How artificial intelligence can be good for the IT budget
How will artificial intelligence (AI) facilitate business growth? This is a question that business leaders have been asking for some time. And while there is no single answer, an effective approach is to develop AI, and other technology, that handles routine tasks. This, in turn, frees up time so that information technology (IT) managers and other staff can focus their creative talents and their budgets on business growth.
This is the approach we take at Axia: we provide a reliable, fast network to 84 large enterprise customers and 172 small-to-medium enterprises – not to mention our residential customers – with infrastructure that enables their staff to do what they do best.
We’re not the only ones following this strategy. Last month Cisco announced a new portfolio of predictive services called Business Critical Services. This AI offering uses analytics, automation, compliance and security tools to monitor business systems and prevent system failures by finding problems before they cause damage.
The rationale for developing predictive services was to address the growing IT skills gap. According to Joe Cozzolino, senior vice president of Cisco Services, the role of a CIO has changed and grown over the years. As businesses evolve in their approach to data, the systems that manage that data become more important. This also means the CIO is responsible for business development.
At the same time, CIOs face the challenge of finding experienced staff in the middle of a technical skills gap. It takes approximately 96 days to fill an IT role in cloud security, and more than a third of CIOs expect to have difficulty finding staff for security and risk management.
IT budgets aren’t helping matters either. Maintenance makes up 70% of a typical IT budget, which leaves only 30% for innovation. In this rapidly changing landscape, that’s just not enough.
Technology investments should improve the IT budget picture and free up funds for innovation. A fast, reliable fibre network takes no additional funds from the IT budget and can help business save.
According to IHS CERA Findings from October 2015, companies that invest in fibre have seen up to an 8% growth in production, 25% reduction in operating expenses, and a 10% reduction in capex.
With the various technology and software today, companies feel more empowered to force providers to compete at lower rates. For example, VoIP solutions are 30% to 40% less than legacy phone systems up front, and can provide other cost-saving measures.
Cisco intends to improve the IT budget with Predictive Services as well. According to CEO Chuck Robbins, “by leveraging AI and machine learning to address critical IT issues, Cisco’s new service offerings will truly help our customers free up time to focus on the growing IT talent gap, and remain competitive into the future.”
This emphasis on the value of human IT capability is echoed in Cisco’s approach to developing predictive service offerings. Cisco’s Rajat Mishra said the company believes “human connection and human judgment will always remain essential.” Cisco is developing machine learning in a way that capitalizes on computers’ ability to process vast amounts of data while maintaining a human touch in the decision making.
Cisco’s predictive services use machines to identify patterns and discover potential problems. The machines send a report that includes recommendations for addressing the problem to a human services expert, who makes the final call on how to address the issue.
The value of human capital is also echoed in the Network Alert Centre (NAC) at Axia in which clients have real-time access to network data regarding service disruptions. The NAC functions as a supplement to the support supplied by the staff at the Network Operations Centre. Clients can also sign up to receive automated alerts, which means they are always aware of network status.
Whether it’s Cisco’s predictive services or Axia FibreNet’s NAC, it’s always important to make sure your technology is kind to your IT budget so that your staff can focus on strategy, innovation, and business growth.
For more information on our secure fibre connectivity solutions, contact your Axia salesperson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-773-3348.