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Senior Editor

Cisco forecasts a bright future for network, app, hybrid work technologies

News Analysis
Sep 16, 20213 mins
Cisco SystemsNetworking

Cisco targets agile networks, optimized applications, hybrid work, the Internet of the future, end-to-end security and edge networking growth

Credit: cisco

In a wide-ranging Investor Day conference Cisco executives outlined what they described as a $900 billion total market of high-level technology targets the networking giant expects to be a dominant force in developing toward in the next four years.

Those targets include the six areas Cisco has been building toward for the past couple years, including agile networks, optimized applications, hybrid work, the Internet of the future, end-to-end security and edge networking capabilities but also other areas such as cloud security, hybrid cloud, IoT and more.  

“We have built a portfolio designed for the modern world, and driven compelling new innovation from Cisco Plus and the Webex Suite to Silicon One and Secure X just a few examples of key technologies that we have provided over the past few years,” said Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO. 

“This is also just the beginning, as we continue to focus on full-stack observability, cloud-native technologies, SASE, and many other areas, and deliver more innovation in the months and years to come.  The opportunity before us is immense, we see huge potential for growth, and we are well-positioned for the years ahead,” Robbins said.

Robbins said he expects overall company revenue will increase 5% to 7% over the next four fiscal years with up to 50% of that revenue coming from subscriptions – subscriptions represented 44% of Cisco’s business in its fiscal year that ended in July.

The company has said its software growth makes it one of the largest software companies in the world—a point it restated this week.

As a way to help investors get a better picture of Cisco’s software growth Cisco’s Chief Financial Officer Scott Herren said the company would soon begin reporting new financial metrics to track the evolution.

Beyond software, Robbins noted a number of key technology developments he was excited about including the ability for applications to automatically reroute traffic based on networking and resource needs and enterprise 5G network services as well as the development of 400Gbps networks for enterprises and service providers.

Cisco reported last quarter that its sales of 400G ports, were up 668%, and for the year, 400G port orders were up 831%,” Robbins said. “We have over 400 customers that have deployed, and we’ve taken orders for almost 180,000 ports total.”

“A number of critical trends and transitions are converging on this moment: Hybrid work, hybrid cloud, webscale, cloud security, 5G, WiFi 6 and 400G, full-stack observability, IoT, and edge. These are all tailwinds for Cisco as we drive increased digital agility for our customers,” Robbins said. “With the depth and breadth of our hardware, software, silicon, and optics solutions, we believe that we have all that is needed to help companies adopt modern application architectures, shift to hybrid work and hybrid cloud, help secure their enterprise, as well as help meet their ESG [environmental, social, and governance] goals.”