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First Global CCIE Survey Forecasts Growth in Virtualization, Security and Collaboration

Survey Celebrates More Than 15 Years of Cisco's Industry-Leading CCIE Certification, Spotlights Evolving Skills That IT Professionals Will Need to Embrace

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 23, 2010 – To salute more than 15 years of its CCIE certification and to gain insight into what digital infrastructures will look like over the next five years, Cisco today announced the results of the most comprehensive end-customer survey ever conducted of the international CCIE community.

Commissioned as part of Cisco's overall 25th anniversary celebration, the research was conducted by Illuminas, a strategic research firm, to explore the unique perspective of some of the most knowledgeable and well-respected information technology professionals in the networking industry. The study reveals the top trends that are driving innovation, including virtualization, security and risk management, unified communications, video, and real-time collaboration. A total of 970 CCIE holders from 79 countries participated; their employers range from Fortune 500 enterprises to small- and midsize organizations representing a wide variety of industries.

Survey Highlights:

Rapid Adoption of Virtualization

  • More than two-thirds of the CCIE holders surveyed said virtualization will be the top networking investment over the next five years as chief information officers continue to be hyper-focused on reducing IT costs.
  • Organizations are increasingly adopting virtualization as an energy-, space- and cost-saving measure. A holistic and comprehensive virtualization strategy can provide a significant competitive advantage to organizations by increasing operational efficiency and simplifying management.
  • CCIE holders expect energy efficiency in the data center to be the top green networking initiative impacting networks over the next five years.

Increasing Security Requirements for Increasingly Sophisticated Networks

  • CCIE holders believe it is critical that networking professionals stay ahead of the increasing number of internal and external security breaches that jeopardize today's networks. Over the next three to five years, security and risk management will be the networking skills in greatest demand, according to 64 percent of the survey participants. One out of three expects network and information security breaches to remain a top concern of CIOs over the next five years.
  • As organizations embrace collaboration technologies across business and geographic boundaries, network security will continue to be a critical component of IT strategy. Network vulnerabilities and threats to network security, as well as the skill and sophistication of attackers, are constantly evolving.

Collaboration via Unified Communications and Video

  • Unified communications will lead to increased collaboration in the workforce, 47 percent of the CCIE holders said. Thirty percent of the respondents expect that accommodating the needs of a highly collaborative, global workforce will be a top CIO concern over the next five years.
  • Collaboration and Web conferencing solutions will play a key role as enterprises prepare to address the complexities of this highly mobile, highly collaborative global business environment.
  • Fifty-two percent of the respondents believe that real-time video solutions, such as Cisco TelePresenceTM, will be one of the top green initiatives affecting networks and network engineers. CCIE holders agree that using video for collaboration is increasing, with 25 percent of those surveyed stating that video will be a top networking trend over the next five years.

CCIE Certification:

  • Cisco introduced the CCIE certification in 1993 to assist the industry in distinguishing the top echelon of Internetworking experts worldwide. Today, networking professionals holding active CCIE certifications are valued by their employers and customers for their expert network engineering skills and mastery of Cisco products and solutions.
  • According to those surveyed, employment as a CCIE holder in networking has been extremely positive. Ninety-eight percent of respondents to the survey are currently employed, and more than 70 percent feel they are very or extremely valued by their organizations. In fact, two-thirds would recommend a career in networking to others who are interested in technology.
  • Eighty percent are very or extremely satisfied with their career choice and 40 percent report that they have been involved in the design and implementation of a networking project that improved the lives and welfare of citizens within their community.
  • Further, two out of three believe that they have been able to provide a positive mentoring experience for others who are seeking to develop their networking skills.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, this year celebrates 25 years of technology innovation, operational excellence and corporate social responsibility. Information on Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to


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