Leveraging Self-Service Automation to Meet Business Requirements

Leveraging Self-Service Automation to Meet Business RequirementsOne of the most powerful tools an IT department can leverage is that of self-service automation. Not only does this empower everyday employees to be able to handle many of their own needs without having to contact the help desk, but it also vastly improves productivity and efficiency of IT operations. IT automation provides the ideal solution to be able to leverage self-service investments for your own organization and furthermore align them to help achieve your strategic business goals.

To successfully implement such a strategy, IT must first develop balanced score cards (BSCs) to determine the specific business goals that are to be achieved. These BSCs should have four main aspects: financial, internal, customer, and learning and development (L&D). The goal is to map out IT and self-service automation initiatives using these four aspects so that specific business impacts can be identified and worked toward.

A great example of this would be self-service password resets. Believe it or not, this task alone comprises 40% of the service calls that are fielded by help desk representatives on a daily basis. Imagine the time it takes to handle these simple, menial tasks taking up almost half of your IT department’s daily activity. Now, imagine if that task could be automated and handled instead by the end-user. That way, your personnel would be freed up to focus on more critical aspects of their jobs – and things that are specifically aligned with your company’s strategic objectives.

Let’s examine in further detail how self-service automation can further impact your organization. Consider for a moment your organization’s expenditure for help desk calls. According to the global research firm Gartner, the average cost of a help desk call is $17.88. Taking the total number of password reset requests received annually and multiplying it by this average cost will demonstrate just how much this one simple task is costing your organization.

Another way to quantify this expenditure is to calculate the total costs associated with each of your help desk associates (salary plus benefits, including bonuses, stock options, etc.). Multiply that total cost by the 40% figure indicated above. This will help you determine how much you’re spending on an annual basis just on password resets alone. According to Gartner, the average total cost of a help desk associate, including all other perks and benefits, is $80,012 per year. That would mean that for each employee, you’re paying $32,005 just to have passwords reset!

Certainly one of your business goals is to maximize resources while minimizing expenditure. By leveraging self-service automation options to handle even just the one task of password resets, you can dramatically reduce operating costs and improve efficiency at the same time. Of course, this is just one small example of how IT automation and self-service initiatives can have a significant, positive impact on your business.

Are you leveraging this powerful tool for your own IT department? If not, the time to do so is now! Click here to take our intuitive automation and orchestration platform for a test drive today.

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

3 Biggest Cybersecurity Challenges on the Horizon

3 Biggest Cybersecurity Challenges on the HorizonWhether you’re already knee-deep in the industry or you’re simply kicking around the idea of becoming a cybersecurity professional, staying abreast of the current and future trends is essential. In particular, it’s important to have a good idea of what challenges those in the security realm are facing and expect to face in the near future. Let’s take a look at three specific areas where tomorrow’s security agents will need to focus their efforts.

Complexity

Not only are the threats of tomorrow becoming more and more sophisticated (and therefore difficult to combat), but the IT environment itself is becoming equally complex. Marrying disparate systems to create a more cohesive infrastructure and finding a way to seamlessly link legacy applications with newer ones is a challenge in and of itself. The more complex the network, the more points of entry for attackers and the greater the vulnerability.

Cybersecurity professionals must leverage technology that is capable of keeping up with the evolving threats their organizations face. Incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence into the mix can help keep IT teams a step ahead in the fight to protect information.

Adversaries

In addition to the external forces that wish to do organizations harm, cybersecurity teams must also account for the insider threats that threaten the sanctity of confidential data. Employees at every level are routinely putting their employers at risk, most often without even realizing what they’re doing. This is why the job of IT must also involve ongoing communication, education and training to ensure that everyone recognizes the importance of cybersecurity and their role in keeping information safe.

Meanwhile, hackers are using technology to increase the frequency of their attacks. They are persistent to the point of relentlessness. To address this, adopting appropriate technological measures that can “fight fire with fire” is key. This ensures constant protection that human workers simply cannot deliver.

Staffing Shortage

It’s hard to believe that this is still a topic of discussion, but it remains a significant concern, especially from a cybersecurity perspective. Some organizations don’t have access to enough qualified IT professionals or struggle to retain them while others simply don’t have the resources to keep an entire team on the payroll.

Once again, technology is there to save the day. Automated incident response can augment human IT teams, plugging the holes left by staffing shortages and serving as a virtual army of protection. What’s more, because automated incident management is available around the clock, the organization remains safe from attacks no matter when they occur.

