DCN February 2017 - Page 45

intelligent systems by Freeform Dynamics shows the great reach intelligent systems already have into corporate IT networks. In fact, nearly nine out of 10 IT professionals questioned as part of that research said their business has already invested in one or more. But what exactly are these systems? As an example, they could be digital customer engagement systems, or B2B automation solutions that connect disparate parts of a company. They could also be advanced analysis and planning solutions, one of the new breed of bots, digital personal assistants or process automation and workflow systems. Each has been designed to make life simpler for IT teams and the companies they support. However, at this stage of their deployment and development cycles, they are also adding to the complexity of IT networks and making them more difficult to monitor and manage. In the long run, all this smart new technology will make businesses more efficient and improve productivity. That’s one reason why, right at the end of last year, Prime Minister Theresa May set out details of an additional £2bn annual government investment for technology related research and development. This included a fund for Artificial Intelligence development. Hopefully some of this funding will go towards helping to integrate and manage the technology more effectively, which is an important consideration. The speed and patterns of adoption to date have been such that, according to our research, more than three quarters of IT professionals are struggling to understand and manage all the potential challenges and threats associated with deployment. IT teams are also concerned about the unofficial deployments of intelligent tech that are making their way onto corporate networks; the kind of Apps that might be familiar to people because they use them at home or on their phones or tablets. This brings about an entirely new breed of shadow IT that is much more difficult to detect, monitor and ultimately remove from corporate networks. If that wasn’t sufficient to cause sleepless nights, IT teams are also becoming increasingly worried about the intelligent systems that others are using and what effect that they might have on their own network when they interact. It’s no surprise, therefore, that one in five IT professionals that took part in our research said that increased activity from third party bots, agents and ‘intelligent’ IoT accessing systems is already making it hard to monitor, track and govern their own systems. But there is some good news for IT teams; the technology at the heart of intelligent systems can also deliver enhanced proactive network monitoring. This can improve visibility of network components and give IT teams much deeper insight into the applications and systems that are present. Despite this, less than a third of IT pros say they have strong and future proof monitoring, analysis and management tools in place. Equally worrying, just a quarter were confident about the capabilities of their current performance monitoring and operational analytics tools. In addition, over half said their current analysis and visualisation capabilities will struggle to keep up with the broader march of intelligent systems. Yet, it’s also the only way that IT teams can keep an effective and proactive watch on all the different kinds of applications and technology running on their networks. On balance, far from being a threat, this ‘intelligent’ technology presents a significant opportunity for IT teams to ramp up their network monitoring and security capabilities this year and, if implemented correctly, could improve the speed and quality of malware detection as well as removing impediments to the efficient running of IT networks. But we should sound a note of caution; Smart new technology will make businesses more efficient and improve productivity. it’s not just a case of implementing these solutions opportunistically. Just like any other aspect of technology, uncoordinated, piecemeal adoption of intelligent systems will almost certainly have a negative impact in the future and cause more complications and confusion for IT teams. The full report entitled, ‘Intelligent Systems in Action: The Rise of the Machines Has Already Begun,’ carried out by Freeform Dynamics, is available for download here: https://www.ipswitch.com/blog/ wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ Intelligent-Systems-in- Action_Ipswitch-survey-report. pdf?source=Content&details=PR 45