal citizen services.

    This is particularly important for key initiatives like data classification for security purposes; if agencies do not align their security levels, it would prove to be a massive obstacle for future joint efforts.

    A positive sign is that governments across the region are growing to recognize the need for collaboration within the cloud space. There is already a significant installed base of collaborative applications in the cloud and the numbers will grow significantly in the next 12 months.


    To optimize the benefits of cloud services, IDC offers recommendations to governments:
    • Evaluate all aspects of cloud computing. Read everything you can get your hands on. Most suppliers will have recognized that the key to their long-term success is their short-term role as an educator. Since security is a big concern, develop security profiles for all suppliers being considered.
    • Service-oriented architecture (SOA) first, then cloud. The right SOA needs to be in place to facilitate a smooth connection to external cloud services. Government agencies needing to build a robust SOA require a plan that tackles the transition in bite-size pieces while solidifying long-term migration to the shared services architecture. Remove the key barriers to cloud computing.
    • Challenges like security concerns and decentralized data storage will be blocking issues until they are acknowledged and appropriately addressed. Many of the more complex scenarios, like customer/citizen relationship management and inter-department collaboration will depend on a government's ability to get the basics right.
    • Know your current environment. An inventory of the currdnt environment should provide a good indication of whether systems contain sensitive data, including taxpayers' personally identifiable information and/or mission-critical data and (legacy) applications. This will provide an excellent start to planning for cloud services adoption.

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Exploring the Trends in Global Business Communications

    Today, most important executive relationships are globally distributed, but many business leaders still say that they want more collaboration in person. Particularly during activities such as brainstorming for new ideas, managing a specific crisis or making presentations. This is among the key findings from a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey.

    While the primary function of meetings is to build relationships with customers, some 89 percent of EIU survey respondents say communications where the parties can see and respond to each other benefit internal business functions such as employee coaching and training as well as communications with partners and customers.

    An additional 43 percent of respondents use meetings to discuss and resolve major issues with customers such as a service or product failure or dissatisfaction with the partnership. Motivations for expanding these meetings also include contract renewals, brainstorming sessions and being introduced to other clients or customers within the organization.

    This EIU survey, sponsored by Cisco, explores the challenges of global enterprise collaboration and the perceived value of different types of business communications -- including telephone, instant messaging, email and conferencing.

    Survey respondents were also asked their views on what business processes can be most impacted through in-person interaction as well as on potential productivity gains through these efforts.


    The 862 global senior executives surveyed identified a number of key trends in business communications. These insightful findings include:

    Face time is a priority -- When it comes to different stakeholders, business leaders attach greater importance to in-person meetings with customers than with colleagues, partners or suppliers. More than half (54%) of respondents to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey said they see meetings with customers as having the greatest impact on their business. This need for face time relates to how most respondents (56%) ranked the most important aspect of business collaboration: determining audience engagement and focus.

    Email is getting in the way -- Business leaders in all categories cite email as the primary tool used in collaborating with colleagues, partners and customers (as much as 66% for senior managers) with the telephone identified as the second most-used business communication tool (25%). However, neither text nor voice alone was cited as the best option in communicating critical information in a global business.

    Motivations for more meetings differ regionally -- Asked to pick their strongest motivation for meetings with colleagues outside of their own office, respondents from Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are most interested in resolving a problem quickly. However, U.S. business leaders are motivated more by cost reductions in meetings with colleagues. Non-U.S. respondents are also more interested in generating better long-term relationships during their meetings with partners `nd customers.

    Industry dictates motivations as well -- In meeting with business partners or suppliers, respondents in the consumer goods industry are most likely to meet face to face to give or receive direction, while business leaders in energy/transportation, technology and services are most likely to meet to generate better long-term relationships. Respondents in other industries are most likely to meet with partners to be motivated or inspired.

    To supplement the survey, the EIU hosted a roundtable discussion with two industry leaders, Joan Parsons, head of U.S. banking for Silicon Valley Bank, and Morten Hansen, a management professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Information and co-author of the book, Great by Choice, about their perspectives on business communications.
    An analysis of the findings will be included as part of a EIU video webcast on April 24th, sponsored by Cisco Systems, Inc.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Five Megatrends are Driving the Personal Cloud Era

    If you believe that you've had to learn more about the safe online operation and ongoing management of your PC than you ever wanted to know, then you'll be pleased to discover that there's relief on the horizon. According to the latest market study by Gartner, the reign of the personal computer is coming to an apparent close. By 2014, the personal cloud will replace the personal computer -- and this transition will likely include greater use of media tablets, chromebooks or other similar devices.

