Don’t Let Senior IT Leaders Get Left Behind on Artificial Intelligence

How you can help your customers to better understand the potential (and challenges) of AI implementations

Over the next decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is predicted to have an impact on virtually every product and business process. So it stands to reason that organizations of all sizes in all industry sectors are moving swiftly to better understand how machine learning and deep learning technologies can enhance efficiencies and/or outcomes in their businesses.

If your customers haven’t already looked at the opportunities offered by AI implementations, they could quickly find themselves left behind as competitors tap into the clear business benefits of embracing IT and Digital Transformation. AI is something that should be at the top of all senior IT leaders’ agendas.

Why top IT decision makers need to sit up and take notice

Worldwide, many organizations have already made the move to modernize and automate their IT infrastructures. Within those organizations, AI is now helping to deliver tangible ROI and revenue growth by enhancing customer experiences, increasing innovation and improving operational effectiveness.

Forrester Consulting recently conducted a survey of IT management and line of business leaders who are driving AI projects in 353 enterprises across North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific1. The respondents reported that their top 5 reasons for implementing AI initiatives were to:

  1. Create and deliver a better customer experience;
  2. Improve efficiencies in IT operations;
  3. Improve delivery of insights services by an internal team to other parts of the organization;
  4. Drive adoption of insights systems by employees;
  5. Improve efficiencies in business operations.

AI is already driving real business results (including improved customer service, revenue growth, reduced risk and better operational efficiency) in approximately a third of the firms surveyed. And half of the companies questioned expect a healthy ROI on their AI investments of between 2x and 5x.

It proves that AI is more than just hype – and that IT decision makers need to get on top of the issues.

IT leaders must embrace the rapidly evolving nature of AI

With many firms pursuing uncoordinated AI initiatives, and IT teams often caught in the middle, the Forrester report suggests that CIOs must take the lead on AI initiatives – because they’re the only ones in the position to be able to build centralized expertise on AI, at scale, for the entire enterprise.

IT teams effectively own and manage a company’s data, infrastructure and the applications that are essential to driving business outcomes with AI. They can also coordinate across the different lines of business on their AI initiatives. So CIOs and other senior IT leaders must be prepared to step out of their comfort zones, embrace both the wide scope of AI and its rapidly evolving nature – and quickly acquire both entirely new AI expertise and capabilities.

IT modernization is essential for AI implementations

Modernizing and automating the IT infrastructure in readiness for transformational AI implementations is not an insignificant expense. But it’s the only way forward – and it will generate rewarding returns.

In the Forrester survey, 81% of the firms surveyed reported the need for IT modernization before they were able to achieve AI transformation. Why is that? Because AI initiatives increase the need for machine learning software, high-performance compute, high-speed storage and fabrics, as well as accelerators such as graphic processing units (GPUs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and other purpose-built processors.

Designed from the ground up to deliver transformation without compromise, the latest Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, featuring next-generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, are built for powering AI initiatives. The Dell EMC PowerEdge R940xa (optimized to run AI and machine learning workloads) and the PowerEdge R840 (for turbocharged in-database analytics) are particularly ideal.

Upgrading to these advanced servers as part of a modernized compute infrastructure is well worth the upfront cost – Forrester found that 38% percent of firms it surveyed expect $10million or more in business value as a result of infrastructure modernization investments.

Initiate AI conversations with your customers

According to a report by Moor Insight & Strategy2, most organizations will already have a list of projects that could benefit from AI implementations. So start talking to your customers about opportunities in their organization and prioritize potential projects based on ROI, risk, and scope.

To help prospects and customers ensure that they don’t adopt unrealistic expectations, ask three simple questions and take the time to properly explore the answers with them:

  1. What problems are most appropriate to solve with AI for their business?
  2. What shape is their organization’s data in?
  3. What AI implementation projects could their IT team actually handle right now?

Also, don’t miss an opportunity to learn more about Dell EMC AI solutions and interact with industry experts by attending the #GetReady4AI Crowdchat.

> To better understand the AI implementation challenges that senior IT leaders face, dig into:

Moor report: The Artificial Intelligence Starter Guide for IT Leaders

Forrester study: CIOs Need to Take the Lead on AI

1 Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper, commissioned by Dell EMC, ‘CIOs Need To Take The Lead On AI For Transformational Outcomes Across The Company’, May 2018.

2 Moor Insights & Strategy report, commissioned by Dell EMC, ‘The Artificial Intelligence Starter Guide for IT Leaders’, May 2018.









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About the Author: Julie Tatum