The case for considering AI as a powerful tool in managed services

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This is not yet another “The future of AI is here” article.

The future of AI was here at least a couple of decades ago. Researchers hypothesized the possibility of products with, if not greater than, human capabilities. The dream was to have almost sentient AI; the nightmare was that they would replace humans. But the reality was something entirely different.

AI is already here. It is already finding a place in the networks and systems that run our world today. While many were waiting for humanoid robots, intelligent systems have been quietly improving how we work and run businesses. 

It has brought predictability into operations, learned to react to anomalies, personalized user experience, and is making grunt work obsolete, one step at a time.

Predictability amidst chaos

Businesses want to be able to take stock of what lies ahead on the road, so they are able to avoid bumping into a roadblock rather than shifting gears once they hit it. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving the best car in the world, you need to know what you’re up against.

Bringing predictability into IT operations means catching patterns beyond human comprehension. It can range from detecting anomalies in the CPU usage to bolstering your infrastructure with intuitive load-balancing algorithms to distribute processing load evenly across all nodes. Even dedicating your best technician to just sit and observe these patterns won’t serve the purpose, and frankly, you can put your technician’s time to better use. AI-led managed services or AIOps, as it is commonly called, predict hints of anomalies, learn behavior patterns, isolate the root cause, and deliver alerts to technicians so they can drive appropriate decisions in real-time. 

Firing drudgery from your business

Given the leaps and bounds of research findings one has access to, building a smart product probably isn’t rocket science. Finding the why is.

Why is it “smart”? What problem does it solve? 

For a product to be intelligent, it needs to connect, respond, and learn from its surroundings in a way the user prefers. Just like Tesla’s smart cars, AIOps reduces your operation dependency and loops you in only when a collision is imminent. That’s what meaningful application of artificial intelligence can do - providing you immunity and control even when on autopilot.

Automated incident management and L1 incident prevention alone can save you heaps of support costs. And it gets better. With enough automation, you get to “fire” yourself from your business, or at least the drudgery of it.

But AIOps is not instantly rewarding. In order to predict a software crash, it has to have enough insight into what constitutes a crash, what leads to it, and what prevents it. But once it has had enough time to learn, you’re left with a beautiful self-healing IT environment that is always on, even when you’re off.

A platform that is a pleasure, not a chore, to use

What comes to mind when you think of a pleasurable user experience? Cheesy copy that sparks a smile but doesn’t tell you what to do? Cute graphics that add visual appeal but not any value? No.

A good UX is that which is personalized to individual preferences.

By proactively alerting users about incidents before they occur, weeding out unnecessary alerts and delivering only alerts that matter, and providing personalized support through intelligent chatbots 24*7, artificial intelligence makes your user experience truly pleasurable. 

It’s time MSPs thought about AI

When you start seeing AI through the prism of business applications rather than as a glorified invention, that’s when you will start realizing the realistic benefits of AI, streamlined and hands-free operations. It will also help you look at your customers' needs and wants differently, and how you can use AI-powered tech to deliver better service and experience to your customers. 

The march toward AI goes deeper than adding the “smart” label on a product. 

It’s time MSPs joined.

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