Cisco Analysis

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#Introduction :

Henry R. Luce, Creator of Time-Life Magazine Empire once quoted, “Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight”. (Henry R. Luce Quotes 2010). Fluidity is pertinent for any corporation’s business survival in order to keep competition in check and continue to remain profitable especially in the current global market where competition and increasing consumer demands are a challenge. The main objective of this proposal is to provide an appropriate analysis pertaining the operational challenges faced by Cisco Systems, an Internet networking icon in their business environment towards achieving their strategic goals. The analysis would include suitable recommendations to manage these challenges based upon concepts and theories from the planning and organizing component with attention to management by objectives and information systems. Cisco is a renowned company possessing one of the biggest market capitalizations in the world ,they were quoted as 'one of the most astounding success stories of modern times' in a book titled INSIDE CISCO – THE REAL STORY OF SUSTAINED M&A GROWTH by Ed Paulson.(Paulson 2001) Their list of products and services are seemingly endless and ranges from networking systems (i.e. routers and switches), collaboration, voice and video (i.e. telepresence), data center (i.e. unified computing), small businesses (i.e. wireless), home (i.e. home networking) and services such as technical services and advanced services. (Cisco Systems, Inc 2010)

However despite this success story, Cisco has also its fair share of setbacks and challenges. As an illustration, Cisco went through a series of stumbling blocks due to the dotcom bubble burst which took place in 2001, a global phenomenon which changed the company’s perspective and strategy towards their business organization. (‘The world according to Chambers’, in Economist 2009, Issue 8646, Vol 392, pp 59-62) After the dotcom bubble burst, Cisco changed their organizational structure from a functional structure where criteria’s such as skills and speciality of an employee bore the emphasis of the formation of teams to a matrix structure which focuses up upon a concoction of functional and divisional structures, where the formation of teams of these specialists are based upon the focus of their particular environment (i.e. products serviced/provided, market nature, geographical setting etc.) (‘The world according to Chambers’, in Economist 2009, Issue 8646, Vol 392, pp 59-62 and Bartol et al. p 323) Cisco’s new strategy, albeit a positive one still posed a series of challenges and issues that needs to be addressed to ensure maximum profitability and sustainable growth using its available resources and opportunities.

Cisco’s Environment:
Cisco clearly stresses on their visions, missions and goals to their employees and took various steps to emphasize these in order to spur compliance and motivation. (i.e. the enforcement of carrying a card which boldly states these visions, missions and goals along with their primary identification card which are clearly displayed at their workplace) (Waters 2002) Their visions, missions and goals are stated in Appendix A of this proposal. (Networked at Cisco 2001, p 32) Initially, while dotcom businesses were still striving, Cisco’s organizational structure consisted of a functional structure (please refer Appendix B) where criteria’s such as skills and specialty of an employee bore the emphasis of the formation of their work teams. (Bartol et al. p 323) However, the matrix structure was adopted. (‘The world according to Chambers’, in Economist 2009, Issue 8646, Vol 392, pp 59-62) during their process of...
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