Intuition in the network

An article by Jonathan Sparrow, Cisco’s vice president for Russia and CIS

Today, one can hardly imagine that only 10 years ago the managers responsible for the promotion of mobile data had many a sleepless night inventing usage examples that were supposed to somehow convince subscribers to pay for a new service. But it’s even harder to imagine our life without data networks now. It has become a common place to say that we live in the era of the digital revolution. By influencing the entire economy, digitalization brings about changes in education, healthcare, transport, services. It changes all markets, from production to consumption to labor, i.e., the whole society. All our life is changing along with the network, and often we do not even notice it.

If you want to call a taxi, see a new movie, make an appointment with a doctor, read the news, place an order for a week food supply along with a refrigerator to store it – the one-stop-shop is always the network. It seems that the fairy-tale is already here, and all wishes are fulfilled as if by magic.

Actually, according to experts, the Internet of Things’ (IoT) technologies will be even more influential in the B2B segment. Digitalization creates unprecedented opportunities for business growth in such areas as industrial production, mining, oil and gas, financial services, retail services etc.

As a result, the network infrastructure supporting digital transformation is constantly improving, but at the same time it becomes more complicated. While network coverage extends and more devices and users are connected to the network, the space where attackers can operate also expands. For providers who still use traditional processes it becomes increasingly more difficult to protect and maintain their networks.

According to Gartner, 8.4B devices are in use today and soon there will be hundreds of billions of them. Cisco forecasts that by 2021 more members of the global population will be using mobile phones (5.5 billion) than bank accounts (5.4 billion), running water (5.3 billion), or landlines (2.9 billion). But the increase in numbers is only one side of the coin. According to Cisco’s calculations and forecasts, by 2021 approximately half of connected devices will be M2M modules, in particular, in Russia M2M modules will account for 57% of all networked devices and 7.7% of IP traffic. Also, by 2021, the number of wearables will reach 32 million of which almost 2 million devices will be equipped with built-in cellular technology.

Network technologies have become an integral part of the global economy. Such phrases as smart city, connected medicine, connected vehicles no longer surprise anybody. Digitalization promises a huge benefit. With the rise of connected applications such as health monitors, medicine dispensers, and first-responder connectivity, the health vertical will be fastest-growing industry segment (30 percent CAGR). The connected car and connected cities applications will have the second-fastest growth (29 percent CAGRs respectively).

On can say that the future is now being seen in the light of network changes. However, appealing to the risks of information security, businesses seem not to be in a hurry to go digital. On the one hand, these fears can be understood. On average, it takes three months to discover security breach, and the amount of damage from one attack can reach 4 million dollars. It should be noted that Cisco blocks 20 billion threats daily (which is 6 times the number of Google’s search queries daily). On the other hand, according to IDC forecasts, 40% of incumbent companies can be displaced by newcomers who already embarked on the path of digital business.

By 2030, the global number of connected devices may exceed 500 billion. It is impossible to manage such a network in an old, traditional way. Providers need universal automation, new approaches to networking and to ensuring information security. The new network itself should perform all the routine (and not only routine) operations, giving the business the opportunity to do what it was designed for, i.e. to make money.

The network has never been more critical to business success, but it’s also never been under more pressure,” said Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer for Cisco.

As the global digital transformation affects billions of consumers and enterprises, the network and information security plays a major role. Today companies are managing their networks through traditional IT processes that are not sustainable in this new age. Cisco’s approach creates an intuitive system that constantly learns, adapts, automates and protects, to optimize network operations and defend against today’s evolving threat landscape.

The new network delivers a world where you can connect billions of devices, identify them almost instantly, know what’s trustworthy and what isn’t, and draw exponential value from the connections – and you can do it in hours instead of weeks and months. With such a network businesses will see big changes as less daunting and less risky.

An intuitive, intent-based network will allow organizations to experience a quantum leap in agility, productivity and performance. Intent-based networking allows IT to move from tedious traditional processes to automating intent, making it possible to manage millions of devices in minutes – a crucial development to help organizations navigate today’s ever expanding technology landscape. Interpreting data in context is what enables the network to provide new insights. It’s not just the data that’s important, it’s the context that surrounds it – the who, what, when, where and how. The intuitive network interprets all of this, resulting in better security, more customized experiences and faster operations. At the same time, the more the network is operated, the more intuitive it becomes. The new network provides machine-learning at scale. Cisco is using the vast data flowing through its networks around the world (which represents 2/3 of the world’s Internet traffic) with machine learning built in, and unleashing that data to provide actionable, predictive insights.

Intuitive networks will become a truly secure and intelligent platform for digital businesses all over the world. We believe that such a platform will serve as a reliable foundation to implement the Digital Economy of the Russian Federation Program and will ensure the transition to a qualitatively new level of IT use in all areas of social and economic activity.

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