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5 predictions Cisco CEO John Chambers made about digital

As Cisco's Chambers talks to Cameron and pours $1 billion into the UK, read his biggest predictions on digital.

By Alexander Sword

Cisco today announced it would pour $1 billion of investment into the UK, targeting IoT start-ups, education and collaboration with universities and institutions. Read the five biggest predictions from outgoing CEO John Chambers’s June interview with CBR.

1. Chambers on what makes a successful country

"Countries’ futures are based on four or five elements. It starts with an education system, it starts with a country that’s willing to build out infrastructure for the future…it starts with a country that knows how to catch market transitions and bring innovation to their country and all their citizens.

"It starts with a country that government can work together in a very cooperative way and create this environment and the coordination between all the groups coming together."


2. Chambers on the IoT:

"The first generation of the internet brought the world closer together, changed the way we lived, worked, learned and played and gave every citizen of the world a chance to participate in the economic future.

"This next generation of the internet, this digitisation world, connecting five hundred billion devices will have five to ten times the impact the first generation of the internet did.

"But I think people don’t understand: it’s way beyond just connecting 500 billion devices, it will change your healthcare, it will probably solve many of the health issues today that are more difficult to solve.

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"It will create a much more level playing field on a global basis; you don’t have to be in a given country or a given city to participate as the market goes forward."


3. Chambers on telecoms networks

"It wasn’t just voice that will commoditise and be free. Data transport will commoditise and be free and then video will commoditise and be free. If you’re not constantly moving ahead of these trends you do get left behind, so you’re doing the right thing too long.

"What we’ve done is nail the convergence issue, first data to the internet and then voice to the internet and then video and we’ve nailed the convergence issues with convergence and technology in the data centre compute storage network."


4. Chambers on digital disruption

"Every industry will become Uber-like. Uber increased the traffic in terms of traditional quote taxi rides fivefold in San Francisco. They didn’t replace taxis, they changed the industry.

"As Jimmy Dimon said, Silicon Valley is coming, and you can either participate and get ahead or you get left behind. I feel with leaders the fear of getting behind, ie failing, is stronger than even the positive about here’s what happens when you go well."


5. Chambers on which companies will survive the digital storm

"All of our competitors from fifteen to twenty years ago are gone, and from ten to fifteen years ago, [there’s] only one left…from five to ten years ago, great companies like Nortel, Lucent, Alcatel, Siemens, are a shadow of what they were before.

"Companies that two years ago were together – you were worried about an HP, VMware, Arista, other players, an Alcatel-Lucent that was gaining momentum – we‘ve pulled away from them again. So if you watch, leadership is not about a generation. Leadership is about reinventing your company as market transitions occur."


You can read the whole interview here.

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