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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview with Learning@Cisco: New Training Needed to Manage the Internet of Everything

December 2, 2015 No Comments

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is bringing together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Understandably, this is accelerating the pace of digital transformation. That’s exciting, but also a bit daunting.

On the one hand, IoE creates new opportunities for businesses and individuals that would never have otherwise been possible. Examples include smart city initiatives, which drive efficiency; connected manufacturing solutions, which increase productivity; and retail applications, which enhance customer experiences. On the other hand, IoE brings with it the challenge of having and maintaining a skilled workforce. Automation, big data analytics, and business skills are all required to augment the technical staff’s ability to create and implement the solutions, which drive business outcomes.

In this interview, Tejas Vashi, Director, Product Strategy & Marketing, Cisco Services, speaks with IT Briefcase about the challenges posed by IoE for organizations and their IT teams and how to address them.

  • Q: Can you speak to the challenges organizations face in light of the IoE?

A. CEOs and business leaders are facing unprecedented challenges. With an estimated 50 billion devices and objects expected to be connected to the network by 2020, businesses are seeing the need to connect the unconnected, enabling more timely and accurate decision-making to truly transform the business.

In today’s dynamic business environment, enterprises are under more pressure than ever to drive business outcomes. Innovation and the ability to quickly adapt to new challenges and market conditions, as well as proficient leverage of new technologies, are all critical in determining success. In addition, the IT landscape is evolving with more connected and mobile endpoints, the growth of application- based services, and the need to collect, analyze and use an explosion of data.

They are dealing with the additional pressure of playing a stronger role in shaping requirements as they work toward tangible business outcomes. To stay relevant, IT departments are expected to lead more impactful strategic initiatives, align with their organization’s business objectives, leverage the dynamic technology landscape and improve customer experiences.

  • Q: That’s quite a lot to take on! How are IT professionals going to keep up?

A. That’s an important question. This rapid change brought on by the IoE is creating a shift in technology job roles. For instance, World Bank Studies estimate that 220,000 new engineers will be needed every year from 2014-2022. IT professionals must adapt in order to take full advantage of IoE’s opportunities, which requires new knowledge and skill sets.

Another consideration is the rapid adoption of cloud-based services. Organizations are embracing the Cloud to accelerate business delivery. A recent study revealed that 78 percent of workloads will be processed in the cloud by 2018. Cloud brings agility, automation and orchestration without the associated infrastructure, management and technical issues. But it also requires specialized knowledge on the part of IT professionals.

In light of these real business needs, Cisco has introduced new Cloud and IoT certifications. These additions focus on the ability of IT professionals to connect the unconnected, automate and orchestrate services and provide the infrastructure to enable real-time data analytics in a pervasive manner. With the growing demand for these skills, these new portfolio additions will prove invaluable in the development of tomorrow’s workforce, helping individuals and their employers deliver business outcomes that equate to customer success.

  • Q: Can you please talk more about what the Cloud certification entails?

A. The new Cloud certification program will help enable professionals to build private and hybrid cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions, allowing IT to enable and control enterprise-wide cloud deployments in a consistent, centralized manner. There are two levels of certification available, each aligned to critical industry job roles. The CCNA Cloud certification prepares individuals to deliver entry-level provisioning and support of Cisco Cloud and Intercloud solutions. The CCNP Cloud certification is designed to give candidates the added skills required of a Cloud engineer or designer. It focuses on an individual’s ability to define cloud concepts, as well as design, deploy, and maintain Cisco Cloud and Intercloud solutions in complex environments.

  • Q: And how is the IoT certification different?

A. The new IoT-focused CCNA Industrial certification is a lab-based training and certification offering that is part of the CCNA Industrial Education curriculum. The curriculum is designed for plant administrators, control engineers and IT/network engineers working in manufacturing. The training and certification offerings equip individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to build, manage and operate converged industrial networks.

All in all, innovation is hampered when infrastructure lags, and new challenges arise across all industries as the world becomes more connected. These new certifications enable IT personnel to handle current and future challenges with job role-based training that drives business value for their employers.

Tejas Vashi final 214x300 IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview with Learning@Cisco: New Training Needed to Manage the Internet of Everything

Tejas Vashi, Director of Product Strategy & Marketing for Learning@Cisco

With over twenty-four years of sales, marketing, product management and technical experience within the communications industry, Tejas Vashi is currently Director, Product Strategy & Marketing for Learning@Cisco, within Cisco’s Services organization. In this role, he leads the Product Management team responsible for building and maintaining the comprehensive product portfolio strategy, establishing cross-company alignment with respect to education for Cisco’s products, systems, solutions and architectures, as well as establishing the global learning portfolio characterization to meet internal, partner, customer and industry training, certification, and enablement requirements. Tejas also leads the Marketing function which is responsible for market research, global field and events marketing, promotions planning, and communications.





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