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Cisco CEO John Chambers urges businesses prepare for network economy

Ian Grant

The networked economy has the potential to raise global productivity by up to five percent but security issues could inhibit that, Cisco CEO John Chambers said on Tuesday.

Speaking to delegates to Cisco's annual customer meeting in London's Docklands, John Chambers said the world was undergoing a market transition from the knowledge economy to the networked economy.

This was profoundly changing how work, politics, health care, education, and society worked. Chambers, who had just spent 20 hour days talking to politicians and fellow business people in Davos, said: "These people get it."

However, recent "security events" - such as Wikileaks' revelation of confidential diplomatic material, the theft of R&D plans, and the revolution in Tunisia - had revealed the shortcomings in the networked landscape, he said.

"Security is my number one priority, and that means it's my customers' number one problem," he told Computer Weekly.

Chambers said no datacentre and no network was presently secure. The way increased video traffic loads networks would make the situation worse, which was why Cisco believed a completely new approach was needed.

Cisco was taking an architectural approach to it, Chamber said. He said the decision had been taken six months ago and expected Cisco to produce a roadmap later this year on what it would do.

Chambers said the roadmap would be open, that it would be detailed enough to affect even chip designs, and that Cisco did not have all the components in-house.


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