Is your organization adequately prepared to deal with the three biggest challenges to come? To see how Ayehu’s Next Generation automation and orchestration platform can resolve all of these issues for you, request a product demo.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Implementing IT Automation: What to Automate and When

Implementing IT Automation: What to Automate and WhenThe role of IT manager has evolved once again. Rather than having to handle everything themselves, these skilled leaders are seeking out ways to leverage resources (both human and machine) to do the nitty gritty so they can focus more on planning and strategic business projects. It’s not practical to dole out high salaries for personnel to perform time-consuming, repetitive and menial tasks, such as password resets, patches, system restarts and the like. This is where IT automation comes into play. But what to automate….and when? Believe it or not, this can be quite challenging.

The logical way to approach things might be to inventory the organization’s most common problems, whether it’s bandwidth issues, poor CPU utilization or any other issue that’s resulting in a negative user experience and a waste of valuable resources. But focusing on automation of these tasks may not actually address the underlying problem.

To leverage IT automation to its fullest potential, you should first focus on getting to the root cause of your organization’s issues, not just the overlying outcome. For instance, one common root cause might be capacity. To resolve this issue, you must analyze the biggest drains on bandwidth over a specified time period. From there, you must determine the optimal bandwidth to allocate to each traffic segment. Only when you uncover the true issue at hand can you use automation to truly resolve it.

Some may ask, why not just automate everything? Wouldn’t that help to cover all my bases? This may sound logical, but again, it’s not. If a certain task only occurs a handful of times a year, for example, and the manual effort involved in completing it is minimal, the cost of automating it might simply not be worth it. An adequate cost-value assessment is recommended.

The best approach to implementing IT automation is to prioritize the areas where technology can help reduce significant amounts of manual labor, reduce errors, improve service levels and simplify complex tasks. When these areas can be shifted from human to machine, the cost to do so is well worth it, particularly when you consider the cost of paying senior engineers to perform such tasks on a regular basis.

To simplify this, prioritize your manual tasks and workflows into the following three categories:

  1. Too Complex – These are complicated, multi-step processes which involve more than one system and subsystem to complete. These are ideal processes for IT automation because of their complexity. Not only will automating save tremendous time and effort, but it also eliminates the risk of human error.
  2. Too Tedious – These processes aren’t necessarily complex, but they take a long time to complete. For instance, setting up system access for new employees and other onboarding activities. For a larger organization, this task can really begin to bog down the IT department. Rather than having skilled agents wasting valuable time on these manual tasks, automating the entire process makes sense.
  3. Neither of the Above – If a task or workflow does not fit into either of the above categories, it probably doesn’t need to be automated (at least not yet).

These days, there are many great reasons to consider adopting IT automation. And with the right strategy, the return on your investment can be significant. By focusing on the above approach, you’ll be able to streamline operations, strike the ideal balance between human and machine, and truly get the most out of automation technology.

Experience for yourself the power of IT automation! Request a live demo of Ayehu Next Generation today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

The Data Center Dream Team: Your Staff and Automation

The Data Center Dream Team: Your Staff and Automation

This article was originally published in Data Center Knowledge.

It is coming. We have been fully warned that a massive shortage of qualified technology professionals is going to quickly become our reality. But thanks to the increasing abundance of available data, along with innovative tools for gathering, processing, deciphering and storing that data, machine learning algorithms can now be used to produce fast, affordable results for businesses of every size and industry.

Automation and machine learning have become force multipliers and game changers for many organizations because it means that they are no longer constrained by data center staff or budget limitations. There are some basic yet unavoidable factors are driving the need for these new technologies, but fortunately technology leaders today have options to solve today’s most pressing challenges.

A Glaring Need

Today’s data center professionals are under increasing pressure to accomplish more with fewer and fewer resources. Increasing amounts of available information make manual data management a full-time endeavor. For those operations with limited staff or smaller budgets, finding extra support can be an uphill battle. Furthermore, customer demand and an increasingly competitive landscape have placed significant burdens on IT leaders.

Automation’s Role

IT automation technology facilitates a shift from human (manual) processes to machine, enabling the agentless execution of critical data center tasks and workflows, including but not limited to:

  • Monitoring – Continuously scan and track the status of data center components with automated notification and escalation in the event of a problem
  • Maintenance – Automatic performance of ongoing functions, such as updates and patches
  • Scheduling – Organize the automatic execution of routine data center processes, including backups, downloads/uploads, replication, application events and more without the need for human effort
  • Provisioning and Configuration – Development, testing and deployment of new applications, including physical, virtual and cloud servers
  • Application Service Delivery – Automatic fulfillment of user requests within just minutes
  • Optimized Workload Delivery – Automatic movement of network traffic for better load balancing and/or on-demand delivery of additional applications
  • Security – Automate the incident response process from start to finish, creating a closed loop to quickly detect and address threats, mitigating damages
  • Compliance – Audit and report on live configurations, compare current and past configurations to identify discrepancies and implement rules-based policies to adhere to regulatory standards – all without the need for human intervention

By adopting automation technology, data center professionals are no longer burdened with the challenge of performing many of their duties without disrupting end-users. Previously, things like system refreshes and updates had to be carried out after hours to avoid a potential service interruption. Now, these workflows can be scheduled and executed automatically, alleviating the need for IT staff members to work odd hours.