    Gartner analysts said the personal cloud will become the foundation for a new era that will provide users with an inbreased level of flexibility with the devices they use for daily activities -- leveraging the strengths of each device, ultimately enabling new levels of user satisfaction and productivity.

    However, Garner says that it will require enterprise IT leaders and their staff to fundamentally rethink how they deliver applications and services to their end-users.

    Seeking New Fundamental Ways to Achieve Goals

    "Major trends in client computing have shifted the market away from a focus on personal computers to a broader device perspective that includes smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices," said Steve Kleynhans, research vice president at Gartner.

    He says that emerging cloud computing services will become the glue that connects the various digital devices that people will choose to use during the different aspects of their daily life.

    "Many call this era the post-PC era, but it isn't really about being after the PC, but rather about a new style of personal computing that frees individuals to use computing in fundamentally new ways to improve multiple aspects of their work and personal lives," said Kleynhans.

    Transition is Defined by a Series of Megatrends

    Several driving forces are combining to create this new era. Gartner believes that these "megatrends" have roots that extend back through the past decade, but are aligning in a new way:

    1. Consumerization -- Gartner has discussed the consumerization of IT for the better part of a decade, and has seen the impact of it across various aspects of the corporate IT world. However, much of this has simply been a precursor to the major wave that is starting to take hold across all aspects of information technology as several key factors come together:
    • Users are more technologically savvy and have very different expectations of technology.
    • The Internet and social media have empowered and emboldened users.
    • The rise of powerful, affordable mobile devices changes the equation for users.
    • Users have become innovators.
    • Through the democratization of technology, users of all types and status within organizations can now have similar technology available to them.

    2. Virtualization -- it has improved flexibility and increased the options for how IT organizations can implement client environments. Virtualization has, to some extent, freed applications from the peculiarities of individual devices, operating systems or even processor architectures. Virtualization provides a way to move the legacy of applications and processes developed in the PC era forward into the new emerging world. This provides low-power devices access to much-greater processing power, thus expanding their utility and increasing the reach of processor-intensive applications.

    3. Software App-ification -- When the way that applications are designed, delivered and consumed by users changes, it has a dramatic impact on all other aspects of the market. These changes will have a profound impact on how applications are written and managed in corporate environments. They also raise the prospect of greater cross-platform portability as small user experience (UX) apps are used to adjust a server- or cloud-resident application to the unique characteristics of a specific device or scenario. One application can now be exposed in multiple ways and used in varying situations by the user.

    4. The Self-Service Cloud -- The advent of the cloud for servicing individual users opens a whole new level of opportunity. Every user can now have a scalable and nearly infinitd set of resources available for whatever they need to do. The impacts for IT infrastructures are stunning, but when this is applied to the individual, there are some specific benefits that emerge. Users' digital activities are far more self-directed than ever before. Users demand to make their own choices about applications, services and content, selecting from a nearly limitless collection on the Internet. This encourages a culture of self-service that users expect in all aspects of their digital experience. Users can now store their virtual workspace or digital personality online.

    5. The Mobility Shift -- Today, mobile devices combined with the cloud can fulfill most computing tasks, and any tradeoffs are outweighed in the minds of the user by the convenience and flexibility provided by the mobile devices. The emergence of more-natural user interface experiences is making mobility practical. Touch- and gesture-based user experiences, coupled with speech and contextual awareness, are enabling rich interaction with devices and a much greater level of freedom. At any point in time, and depending on the scenario, any given device will take on the role of the user's primary device -- the one at the center of the user's constellation of devices.

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Why Big Data Applications Adoption is Accelerating

    Big Data applications have gained new momentum in the marketplace, as the benefits of working with larger and larger data sets enables analysts to spot key business-related trends. International Data Corporation (IDC) released a worldwide forecast of Big Data opportunities, noting that the market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015.

    This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent -- or about 7 times that of the overall Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market.

    "The Big Data market is expanding rapidly as large IT companies and start-ups vie for customers and market share," said Dan Vesset, program vice president, Business Analytics Solutions at IDC.

    IDC believes that for business technology buyers, opportunities exist to use Big Data solutions to improve operational effichency and to drive innovation. Use cases are already present across industries and geographic regions.

