Seize AI-driven Opportunities to Solve Hybrid Work Challenges

Seize AI-driven Opportunities to Solve Hybrid Work Challenges

Sixty-two percent of organizations plan to guarantee flexible work options to stay competitive in the marketplace, according to Foundry’s 2022 Future of Work Study. This raises some concerns about effective collaboration, IT staff and employee burnout, and the ability to maintain secure systems and processes.

But a network powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can help address these problems. Technologies including automation, machine learning and natural language processing are used to collect data, analyze it and then deliver insights or proactive recommendations for a more efficient, robust and secure network.

We polled the CIO Experts Network of IT professionals and industry analysts to better understand how an AI-driven network can solve the challenges of a hybrid workforce. They believe the opportunities are significant.

“An AI-powered network can improve engagement with employees, customers and partners, while improving business resilience, agility and continuity and employee productivity,” said Enrique Carrillo (@ecarrillo), Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth – Diversified Manufacturing, Consumer Products, Retail and Telecommunications at WNS.

Improve the employee experience

Employee engagement and collaboration are critical to business operations and innovation. Yet the distributed nature of today’s workforce makes those connections more difficult. The experts suggested that an AI-driven network could lead business leaders to improvements in communication.

“AI is critical in analyzing complex workforce communication and data needs wherever they arise, as well as the gaps where AI could have made a difference,” said Frank Cuttitta (@fcutitta), CEO and founder HealthTech Decisions Lab.

He added: “Given the use of hybrid workforce technologies like Zoom, using AI to analyze unstructured and conversational data from these platforms is essential.”

Other experts emphasized that an AI-driven network could improve the overall user experience amid hybrid work:

“For example, conversational AI and conversational business applications help remote workers get intelligent responses when they need them from corporate business systems.” — Kieran Gilmurray (@KieranGilmurray), CEO at Digital Automation and Robotics Limited

“AI and automation will also make it easier for IT administrators to onboard and onboard new employees, regardless of their normal workplace. Workers will be able to access the applications and files they need, no matter where they are.” — Emily Grey-Fow (@Emily_Gray_Fow), B2B technology and engineering content writer

“AI is becoming increasingly important following the pandemic-driven rise in hybrid workforces, where reliance on diverse, often complex networks by users is essential to undertake their work. This is not only for more traditional activities such as access to data and operational applications, but also for more fundamental areas such as team communication through voice and video.” — David Cotgreave, Professional Services Director at Stoneseed

Another way an AI-driven network improves the user experience: it speeds up network traffic by quickly identifying problem areas and ensuring consistent connectivity.

“AI can be used to monitor, diagnose and automatically self-heal network issues faster than humans,” Gilmurray said. “This provides greater network resiliency for remote workers without having to worry about IT or network connectivity issues. AI robots can complete mundane and routine tasks, which can lead to a happier, more productive hybrid workforce that is free to focus on higher value-adding business tasks.

Scott Schober (@ScottBVS), President/CEO at Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc., agreed. “AI-driven networks in a hybrid workforce environment effectively handle the never-ending collection and analysis of important data. This model provides quick responses and seamless access regardless of the worker’s location.”

Optimize the network and strengthen security

IT, network and security teams can also make more informed decisions thanks to an AI-powered network.

“An AI-driven network can better respond to the highly dynamic needs of a hybrid workforce,” said Isaac Sacolick (@nieke), President of StarCIO and author of Digital Trailblazer. “Networks no longer support X people in Y locations using applications that require Z bandwidth with a limited number of security threats.”

Will Kelly (@willkelly), content and product marketing manager focused on the cloud and DevOps, added, “Managing a network that supports a hybrid workforce requires the ability to scale up and down and optimize network access via wireless access points to meet fluctuations among hybrid workers working in a corporate office. Such AI-powered scalability makes a lot of sense.”

That’s because AI doesn’t sleep and can handle enormous workloads, Peter Nichol (@PeterBNichol), Chief Technology Officer at OROCA Innovations.

“Human resources cannot be in all places at the same time,” he said. “Inevitably, even your best customer service technicians need sleep. AI-powered virtual network assistants work 24×7, can monitor thousands of systems and engage with customers who communicate in hundreds of languages. AI operators drive improved predictability, improved reliability and measurable savings that give leaders time to experiment more with the innovations of tomorrow.”

There is also the issue of network security, a seemingly ever-moving target amid sophisticated cyber threats. An AI-driven network can support the efforts of security teams in terms of monitoring, detection and analysis, say the Experts:

“While the hybrid work-from-anywhere workforce is great for employees and organizations’ ability to attract top talent, it is fraught with new types of threats. Technology is giving us more ways to assess user and device trust, and AI is playing an enormous role in consuming and evaluating those data points. Without AI, we cannot keep up and we will not be able to use all the valuable information available. — Nicki Doble, Head of Transformation, AIA Philippines

“With a zero-trust model, it doesn’t matter to the network whether the user is sitting at their desk at the headquarters office or in their pajamas on a BYOD laptop at home. Not only are both connections considered equally secure (or rather equally insecure), the AI-monitored network will be able to detect unusual or suspicious activity in any scenario.” — Grey-Fow

“AI can be deployed to collect and analyze network-based insights in real time. For example, it can detect anomalies and determine their source with unprecedented speed and accuracy. It can also recommend actions for proactive remediation, and even be designed to automatically fix some issues before anyone even knows they exist.” — Ramprakash Ramamoorthy, Director of AI Research, Zoho Corporation

Empower IT teams with AI

At the end of the day, an AI-driven network solves multiple challenges that have arisen as a result of hybrid work.

“AI-driven networking has a central role to play for every IT department,” said Cotgreave. “AI has a key role in all our futures; don’t be alarmed by press reports of killer robots in San Francisco. Reality is more empowering than terminator!”

Learn how an AI-driven network alleviates the challenges associated with the hybrid workforce. Visit.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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