The Rise of the Intelligent Machines in IT
Research Reveals Rapid Adoption of Intelligent Machines Used for Automating and Optimizing Business and IT Processes
June 10, 2016

Jeff Loeb

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“The rise of the intelligent machines.” This may sound like the makings of a great sci-fi epic, but intelligent machines are grounded more in reality than most people may realize. While intelligent machines may conjure up notions of big, scary robots plotting to take over the world, machines with decision making and learning capabilities are central to the success of business and IT processes, according to new independent research carried out by analyst firm Freeform Dynamics.

The survey, entitled Intelligent Systems in Action: The rise of the machines has already begun, examines the attitudes and readiness of IT teams with regard to intelligent machines and business systems. While 92 percent of IT professionals surveyed recognize the technology is now central to the success of their business – top current application deployment areas include digital customer engagement systems (55 percent), process automation and workflow systems (52 percent) and automated risk monitoring and management solutions (50 percent) – 68 percent acknowledge it raises new concerns about network security, access and controls.

Let’s take a closer look at those concerns and how IT professionals can overcome those fears.

Security concerns (33 percent), funding constraints (30 percent) and lack of knowledge (24 percent) were all identified as areas of worry and named as primary obstacles to adoption and use. To give just one example, a fifth of respondents (20 percent) said increased “noise” on the network is making it harder to detect malicious activity, with automated/bot access to APIs causing system/application issues and creating unexpected security exposures.

When questioned further, more than two-thirds of respondents confessed their current network security and access management capabilities were already inadequate or needed strengthening to cope with new intelligent machines, while 72 percent revealed their network traffic monitoring and analysis capabilities also required reinforcing. Another 72 percent of respondents also said the same applied to their file and document level security and access management systems and protocols.

The survey also looked at the potential future consequences of intelligent machines, revealing that IT professionals were also concerned about how to counter the potential impact of intelligent systems activity – including external third party bots, agents and internet-connected “things” – on enterprise networks and infrastructures.

So the question is: what can be done to help IT teams alleviate these concerns so that they can most benefit from the resources and flexibility that intelligent machines can bring to their networks?

IT professionals should approach intelligent machines with their eyes wide open. As network managers grow more confident with intelligent systems, they will become increasingly willing to let them tackle more complex applications. However, before they dive headfirst into more advanced situations, IT teams need to ensure they have the right tools in place to both enable intelligent systems and support the IT teams tasked with managing the impact of internal and external intelligent automation. Working with a trusted solutions partner can help any IT team secure and control processes before responsibilities connected to intelligent machine management grows beyond their ability to handle it.

Jeff Loeb is CMO at Ipswitch.

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