    "There are also Big Data opportunities for both large IT vendors and start ups," Vesset continued. "Major IT vendors are offering both database solutions and configurations supporting Big Data by evolving their own products as well as by acquisition. At the same time, more than half a billion dollars in venture capital has been invested in new Big Data technology."

    Findings from the latest IDC market study include:

    • While the five-year CAGR for the worldwide market is expected to be nearly 40 percent, the growth of individual segments varies from 27.3 percent for servers and 34.2 percent for software to 61.4 percent for storage.
    • The growth in appliances, cloud services, and outsourcing deals for Big Data technology will likely mean that over time end users will pay increasingly less attention to technology capabilities and will focus instead on the business value arguments. System performance, availability, security, and manageability will all matter greatly. However, how they are achieved will be less of a point for differentiation among vendors.
    • Today there is a shortage of trained Big Data technology experts, in addition to a shortage of analytics experts. This labor supply constraint will act as an inhibitor of adoption and use of Big Data technologies, and it will also encourage vendors to deliver Big Data technologies as cloud-based solutions.

    "While software and services make up the bulk of the market opportunity through 2015, infrastructure technology for Big Data deployments is expected to grow slightly faster at 44 percent CAGR. Storage, in particular, shows the strongest growth opportunity, growing at 61.4 percent CAGR through 2015," said Benjamin S. Woo, program vice president, Storage Systems at IDC.

    The significant growth rate in revenue is underscored by the large number of new open source projects that drive infrastructure investments.

    Focus on Big Data Deployment Methodology

    IDC methodology for sizing the Big Data technology and services market includes evaluation of current and expected deployments that follow one of the following three scenarios:

    1. Deployments where the data collected is over 100 terabytes (TB). IDC is using data collected, not stored, to account for the use of in-memory technology where data may not be stored on a disk.
    2. Deployments of ultra-high-speed messaging technology for real-time, streaming data capture and monitoring. This scenario represents Big Data in motion as opposed to Big Data at rest.
    3. Deployments where the data sets may not be very large today, but are growing very rapidly at a rate of 60 percent or more annually.

    Additionally, IDC requires that in each of these three scenarios, the technology is deployed on scale-out infrastructure and deployments that include either two or more data types or data sources or those that include high-speed data sources such as click-stream tracking or monitoring of machine-generated data.

    Monday, March 26, 2012

    Videoconferencing Apps will Grow Rapidly in Latin America

    There's little doubt about the continued adoption of videoconferencing and telepresence applications over the past few years. Clearly, growth has been fueled by the increasing popularity of video communications among multinational companies around the world -- particularly with mobile video chat applications that utilize new handheld devices.

    According to IDC's latest market assessment, the videoconferencing and telepresence market will continue to be one of the fastest growing networking markets for the foreseeable future.

    "Growth has been spurred on by more well-defined video use cases among organizations across a range of vertical market segments, including healthcare, higher education, financial services, legal, law enforcement, manufacturing, and retail," said Rich Costello, senior analyst, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure, at IDC.

    Other industry analysts are equally enthusiastic about the market outlook, as more enterprise users find new ways to connect and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders via traditional video meeting rooms and other more flexible video endpoints.

    Enterprise Video Communications Market Results

    Infonetics Research released excerpts from its fourth quarter (4Q11) "Enterprise Telepresence and Video Conferencing Equipment" report, which analyzes markets and vendors by region.

    "Sales of telepresence and videoconferencing equipment surged in the past two years, with growth accelerating in 2011 as video took off on enterprise IP PBX systems" said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

    The video conferencing market is being fueled by a confluence of factors, including the proliferation of video-capable equipment, demographic and communication trends that favor video, and industry use cases -- such as tele-learning and tele-medicine.

    Most importantly, the video collaboration market is being driven by increasing demand across a growing number of industry verticals that use the technology today.


