Cisco's CIO on Collaboration, Virtualization


While so many CIOs are being forced to scale back projects and initiatives due to economic pressures, Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby sees opportunities to accelerate.

One of her key points: CIOs are constantly seeing opportunities to boost productivity in their companies as well as their IT shops. Instead of ignoring them or postponing their implementation or execution, IT leaders should move ahead--and help position their businesses for post-recession success.

"In some ways, the current macroeconomic environment gives you some air cover to create a burning platform to accelerate through some of those things that might have been hard for people to accept change about in the past."

Two areas where she's seeing big opportunities are collaboration and virtualization.

Jacoby on collaboration:

We're working toward an enterprise-scale implementation of these kinds of technologies in a way that's bringing efficiencies to almost every business process that we have, but more importantly allowing us to get the most out of our global talent--in a way that people like, not just squeezing them harder.

On virtualization:

A lot of IT organizations have seen the value of moving toward a virtualization environment, but no one's moved as fast as they could. In some instances, IT organizations haven't been that capable of communicating to their business partners the value of virtualization to the overall enterprise. Virtualization is an area that we can get some immediate gains in and bring that to table as how the IT organization can bring value as well as provision more capabilities faster and with more resilience.

CIOs are facing plenty of tough calls. And they're being pressured to come up quick wins for the business. Jacoby sees collaboration and virtualization as two opportunities to do the latter.

How do you feel about those? And what other opportunities do you see?


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