Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 43 - Page 48

FEATURE: MACHINE LEARNING AS A CIO, YOU NEED TO LOOK AT THE VALUE OF ADVANCED ANALYTICS AND HOW MACHINE LEARNING ENABLES THIS TO EXTEND OR PROMOTE CAPABILITIES IN YOUR BUSINESS. Getting business buy-in Most CIOs and IT leaders have faced resistance from their C-level peers when securing buy-in for a Machine Learning system deployment in their organisations. BT’s Millard said that CIOs and IT leaders need to ensure that the wider business doesn’t get carried away by the hype around AI and Machine Learning. “They need to work with the wider business to identify where deployment of Machine Learning is appropriate, likely to deliver ROI and above all deliverable. There may be a need to completely re-engineer legacy IT infrastructure, data and processes. CIOs and IT teams need to engage with the rest of the business to gauge their appetite to do this and ensure that investment budgets are realistic,” she advised. Rudeon Snell, Senior Director: Industries and Customer Advisory, SAP MENA, believes it is imperative to lead with business value and AI is a tool that can be used to drive business outcomes that matter to the organisation. “By leading with business value and showcasing how potential solutions are able to impact the metrics that matter to the organisation, whether they are internal or external AI solutions, it will provide CIOs and IT leaders with the credibility among their peers for how technology can drive business differentiating capabilities that move the organisation forward,” he said. e4’s Tucker said taking the organisation on a journey with the CIO together with the entire IT team makes these more likely, but it is never a given that everyone is going to buy into a Machine Learning solution. Ramamoorthy said given that Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence, introducing AI in a staggered manner would help better understanding of the advantages and pitfalls that AI has to offer. “Most CIOs will have the challenge of retrofitting AI into business systems that have existed over decades. Having an explainable AI model would offer further easing on the transition into Machine Learning,” he said. Michael Cade, Senior Global Technologist, Veeam, believes that demonstrating the value of these systems is paramount, as is understanding the strategic advantage of improving business performance by complementing human intelligence. “Reliability and automation, underpinned by robust and secure software, provide a very compelling case,” he said. Tony Nkuna, Solutions Consultant, TechSoft International, said that Machine Learning is much a technology fit as it is a business vision fit. According to Nkuna, Machine Learning only works when it is married with the future view of the organisation. “As a CIO, you need to look at the value of advanced analytics and how Machine Learning enables this to extend or promote capabilities in your business. Because it is a relatively new technology, I would suggest companies look at what the research giants like Gartner, IDC and Forrester have to say about who are the leaders and who have the capabilities you are looking for from a Machine Learning system,” he said. When it comes to cybersecurity, time is a crucial element as it is important for the security measures to work faster to keep pace with the hackers and all kinds of cybersecurity threats. Ashley Lawrence, Regional Sales Senior Manager, Africa and Israel, SonicWall, said: “This is exactly where AI and Machine Learning-based tools really excel. To deal with the cybersecurity threats of the future, businesses need to embrace AI and Machine Learning-based tools and security mechanisms. They also need to have a solid understanding of how Machine Learning-based algorithms work and how they can enhance security.” Mohammad Jamal Tabbara, Senior Solutions Architect, Infoblox, added that Machine Learning can help enterprises in multiple aspects of the business processes, whether directly or indirectly by adding agility, precision and intelligence. He said enterprises with Machine Learning embedded in their decision-making processes have an advantage against their competition relying on traditional technologies. Given the impact AI technology is having as it continues to be widely deployed within organisations in Africa and globally, it can only mean that Machine Learning technology will start seeing enterprise wide momentum and will integrate with other processes, tools and applications to tackle bigger problems, introduce game changing capabilities and accelerate a wave of transformation in both consumer, public service and enterprise arenas. • Tony Bartlett, Director: Data Centre Compute, Dell Technologies South Africa 48 INTELLIGENTCIO