    The Infonetics market study highlights include:
    • The global enterprise video conferencing and telepresence market jumped 15 percent to $882 million between the third and fourth quarters of 2011, setting a record high for quarterly revenue.
    • For the full year 2011, sales of videoconferencing and telepresence equipment are up 34 percent to $2.99 billion.
    • Infonetics expects a cumulative $22 billion to be spent by enterprises on videoconferencing and telepresence hardware and software from 2012 to 2016.
    • PBX-based systems had the strongest performance for the year, growing 80 percent, as they offer a cost-effective way to enjoy multi-modal communication using existing infrastructure.
    • Market leader Cisco shows no signs of slowing down: its 4Q11 telepresence and videoconferencing revenue jumped 25 percent sequentially and market share is up 3 points to 52.5 percent.
    • Dedicated multi-purpose room video systems made up over half the enterprise videoconferencing equipment market in 2011 and will continue to be the biggest revenue-generator among enterprise video solutions.
    • Sales of videoconferencing infrastructure and endpoints are strong in all major world regions, but the standout region is the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), which saw sales nearly double in 2011.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Demand for More Open, Flexible Workplace Environment

    According to a new market study by Cisco, a majority (60%) of IT decision makers from North European countries believe the ability to work remotely leads to increased productivity -- and it is no longer necessary to be confined to an office to be productive.

    Although these IT decision makers believe technology (such as business tablets) allows them to be more mobile and flexible, more than half (56%) of those surveyed -- led by those in Norway and The Netherlands -- work one or more extra hours per day as a result of the ability to work remotely.

    In Northern Europe, there is a growing need for remote access to the company network, social media access in the workplace and for the freedom to use personal devices for business purposes -- also known as "Bring Your Own Device" or BYOD.

    This trend can have a significant impact on the IT policies of organizations and among end users who are employed by companies with IT policies -- as the study also found that nearly half (47%) indicate their IT policy could use improvement or updating.

    That's the primary conclusions from an online survey held by Cisco in five countries: Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands. The results of this North European survey complement and confirm the findings of last year's Cisco Connected World Technology Report -- an international research into the demands, behaviour and work lifestyles of the next generation of workers.

    In addition, the survey found that when faced with the choice between "a higher salary and no remote access" versus a "lower salary position that offers remote access," end users are split, with one out of every two respondents (53%) opting for a lower salary, because they find work flexibility more important.

    With little differentiation across the countries, more than 6 out of 10 (65%) end users expebt to have remote access to the network in the future.

    Demand for Mobile Enterprise Connectivity

    Looking at the use of mobile devices, end users from Northern European countries tend to use more than one device during the typical workday: more than 8 in 10 (82%) end users indicate they use at least one device at work that is not company-issued.

    More than half (51%) of the surveyed IT decision makers even indicate that up to 50% of their company's mobile workers use a smartphone as their primary communication device.

    Overall, most businesses in the surveyed countries have at least taken some steps to prepare for a "mobile and distributed" workforce. Still, 1 in 5 IT decision makers (21%) indicate that their company is as yet completely unprepared. The highest percentage of unprepared businesses is reported in Norway (26%).

    In The Netherlands, 14% of decision makers indicate that their company is totally unprepared. In each country, roughly one-third (36%) indicate they are actively working towards enabling a mobile, distributed workforce, especially in the Netherlands (45%).

    Surprisingly, although Norway reports the largest percentage of completely unprepared companies, it also has the highest proportion of companies that already have state-of-the-art IT support for a "mobile and distributed" workforce (34%), together with Denmark (31%). In that respect, Netherlands (14%) and Belgium (12%) trail the pack.

    Access to Social Media Networking Resources

    Few end users (less than 1 in 5, 19%) report that access to social media type websites and applications is restricted at the workplace. Likewise, about 6 in 10 IT decision makers (59%) -- particularly those in Denmark -- feel that access to social media sites and applications are important for the work-life balance, or staying competitive with other businesses that use them.

    "Our Workforce Survey in Northern Europe confirms that employees really want an open and flexible workplace environment. The survey indicates that IT decision makers want to accommodate this requirement and in a secure way enable a mobile, distributed workforce. Most end users in the surveyed countries indicate that they work an extra hour or more per day because of their ability to work remotely. This shows BYOD brings the productivity we are looking for," said Niels Furu, Vice President, Cisco Northern Europe.

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    How Government Agencies will Adopt Cloud Services

    While most commentary about managed cloud services tend to focus on the advances in commercial enterprise applications, government agencies are also making noteworthy progress. In particular, the advent of regional community cloud hubs is a phenomenon that's worthy of further exploration.

    According to their latest market study and related report, IDC Government Insights believes regional cloud hubs will significantly change the way state and local governments procure online computing services.

    These regional cloud hubs, defined as one government agency offering computing and storage services to other government agencies, have proven successful in the State of Michigan and State of Utah. In addition, the IDC's research provides a framework for building similar regional cloud solutions.

