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Cisco Technology Radar

How Cisco is fostering innovation with technology foresight using the ITONICS Innovation OS


technology scouts worldwide

observed trends and technologies
observed companies
"Cisco operates in a world of increasing market volatility and globalization. With the Technology Radar we found a solution to effectively and efficiently manage novel technologies to maintain and enhance our competitive position."
– Sylvain Baron, Corporate Strategic Innovation, Cisco
Cisco Technology Radar - Success Story

Speed up technology foresight to stay at the forefront of innovation

Innovation is an integral part of the Cisco DNA. With 25,000 engineers, more than 19,000 patents, and leadership positions in 18 different IT categories, Cisco already enjoys a rich history of high-tech innovation. Cisco has successfully managed to stay one step ahead of the competition.

This success is largely owed to Cisco’s unique method of structuring, classifying, evaluating, and visualizing novel technologies. In particular, this approach aims at an early identification of new technologies and trends, enabling transparent and strategic decision-making, and promoting innovation.

Cisco Technology Rating Method

Innovation at Cisco

Supported by ITONICS Radar, Cisco was able to speed up its existing technology foresight process with the implementation of the unique Cisco Technology Radar platform.

  • Cisco’s unique method of collecting, structuring, evaluating, and visualizing information on novel technologies in place
  • Time-consuming process to connect all the information and link them to different business units
  • Missing integration of Cisco’s worldwide technology scouting team into a seamless technology foresight process

Objectives of a technology foresight platform

"Cisco Technology Radar is a technology foresight methodology and publication aiming at early identifying and tracking novel technologies and trends emerging outside of Cisco."

– Sylvain Baron, Corporate Strategic Innovation, Cisco


Cisco’s global “go-to space” for technology management

Cisco Technology Radar based on the ITONICS Innovation OS supports all technology management phases and activities from technology identification to the selection, assessment, and dissemination.

Cisco Process Graphic

Identification phase

More than 150 technology scouts from all across Cisco have submitted over 400 entries in the last six years to Cisco Technology Radar. If the scouts stumble upon a web page about an exciting technology or a hot startup, they can use a simple web form to submit it directly from the browser.

Selection phase

A panel of experts evaluates the identified technologies straightforward with regard to two criteria: technology impact and novelty. Those technologies showing a high level of impact and novelty are moved to the assessment phase of the technology foresight process.

Assessment phase

In this phase, technology experts review and analyze the technologies and assess them in a very detailed manner. Assessment criteria are for instance relevance, business potential, need for action, implementation risk, development phase or time horizon.

Dissemination phase

Every quarter the Cisco Technology Radar team publishes the results of the Cisco Technology Radar in a newsletter, website, and PDF report. The PDF report is automatically generated by the system and gives detailed information on the maturity and the business impact of each technology. The generated insights feed into Cisco’s innovation programs such as internal innovation, innovation centers, and concrete strategic actions like investment opportunities.


  • Within a few weeks, a collaboration platform was created that was fully tailored to Cisco's workflows and needs.
  • Cisco Technology Radar functions as the single point of truth for technology management.
  • More than 150 technology scouts worldwide tracked over 200 technologies, 20 trends, and 300 companies.
  • Technology scouts can easily share their insights which allows for a radical scalability of a worldwide scouting community.
  • All information is published in a quarterly report. The report is a fundamental part of Cisco's technology intelligence e, aiming at capturing and delivering information on technical trends, opportunities and stimulating internal and external innovation programs.
  • A simple technology submission process accelerated the identification phase of new technologies and trends and linked the scouting results directly to the radar platform.

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About Cisco

Cisco is a global market leader in the IT and technology sector. Founded in San Francisco in 1984, this company today has a global headcount of more than 74,000 employees working at more than 380 locations. Cisco constantly seeks to transform how people connect, communicate and collaborate.

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