Cisco's Jacoby Discusses the CIO's Role in a Changing Tech World

VIDEO: Cisco's Rebecca Jacoby explains what the role of CIO is and where the source of truth rests within the network.


LAS VEGAS—Over the last seven years, Rebecca Jacoby has served as the CIO of networking giant Cisco. In an exclusive video interview with eWEEK, Jacoby detailed what the role of CIO is all about and how policy is a key part of success.

Jacoby said that the role of the CIO is to help deliver improved productivity for the business and for IT year after year. A CIO always has to be on top of the risk landscape and be able to adapt to the changing security landscape. Jacoby also plays a key role in helping to develop and set the strategy for Cisco.

Jacoby said that Cisco's internal IT is delivered as a service within Cisco. Currently 95 percent of Cisco's internal IT infrastructure is virtualized—all running on Cisco's unified fabric architecture.

Jacoby is aiming to deliver a 5 to 10 percent year-over-year productivity improvement in the services that are part of running Cisco's business, every year.

A key challenge in any IT infrastructure is actually about understanding what is going on and where the source of truth lies for information. Jacoby said that finding the source of truth isn't the real challenge.

"It takes some work on the data- and rules-based models to make sure you're actually getting the results you want in the network," Jacoby said. "I think this is very important piece for the future of IT in terms of being able to understand how to apply policies in combination with each other to make sure you're actually producing the truth that you want."

Jacoby has already been in her job as CIO for seven years and she's likely to stay in the role for the foreseeable future, as well.

"I think we're at an inflection point in terms of how technology is changing business models and it's an exciting time to play a strategic role as CIO," Jacoby said. "I absolutely love the organizational aspects of leading IT."

Watch the full video with Cisco CIO, Rebecca Jacoby below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.