Transforming the corporate network with AI

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By Donovoan Couve, Comstor Pre-Sales Manager, Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa.

More than 40% of organisations will be deploying artificial intelligence (AI) solutions by the end of this year. This does not come without its challenges as the complexities involved in moving from a pilot phase to enterprise-wide adoption are significant. Fundamental to this is ensuring the corporate network can effectively handle the growth required for such innovations.

“Decision-makers must carefully scrutinise the infrastructure at their disposal. Fortunately, with many making the move to cloud environments, this is something that has been on the corporate agenda for the past several months. However, it goes beyond identifying areas where the network must be upgraded. Instead, companies must assess how their future growth requirements align to what they have in place and how it can be used to create an enabling environment for innovative technologies such as AI,” says Donovan Couve, Comstor Pre-Sales Manager, Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Out with the old

Whether it is assisting with network management or the pro-active identifying of potential challenges, AI can play an integral role in how companies look at their networks. Much of the focus has been on digital transformation and how ageing processes and systems can be upgraded for the real-time business landscape. But how many have really taken the time necessary to apply this thinking to the actual network infrastructure in place?

With software-defined networking (SDN) becoming a hot button topic, more must be done to raise awareness on the importance of auditing the network. Already, the security of data when being migrated to cloud environments has resulted in companies re-examining how these transfers take place.

“Injecting the network with AI will ensure that this not only happens more effectively, but that applications, services, and other components are more dynamically managed to ensure traffic is routed appropriately. This removes much of the previous manual-intensive engineering work conducted by IT teams. AI therefore automates these aspects and frees up technical specialists to add higher cognitive value to the business,” adds Couve. 

Shoring up defences

Fortunately, security and AI are intertwined – the company cannot have one without the other when looking at future-proofing the network. What this has done is to force decision-makers to take a more holistic view of how they protect, manage, and grow the corporate network. According to Couve this is something that vendors such as Cisco are already applying to not just their technology, but the overall service they offer a customer. 

“Considering the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), this is even more relevant as companies look to protect their devices (and data) closer to the edge. But even though AI has simplified aspects of this, companies across industry sectors are still struggling to effectively make the transition from the old to the new.”

This is where experienced partners are critical.

“Companies must be able to remain focused on delivering on their strategic mandate. And this cannot happen if they are stuck in safeguarding the network and ensuring it is managed properly. By working with a trusted partner like Cisco from Comstor, who can provide best practice solutions with relevant local experience, the business can drive growth far more effectively,” ends Couve.

Networks are the building blocks for innovation in a digitally led world. Companies must therefore ensure they embrace all available technologies and options to ensure it can deliver the flexibility, security, and opportunities required to remain competitive.

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