Texas Tech University

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Adapting to technology changes is life or death for big businesses, Cisco official says

October 20, 2011

Expect a startlingly high attrition rate among the world's largest businesses as the connectivity revolution sweeps the world, a top official with Cisco Systems said Wednesday.

"Over the next 10 years, about 40 percent of the present Fortune 500 companies will no longer be here," said Carlos Dominguez, senior vice president with the San Jose, Calif.-based technology firm, best known for its computer networking products.

"There will be a large increase in the failure rate because they can't adapt to change," he said, midway through a whirlwind talk on technology and the future at the Rawls College of Business' Chief Executives Roundtable luncheon.

And, he cautioned the audience, the problem with dealing with change is choosing the time to adapt to the new world.

The problem, he said, is developing and maintaining a sense of urgency that compels people and organizations to change.

Dominguez polled the audience by show of hands with a question: if you were told to change your life patterns to avoid death, would you do it?

He pointed to results of a study that indicated only about 20 percent of the people who survive a serious heart attack make healthier life choices a permanent part of their routines.

The main reason many don't, he said, is that they no longer feel a sense of urgency to maintain the changes.

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