The world's biggest networking equipment company, Cisco Systems, will lay off about 14,000 employees, according to CRN.

It's expected that within weeks the San Jose, Calif.-based technology company will announce it is downsizing its global workforce by 20 percent, the biggest layoff in the company's three-decades-long existence. Sources claimed early retirement packages were offered to workers.

The reduction is said to be owing to the company's migration from a hardware provider to a software-based firm. A shift in the industry to the cloud, which needs less workers to service the back-end, was given as another reason. Other experts posit that a slowdown in spending for network switches and routers by telecom carriers and enterprises is the primary reason.

Cisco has turned its attention to data analytics and cloud-based tools for data centres.