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Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Speed Business Recovery
July 15, 2020 Blog


Authored by: Catherine Lian, Managing Director, IBM Malaysia

The world has changed. Some might say the last three months have seen more change than the last five years.  2020 is certainly proving to be one of the most challenging years businesses have ever faced, with many organisations unable to properly service their customers or easily deliver positive financial outcomes.

As Malaysia begins the economy recovery and emerges from what we hope will be the worst of 2020, the businesses must reprioritise and reinvent. The recurring question is how fast and how efficiently can we move?

Much of this responsibility will land on the shoulders of CIOs. The counsel CIOs provide to executives and boardrooms on the pace of continued transformation, the infrastructure and technology investments and how far the organisation goes to embrace the emerging solutions could mean the difference between future success and challenge.

So, what should be some of the non-negotiables that the wider executive teams need to wrap their heads around before approving?


Automation – The opportunity to accelerate and drive digital transformation

For us, it all starts with automation. For a growing number of businesses, manual processes just cannot deliver the adaptability, speed, and efficiency needed to thrive.  All business decisions need to be based on data which makes demands of the CIO to make recommendations. Essential to this is that they have the insights from the data on their fingertips.

Until recently, research has shown that while most companies viewed AI automation as strategic, adoption has been slow, primarily due to a lack of skills. But we can’t wait for a new generation of skills to come through the door, we need tools to leap us forward – tools like IBM’s Auto AI,  AI that builds AI. Forward-thinking innovations like this are designed to accelerate AI adoption and usage to ensure the longevity and growth of the business.

One of the most pressing challenges for organisations are they prepare to reinvent and recover is how to take out immediate costs and create more responsive infrastructures that can better support increasingly distributed work environments. With outages costing around $260,000 per hour, businesses can ill afford their networks to go down.

Compounding the loss of revenue from the outages is the loss of productivity and loss of reputation. Equally, organisations are increasingly stressed to  sift through mountains of unstructured troubled tickets and logs to find IT problems and insights. Currently for example, ASEAN organisations take an average of 259 days to identify a data breach and to contain it.

Instead smart organisations are listening to their CIOs and investing in the latest generation of AI solutions like IBM’s Watson AIOps which enables organisations to introduce automation at the infrastructure level. This new solution uses AI to automate how enterprises self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time. The product enables organizations to introduce automation at the infrastructure level and is designed to help CIOs better predict and shape future outcomes and focus resources on higher-value work.

Watson AIOps is built on the latest version of Red Hat OpenShift, the open platform designed to enable so-called modernized applications to deploy and work anywhere—across different vendors’ clouds, private cloud environments and on premises—with resiliency and at scale, to help keep businesses up and running longer.

Immediately data can be grouped and consolidated in just minutes and hours for easy-to-understand consumption, and issues or options sent to IT via an instant message on Slack


Resiliency in the face of growing challenges

Along with automating IT operations, CIOs need to think about their playbook for operating in a new environment. A lot has already been discussed around business process automation, but in the engine room of an organisation – the IT department – focus is desperately needed on technology landmines like siloed data which causes incredible inefficiency and prompts cost blow-outs.

For most organisations, data resides in multiple locations, often blocking the ability to put data to work in meaningful ways. As data grows in importance, the ability to collect, organise, analyse and use data demands not just the flexibility of a multi-cloud environment, but it demands a resilient infrastructure. IBM is the only vendor with a data platform that enables organisations to run AI wherever their data resides, across public, private and hybrid multiclouds. This provides CIOs with technical capabilities provided by this orchestration of microservices, containers, governance, and management of AI.


The future is about acting, not reacting

If there is one thing that we’ve learned this year, it’s that it’s more important than ever to inject more resiliency into our organisations and particularly our IT Ops, with a firm goal of future-proofing our organisations. This demands that the voice of the CIO be not just heard but acted upon.

CIOs need to use continuous learning and interpretable AI models to adapt to each customer’s preferred software engineering practices, while staying up to date with the evolution of technology and platforms. When it comes to companies on their digital transformation journey, history will look back on this as the moment when the digital transformation of both business and society suddenly accelerated simultaneously.