    According to Shawn McCarthy, research analyst, IDC Government Insights, "We believe that cloud hubs will see rapid growth, since the first multi-agency efforts have already shown a positive return on investment and solid service levels for cloud solutions subscribers."

    Cloud computing is rapidly changing the way government organizations consume computing resources. This comes at a time when virtualized servers and efforts towards application standardization have merged many government solutions.

    IDC says that as solutions merge, less data center space is needed. In fact, by the end of 2012 close to 40 percent of federal data centers will be shuttered. Many state governments are following a similar path, often combing multiple data centers into one or two large statewide operations. Remaining data centers often serve as a shared computing and storage resource for multiple departments.

    Why State Government is Leading the Way

    While any level of government can, in theory, offer services to any other government office, state-level governments are often most qualified to serve as regional hosts -- offering government-to-government services to other state agencies or to local municipal government entities.

    Local governments are already looking for trusted cloud providers -- and for ways to significantly reduce their growing IT costs. Through these cooperative arrangements, the government sites are able to leverage private cloud services including software as a service, infrastructure as a service, online storage, and security as a service, among others.

    Being able to purchase services through high volume state contracts can give local governments a substantial pricing edge. In addition, moving to a shared service environment also helps local governments conform to broader data standards and gain access to streamlined reporting tools that can be hosted right on the shared system.

    "In general, the larger government operations that already manage complex IT systems will evolve as the most likely regional hosts," said McCarthy. "Smaller government agencies may choose to get out of most IT hosting and management operations, as long as they can find reliable, affordable and privately hosted solutions through the cloud."

    Business Model for Regional Cloud Hubs

    According to IDC, these managed cloud solutions often require zero to moderate capital expenditures and are developed in-house or are commercially developed private clouds -- dedicated to government use and designed to meet specific government standards.

    As a result, this evolution has the potential to trigger the following game-changing consequences:
    • For the host facility, it can turn a government agency cost center into a revenue center. By selling cloud solutions to other government organizations, host agencies can offset their own IT costs.
    • Local governments can buy cheaper cloud solutions than they might find on their own and they may be able to reduce capital expenditures and overhead costs.
    • Cloud services will replace internal client/server systems as the main model for government application delivery. The race is on to build shared regional data centers and the largest portfolios of government solutions.

    The IDC Government Insights report features two U.S. states, Michigan and Utah, both well on their way to building cloud hubs that can be used by multiple government agencies at various levels of government. In addition, the report highlights several regional multi-state cloud computing efforts.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Virgin Media Deploys Online Talent Networking Solution

    Market leading companies are embracing enterprise talent networking practices -- to gain a competitive advantage within their industry. While Online collaboration tools have been readily available for some time, few IT managers proactively combine them into a cohesive strategy to advance their organization's productivity.

    That being said, it's been the tech-savvy forward-thinking executives that have led the cause to date -- enabling their organization to join the ranks of the early-adopters, and paving the way for others to follow.

    Cisco announced that Virgin Media, the UK's top entertainment and digital communications company, is deploying the powerful combination of Cisco Quad, Cisco WebEx and Cisco Unified Communications to its eager employee base.

    The solutions are part of the Virgin Media progressive "Flexible Working Initiative" that will enable thousands of employees to collaborate and work remotely -- utilizing video calls and shared documents, all easily accessible via notebook PCs, business tablets and mobile smartphones.

    Sharing Tacit Knowledge Across the Enterprise

    Cisco Quad will become a virtual knowledge bank that helps support online communities of practice, bringing together talent with common skills and interests. The platform enables the sharing of files or videos with co-workers across projects and workstreams -- offering instant WebEx conferencing sessions or instant messaging chat sessions -- all possible via the browser-based solution.


    Quad allows users to quickly find resources or skills, prioritize work and team activities more easily. This platform will incorporate real-time decision making within WebEx conferencing sessions, through communities, activity feeds and watch lists -- all accessible via any browser or through mobile apps.

    Finding and Connecting the Unique Talent Assets

    Quad essentially allows Virgin Media employees to discover and participate in discussions with relevant internal groups that may have been previously unknown to them. This new capability will support their vision for a truly collaborative and flexible working environment.

    "The ability of social media to actively engage audiences is proven, and we're making the most of Cisco's collaboration software to bring new ways of working to Virgin Media," said Elisa Nardi, chief people and services officer at Virgin Media.

    Virgin Media will soon roll out the solution to its managers and staff that are working across teams and on company-wide projects.

