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article imageQ&A: AI streamlines businesses processes to target efficiency Special

By Tim Sandle     Jul 15, 2019 in Business
From easing change management woes to anticipating outages and down time, artificial intelligence offers a powerful predictive tool to assist businesses with their growth strategy, according to Steve Stover at SolarWinds.
Artificial intelligence has to power to transform businesses through predictive modeling. Take retail as an example. The AI approach is based on processing all the available data and interrelationships between every single product, simulating every single decision around pricing, promotions and inventory forecasting.
These are types of things that businesses should be considering according to Steve Stover, VP Products and Strategy, ITSM at SolarWinds. He sets out his vision to Digital Journal.
Digital Journal: How important is AI for businesses?
Steve Stover: When implemented for the right use cases, AI-powered technology can be incredibly valuable for businesses as well as employees. AI has the power to streamline processes and augment human roles. Instead of employees being weighed down with repetitive tasks, AI can step in and allow them to focus on the bigger picture, which ultimately will boost employee morale as well as operational efficiency.
DJ: How does AI fit in with an overall digital transformation strategy?
Stover:A common strategy among enterprises is to focus on introducing AI-powered products that augment the employee experience. For example, integrating AI into a larger IT service management strategy can be a good starting point to ease employees into an AI transformation. An AI-powered service desk can be used to identify patterns in commonly occurring IT requests and prioritize the most pressing issues, so IT teams can efficiently address employees' pain points. This encourages effective and timely service management, so employees can experience the benefits of AI firsthand.
DJ: What types of data analysis can businesses draw from AI?
Stover:History tends to repeat itself, so the simplest analysis can just be from trends. Answering questions such as “what are the most common suggestions presented to users?” or “are users marking suggestions as helpful?” are a great start. Having easy access to complete and accurate data is invaluable. Complex organizations can marry data from incidents and the CMDB to predict where there may be an application issue that impacts employee productivity, releasing a workaround or reverting a change more quickly. This enables IT teams to take preventive action and can allow businesses to provide the right resources and tools to meet employee needs.
DJ: Can AI assist with change management?
Stover:If an organization is collecting and storing data, it can absolutely benefit from AI when it comes to change management processes. Take the IT service management example of the CMDB: AI can leverage the data within the CMDB along with incident data to identify potential conflicts before they even arise. Trends could easily be predicted and outages that plagued organizations in the past can be avoided.
DJ: Can AI be used for making future predictions?
Stover:AI can be used for making future predictions. AI predictions are based on the analysis of vast amounts of data and the ability to recognize trends. As long as an organization has access to accurate historical data and the right algorithms in place, then AI can make a highly accurate prediction. For example, AI could detect an anomaly in a series of incidents out of the ordinary and alert IT teams of a potential network outage or security threat.
DJ: Do many businesses have the right culture to make the best use of AI?
Stover:The right culture to make the best use of AI is less about factors that we typically think about when we hear the word “culture” and more about change management. Organizational change management processes can strengthen an organization’s chances of successful implementation.
First, support and transparent communication from leadership teams can help reassure employees that AI will benefit their daily work rather than takeaway.
Second, selecting a specific, easily recognizable use case for AI, like in ITSM, allows employees to witness the value of the solution firsthand in a way that doesn’t completely disrupt their job. And third, presenting measured results from the AI systems to employees can reveal the larger picture the organization is working to solve. By doing this, businesses instill confidence in the new technology, regardless of the company’s culture.
More about Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, Streamlined
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