Imagine if IBM had evolved S/360 mainframe into something that is easy to use, pay-as-you-go, flexible to access from anywhere, available and intuitive to be used by more than the elite few IT'ish folks, with open API and an open ecosystem, would IBM have lost the king of computing title quickly? Today's "cloud" is essentially a large scale S/360 PLUS all the flexibility and XaaS "enhancement". IBM got trapped in the "innovator dilemma" unfortunately.
Cisco, on the other hand, is motivated to re-invent itself despite the tremendous success thus far. Cisco's willingness/motivation to disrupt itself is a reason I joined Cisco last summer. I'm glad that I am able to help to drive some of the most exciting new technologies highlighted at Cisco Live, including ACI and Intercloud. Also happy to see that Cisco articulated a balanced, not a religious, approach between hardware vs. software, custom ASIC vs. merchant ASIC, on-prem vs. off-prem vs. hybrid cloud.
There is still a long way to go, for Cisco and the entire networking industry, to deliver comprehensive Cloud and SDN era networking benefits, but I was certainly excited to sit in a "hardware-less" keynotes audience. :)