    Highlights of the deployment include:
    • Collaboration applications will offer greater flexibility to co-work from a variety of Virgin Media office locations and from participating employee homes.
    • The rich media capabilities extended through WebEx high-definition video help engage workers with a more face-to-face online experience.
    • Cisco WebEx can help shorten the time to make key business decisions -- just in time -- via quick and easy video chat conversations.
    • Cisco Quad can providing rapid access to information and people through its enterprise search capability -- which helps employees find relevant subject matter experts, content and active communities.


      Tuesday, January 24, 2012

      Market Insights on the Pending Business Tablet Invasion

      Here's the scenario, you're a busy executive working away from your office and you just want to quickly research something on the Web. You turn on the company-provided notebook computer and you wait the standard 3-6 minute delay, before you can actually use it.

      The corporate IT department has numerous mandatory processes that must load first -- such as virus protection, data backup, system and app software updates, etc. -- on a typical Windows system. That's often dozens of processes running at start-up, and some will consume 100 percent of the available processing power.

      That automated cycle can temporarily incapacitate a notebook PC. Don't bother attempting to load a web browser while this PC start-up sequence is in motion. What's the alternative? If you have a media tablet, simply use it instead and you're on the Web in a matter of seconds.

      Mobile Workers and Their Virtual Workspace

      Is your company prepared for the pending business tablet invasion that will likely raise the bar of expectations for corporate mobile computing? Ready or not, this trend is already in motion. Cisco announced findings from a global survey of IT managers' perceptions about tablet form-factor mobile devices in the enterprise.

      Cisco commissioned Redshift Research to perform a market study to assess attitudes, fears and hopes for media tablets in the workplace from a survey of more than 1500 IT managers and executives in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain. While it's still considered a nascent market, this year we'll surely see an increase in the adoption of business-oriented tablet computing.


      Key findings from the market study include:

      Media Tablet Demand
      • Tablets vs. smartphones: which win? Globally, IT departments report employees place one tablet request for every three smartphone requests today.
      • Which countries lead? Of the countries surveyed, the US and France are tied for tops -- each report a tablet is requested by 21% of the workforce. Senior executives are most likely to be issued a tablet in the US (38%) and least likely to be issued one in the UK (27 percent).
      • Who's most excited? Spain tops the list, with 90% of IT managers believing the tablet will become more popular in the next two years.
      • "Uber-connected sales guys". Tablets are significantly more prevalent among salespeople in Germany (31%) than in all other countries (21% on average).

      IT Manager Fears And Wants
      • Tops in security concerns? The U.S., the country with the most experience managing tablets, also ranks #1 on the "security issue": 75% of US IT managers said new rules must be established around security and device usage.
      • What about app access? Nearly half (48%) of all IT managers surveyed agree that access to company applications should be restricted for all employees. Canada and UK were the top countries in wanting to see restricted access on tablet form-factor devices (55% and 56 %, respectively).
      • Custom apps? IT managers universally agree that custom tablet applications would benefit their business.
      • Top "want list" features? Globally, three-quarters of IT managers indicated email and document sharing are "must haves". About half agreed or strongly agreed that these are desirable: video conferencing, IM, access to company databases and seamless synchronization with other business devices.

      Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
      • Turning a blind eye to BYOD. Globally, 48% said their company would never authorize employees to bring their own devices to work, yet 57% agreed that some employees use personal devices without consent.
      • 51% of the respondents reported the number of employees bringing their own devices to work is on the rise.
      • Using personal devices without consent was highest in the US (64%) and lowest in Germany (49%).
      • Access to company servers was highlighted as a "huge problem" of the "bring your own device" to work phenomena as was lost/stolen devices (64% globally).
      • Globally, 44% say that handling BYOD issues diverts IT attention from other important projects.

      "Mobile workers and virtual workspaces are here to stay -- but so are the demands on IT to continue to ensure enterprise-grade security, manageability and interoperability. 2012 promises to be an exciting year and IT leaders are a critical component in unleashing innovation and enabling organizations to take advantage of the next wave of business growth and opportunity. Cisco is keenly focused on helping its customers navigate the post-PC era and transform their business," said Tom Puorro, director of product management, IPCBU, Cisco Systems.

      Survey respondents were from a wide variety of global companies and are either primary IT decision makers or play a key role in the procurement process. Sole proprietors were excluded from the study. Field work was conducted in late 2011.