Automation + Intelligence

Beyond the basics of data center automation, some of today’s platforms are now incorporating intelligent technologies, like machine learning, into the mix. So, not only can IT teams streamline operations by automating manual processes, but they can now rely on the power of artificial intelligence to achieve continuous process improvement.

Automated platforms powered by sophisticated machine learning algorithms, use available data to dynamically create rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations. This enables better data-driven decision making and facilitates more optimized workflows and processes. As a result, not only does the data center itself run more efficiently, but the enhanced service that occurs as a result drives greater customer and employee satisfaction rates. In other words, everyone benefits.

Considerations for IT Leaders

Given the advantages automation can have for the data center, it can be tempting to automate everything. However, IT leaders are better served to take a more comprehensive approach to data center automation. When planning for automation, be sure to consider the following:

Automate intelligently. That is, don’t just automate processes for the sake of it. Instead, processes and workflows should be evaluated and weighed based on each one’s business value as well as the quantifiable outcomes that could be realized as a result of automation.

Practice in with the new and out with the old. Whenever possible, focus should be placed on automating newer processes and workflows first rather than trying to adapt old processes to automation – unless, of course, significant ROI could be realized by changing the existing workflows.

Start small and work from there. An incremental approach to automation is recommended, as it’s always easier to automate basic functions than it is to tackle large scale projects right off the bat. Start with smaller initiatives that can be built upon.

Test first, then deploy. It’s always advisable to experiment with automation changes in a test or QA environment before going live with them. In the absence of a test environment, look for ways to deploy automation incrementally rather than exposing the entire data center to a complete automation change.

There are many cases for which automation can and should be considered thanks to the rapidly evolving technology landscape. For example, IoT deployments are steadily on the rise and adding to the complexity of the data center, making the role of data management in business even more crucial. And increasingly IT teams need the ability to leverage the power of data to meet enterprise-wide objectives, but may lack the qualified staff and resources needed to produce what is needed.

When applied appropriately and strategically, automation technology has the potential to empower data centers – even those with limited resources – to perform at the highest level and yield greater outcomes than were ever thought possible.

5 Ways to level up your service desk using it process automation

Attn: IT Managers! Tired of putting out fires? Here’s the solution.

Attn: IT Managers! Tired of putting out fires? Here's the solution.There’s no question that today’s IT administrators are facing growing challenges in the wake of cloud, big data and increased mobility. These professionals are being pressured to produce at a maximum rate while also working with fewer resources and adhering to strict budgetary requirements. As a result, many have begun to embrace IT process automation as a tool to help them stay competitive and, well, remain employed. In fact, automation can help you better manage your busy schedule and free you up to tackle more challenging opportunities.

The issue is, not all ITPA products are created equal. If you’re considering adopting automation into your own operation, here are five key things to help you make the right choice.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. You’re already busy enough, so don’t choose a product that will create more work for you and your team. Instead, look for a solution that already comes with a proven track record. Choose an existing company that is established (preferably one that specializes in IT process automation) and whose product has been successfully implemented by a number of other companies. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and contact them to be sure the product you’re considering will be the right fit for your needs.

Built-In Basics. While the more complex capabilities of each solution may be different, the product you choose should at least contain out-of-the-box features that are most common. This includes routine tasks like software deployment, scheduled backups, security updates, service restarts and patches. Regardless of industry or geographical location, things like software, maintenance, security and compliance are factors that every IT manager must consider. Make sure the product you choose has these built-in capabilities ready to go on day one.

Ability to Be Creative. Beyond the basic automation tasks, the next thing to look for is flexibility. Once you’ve implemented the product and have automated the most common tasks, you’ll then want to start focusing on more complex workflows. This will be somewhat subjective, as it will ultimately depend on each IT manager’s specific strategic objectives, but overall the product should be easy to use, capable of interfacing with other programs and allow for a certain level of creativity to really customize it to the unique needs of the business.

