Cisco chief calls for more collaboration

Cisco CEO John Chambers today outlined his vision for the future of the IT industry at VMworld in San Francisco.

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Cisco CEO John Chambers today outlined his vision for the future of the IT industry at VMworld in San Francisco.

His theme was the need for organisations to ditch the command and control model and start collaborating instead, using Web 2.0 technologies and virtualisation.

In his characteristic evangelical style, Chambers wrapped his vision with the example of Cisco itself, which he claimed drove productivity and profitability by cutting across organisational silos.

Chambers said it was about a "wave of collaboration across barriers and content. There will be a wave of productivity that will change how we work and the very nature of work itself."

"It's about going across silos, driving the company in any direction it needs to go," he said. "This is where IT becomes sexy again, where the sizzle comes back," he said.

Then Chambers returned to what has become, for him, a familiar theme. He said the enabler was the ability to hasten the speed of change, which he acknowledged is uncomfortable for most people. "We hate change," he said.

He said: "The vision isn't about the next 12 months but the next five to ten years. It's about how you differentiate, how you provide flexibility, and react to change.

"You need to implement technology to assist that, to catch market trends not 12 months out but five to ten years ahead of time."

The problem, said Chambers, is that Web 2.0 is "not really being used in the enterprise. It needs virtualisation of resources on a global basis. This means technology such as wikis and FaceBook.

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