Intelligent IT: Turning science fiction into science fact
- Posted on March 6, 2018
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
It wasn’t long ago, maybe a couple of years if I remember correctly, when a colleague thought I was getting a little carried away, when I started to include messaging about the impact of machine learning and cognitive services to IT and business. I think the comment was “Star Trek stuff, meanwhile in the real world”. It didn’t seem all that unfair a thing to say at the time and we laughed about it.
What a difference a couple of years make! This new technology, whether you call it AI, Automation, or cognitive technologies, doesn’t really matter. What does matter is, as Isaac Asimov said, “Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact”. The statement has never been more accurate. The impact isn’t just about how new technologies are creating and changing business models, it’s about how they are changing IT, too.
For the work Avanade does for its clients, this started with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which is software, so not ‘smart’ as such, but we quickly started adding to that machine learning and cognitive services etc to automate a range of generic business and IT processes as well as industry specific ones. Only this week I heard we are helping create a solution for a multi-national bank. It uses Microsoft Azure Computer Vision API, Azure Face API, Azure Search Indexer and Azure Language Understanding Intelligence Service (LUIS) at the back end of an application that reduces the time to authenticate yourself and set up a new bank account in minutes as opposed to days. This is happening. Now.
It’s how you use it
But it’s not just about the technology. Or rather the technology alone isn’t changing business. It’s how you use it. That requires people (we’ll get to that) and new methods. Applications are a key competitive differentiator for many businesses. Traditional methods of building and enhancing them (e.g, using a waterfall approach to build them, and maybe managing two releases a year if you get developers and IT operations teams to talk to each other) really isn’t going to cut it in this emerging digital world. Modern software engineering approaches, including DevOps and Agile, change culture, breaking down those silos and when used with new technologies, can automate testing and deployment, too.
Coming back to the people aspect. When people are released from performing mundane tasks and at the same time given insight into how their business work or what their customers want in ways simply never possible before, the business really starts to feel the difference. This change manifests itself in two ways: doing what you already do, but doing it better or doing something completely new.
When you get technology, methodology and people working as one, wonderful things can happen. At Avanade, we call it Intelligent IT.
Check out the video below and click over to our Avanade Intelligent IT webpage for more information.