Policy-Based Solutions. Every experienced IT administrator is aware of how critical it is to maintain a level of consistency when managing systems and users. The problem is, when these networks are at a global level, it’s simply not possible for IT professionals to be able to manually ensure that every single machine is in compliance with IT policies. IT process automation solutions that are policy-based offer the ideal solution to this dilemma. For optimum results, look for policy-based automation that will allow you to define, manage and enforce your organization’s IT policies across the entire network without the need for human intervention.

An active community helps. Along with solid customer service and product support, choosing a vendor that also has an active community of engaged IT process automation professionals can help make adoption, implementation and long-term maintenance easier. This community could be managed directly on the vendor’s website, or it may exist elsewhere, such as within a social network (like a LinkedIn group). Collaborating with like-minded professionals can not only help you maximize your use of the product, but it can also enhance your career.

Like it or not, IT process automation is becoming a necessity for IT managers who wish to remain successful amidst the present and future changes brought about by cloud, mobility and big data. The key will be choosing the right product. By keeping the five things listed above in mind during the selection process, implementation will go much more smoothly and the results will be more favorable over the long-term.

If you’re ready to begin automating but you’re not quite sure how, why not start with these 10 everyday tasks? Then request your own live demo to experience for yourself how easy streamlining your IT operations and protecting your future against the many challenges that are to come can be.

Why Compliance and Cybersecurity Are Worlds Apart

Why Compliance and Cybersecurity Are Worlds ApartAsk any seasoned executive what’s most important, besides profits and growth, and they’ll likely tell you compliance. As such, most organizations have careful plans in place to ensure that they stay in line with all laws and regulations, particularly those surrounding information security. Unfortunately, far too many fall into the trap of thinking that if they are compliant, they are also safe from hackers. The truth is, compliance and cybersecurity are actually worlds apart and if you’re not accounting for this, your organization is more vulnerable than you think.

The regulations governing information security are designed to protect consumers from having their sensitive data fall into the wrong hands (and suffering damages as a result). The details of these laws vary from state to state and country to country, and many use terms that are open to interpretation, like “reasonable” or “appropriate.”

The main difference between compliance and cybersecurity is that the former is concerned with protecting consumers, while the latter is about keeping your network and ALL sensitive data safe from harm. For instance, compliance may dictate that you must keep a written information security plan on file and take “appropriate” measures to protect the personal information about your employees and customers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t extend much beyond this.

So, having a written plan and keeping personal information properly stored away under virtual lock and key may be enough to keep your company compliant. It won’t, however, protect that information from a hacker that is able to break through and access it. That’s where cybersecurity comes into play.

Let’s say an employee receives an email that looks legitimate, but turns out to be a ransomware scam. By opening an infected file, the employee inadvertently launches a virus that attacks and locks up your systems, demanding payment in exchange for releasing your files. Having a compliance plan in place will do absolutely nothing to protect your firm against such an attack. Furthermore, if you don’t have the right cybersecurity strategy in place, you could end up with a huge financial mess to clean up.

So, how can you stay safe on both fronts? How can you ensure that you’re compliant in the event of an audit but also maintain a strong and effective defense against cyber-attacks? In addition to the steps you’ve already taken to stay in line with your local laws and regulations, developing and implementing a solid cybersecurity strategy that includes employee education, proper backing up of all critical data, ongoing monitoring and automated incident response.

If you’re currently operating under the idea that your compliance will keep you cybersecure, then you are placing your organization at a much greater risk than you may even realize.

Want to see how you can maximize your cybersecurity with just one agentless, automated tool? Request a demo of our next generation IT automation and orchestration platform today and power-up your defense today!

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

Ayehu Launches its Next Generation IT Automation and Orchestration Platform Powered by Artificial Intelligence

SaaS-Ready platform is the force multiplier for overwhelmed and understaffed IT and Security operations

Ayehu today launched its next generation automation and orchestration platform for IT and Security operations. The new platform is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-ready for hybrid deployments and is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning driven decision support, for fully enhanced and optimized automated workflows.

Today’s IT and Security operations teams are overwhelmed by the increasing influx of alerts, incidents, and requests. This state of affairs combined with a growing shortage of skilled, talented IT and security professionals, has created the need for intelligence-backed, automated solutions.

“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive initial feedback from our partners and customers who have previewed our new platform and are excited to now make it generally available,” said Gabby Nizri, Co-founder & CEO of Ayehu. “We developed it because we wanted to make it even easier for our customers to incorporate and use automation as a game changer in their business.  The SaaS-ready, multi-tenant platform is now able to deliver efficiencies across hybrid environments. This sets the stage for CIOs around the world to start the journey to enable the Self Driving Enterprise.”

