It's strange to think that several decades ago, the IT function in a business was just one department among many.
Today, everything begins and ends with IT; even the most straightforward business processes involve some form of technology. And this technology continues to advance almost exponentially every year.
In 2021, the focus is on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and with good reason. AI solutions promise to increase efficiency, cut costs, eliminate time-intensive tasks, and provide insights that would otherwise be missed.
With this in mind, let's look at the current trends for AI solutions in IT.
🔍 Automated Machine Learning
Automated Machine Learning (AutoML) is the process of automating the repetitive or time-consuming tasks involved in developing machine learning models. While machine learning models promise to usher in excellent benefits for businesses, their major downside is that getting them up and running is resource-heavy.
This can be a significant barrier to entry for small and medium-sized companies that lack big budgets and skilled IT labor.
But that's all about to change. AutoML tools are rapidly advancing and becoming more widely available. These tools can automatically label data, dramatically reducing the amount of data companies need to label manually.
🔍 Low Code AI Software
In the past, businesses would have to actively seek out coders with experience in specific programming languages in order to build new apps and keep everything running smoothly. However, today, we see a significant rise in low-code software within IT.
Low code AI allows non-IT professionals to create powerful apps quickly and at a low cost. As the name suggests, Low-code software requires minimal programming knowledge and instead focuses on clear visual elements, intuitive Graphical User Interfaces (GUI), and robust API integrations.
No code software (solutions that require no programming knowledge whatsoever) is also becoming more common. The main benefits of low code or no code software are:
🔹 It reduces the need for technical IT specialists even within the IT function. Sourcing IT talent is becoming increasingly difficult as the gap between skilled professionals and demand continues to grow. Low-code software is a solution to this problem.
🔹 Flexibility and speed in creating and maintaining IT or business apps. Low-code software significantly reduces the time-to-market for software products.
🔹 Low code apps make companies less vulnerable to
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Chatbots used to be solely a customer-facing tool. They were primarily created to help customers through the sales funnel after they enter the website. They also play a significant role in reducing the pressure on customer service agents by answering straightforward questions.
However, as AI and machine learning technology have advanced, a new type of chatbot has emerged. This chatbot functions as a company-wide knowledgebase that can extract data from anywhere in the business. They are built using Data Science, Natural Language Processing, and machine learning models and allow for instant knowledge retrieval.
These chatbots are becoming more common within business functions, including IT, as a way to deliver vital information to employees as they conduct their day-to-day activities.
With cyber-attacks happening at an alarming rate, cybersecurity is a top priority for businesses in 2021. However, despite increased focus on cybersecurity within the business, nearly 80% of senior IT employees believe their company lacks significant cyber protection.
Luckily, new AI solutions are helping take the pressure off IT. These new solutions offer intelligent and proactive monitoring, reducing the need for manual tracking. For example, AI software can now compare exposed login credentials against employee usernames and passwords. This reduces the need for employees to change their password every 30-90 days - an often ineffective process because many people simply change one character of their password. AI software can also monitor for suspicious activity or flag when employees try to access files they shouldn't need access to.
2021 is an exciting time for new tech, and as the fields of AI and machine learning continue to advance, we can expect to see more intelligent AI solutions being deployed within IT!
Freya supports the tech talent toolbox arm of Reflection X where she is coaching technologists to achieve their full potential. With over 10 years of experience within the Tech and AI recruitment space, she has been from working closely with thousands individuals and leaders during hiring processes while partnering with very early stage start-ups all the way to some of the top AI Labs in the world.