From John Chambers' position, the tippy top height of the largest player in networking, Cisco, the future looks pretty good. His perspective gives him the ability to prognosticate on big issues. Productivity is one of those. He said today at the Security Standard Conference here in Boston, that productivity growth in the double digits is possible in the US. He has demonstrated that at Cisco and is proselytizing that for the rest of industry.
John Chambers has a presentation style reminiscent of Buddy Guy. Just as Buddy will step off the stage playing on his wireless Stratocaster and take the message to the audience, Chambers wandered the ballroom floor armed with his wireless head mounted mic, and reading from five large screen flat panel displays mounted strategically on the floor with the central one displaying a countdown clock in 6 inch digits.
Just a few highlights of his keynote:
Chambers says you have to identify market transitions 3-5 years in advance. By the time it is obvious it is too late. Makes me wonder how most organizations are going to do that. I know I am thinking that far out all the time. But most people do not have that luxury.
The human body is a good metaphor for the way security should be. You hardly ever notice when your body is attacked because the majority of attacks are warded off. It is the exception when you catch a cold or have to go to the doctor.
Cisco closes their books in an hour. I remember hearing predictions from the Business Intelligence proponents that someday closing financials at the end of the quarter would no longer be a two week ordeal. It is amazing to hear that Cisco at least is there.
Way cool demo of Cisco IPICS. To demonstrate effective emergency response Cisco demonstrated tying Police, Fire, Nextel, and PC phones together into a group that received alerts from a gas leak on stage and allowed each of these disparate communications channels to inter-operate. It worked. Ironically enough the only part of the demo that did not work was the stage audio devices which of course were still analog and needed a team of three people to support real time.
As an example of good emergency response Chambers claims that Cisco employees in Lebanon were evacuated within 24 hours of the emergency there. He made a good point that most organizations would be still trying to track down their employees in the first 24 hours of an incident.
Lastly I can't object to Chambers' security vision:
Everything is connected, everything is a point of attack, everything must be defended.