The platform includes an architecture redesign to support managed service providers (MSP) and businesses with hybrid deployments across on-premise, private and public cloud environments such as AWS and Azure. It also enriches product security in areas such as message encryption across internal and external networks and presents a brand new user interface. Key features include:

  • AI Powered – Machine learning delivers decision support via prompts to optimize workflows and dynamically creates rule-based recommendations, insights, and correlations
  • SaaS Ready – Ideal for hybrid deployments, supports multi-tenant, communication encryption, OAuth2 authentication, and internal security improvements
  • High Availability and Scalability – Ayehu easily scales to support organizations with a high volume of incidents and safe guards against a single-point-of-failure
  • Workflow Version Control – Ayehu is the first IT automation and orchestration platform to provide version control on workflows, allowing users to rollback changes and review, compare or revert workflows
  • Tagging and Labeling – Ayehu users can associate workflows with keywords through tags to quickly search and return commonly used workflows
  • User Interface Enhancements – The new angular 2.0 web-based interface, offering easy and user-friendly workflow designer and template navigation, as well as white labeling options for OEM partnerships

Ayehu acts as a force multiplier, driving efficiency through a simple and powerful IT automation and orchestration platform powered by AI. The next generation automation platform helps enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution (MTTR), and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. IT and security operations teams can fully- or semi-automate the manual response of an experienced IT or security operator/analyst, including complex tasks across multiple, disparate systems. Ayehu’s response time is instant and automatic, executing pre-configured instructions without any programming required, helping to resolve virtually any alert, incident or crisis.

For more information and to request a live, personalized demonstration of the next generation platform, visit https://ayehu.com/nextgen

About Ayehu

Named by Gartner as a Cool Vendor, Ayehu’s Intelligent IT automation and orchestration platform is a force multiplier for IT and security operations, helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure. Trusted by major enterprises and leading technology solution and service partners, Ayehu supports thousands of automated processes across the globe. For more information, please visit www.ayehu.com and the company blog.  Follow Ayehu on Twitter and LinkedIn.

PR Contact:

Christy Kemp

Dahlia Public Relations

303-898-3390

ckemp@dahliapr.com

Is Robotic Process Automation Really Taking Over Jobs?

Is Robotic Process Automation Really Taking Over Jobs?When robotic process automation first hit the market, some thought it was too far-fetched to ever become a reality. But as more and more organizations began recognizing the many benefits – from increased productivity and efficiency to lower costs and fewer errors – people started worrying, wondering whether this technology would spell the end of the human workforce as we knew it. Would robots really start taking over jobs? To answer that question, those asking it must look inward.

In reality, the impact RPA has on the workforce will depend largely on how humans themselves respond. When faced with the rising adoption of automation, workers will likely take one of two paths. The first group will continue to focus on the type of work they’ve always done, but do so more efficiently thanks to the assistance of digital labor. The second will take this as a golden opportunity to pursue their ambitions, increase education and broaden their skill sets, put their creativity and innovation to work and move on to more value-added tasks. In either case, the organization will benefit, as will most of the employees.

In particular, roles that have a primary focus on people, such as customer support and call center agents, have the potential to benefit greatly from robotic process automation. Instead of being bogged down by repetitive, menial tasks that can easily (and more quickly) be handled by software, agents will be freed up to tackle more complex issues requiring a human touch. Furthermore, the improved allocation of resources afforded by RPA will allow agents to prevent issues from occurring in the first place. This can dramatically improve both customer and employee satisfaction rating.

This concept can also be applied to the IT help desk. Rather than waiting until system problems arise and scrambling to fix them in a timely and effective manner, help desk agents can use the extra time robotic process automation provides them with to monitor and proactively address technical issues before they occur. Imagine how impressed the VP of Sales will be when he gets a call from IT letting him know his hard drive was about to fail, but it’s been taken care of.

In both of these scenarios, the human worker is enhancing their interactions with their colleagues and/or customers. And since robotic process automation is there to take on the routine, manual tasks, the human agents themselves are also able to improve.

The reality is, very few organizations are focusing on using robotic process automation to eliminate jobs. Instead, they are focused on automating tasks, which in turn will improve productivity, streamline how work is completed, eliminate errors and cut costs. In other words, companies implementing RPA are not doing so to replace human workers, but augment and make their lives easier. As a result, everyone benefits – from employees and management to clientele to the organization’s bottom line. It really is a win-win.

Still not completely sold on the idea of robotic process automation and the value this technology brings to businesses across all industries? Don’t take our word for it. Try it for yourself. Click here to download a free 30 day trial of Ayehu. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Shaping The Future Of Work: A Collaboration Of Humans And AI

Shaping The Future Of Work: A Collaboration Of Humans And AI

Article originally published on Forbes (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images)

Since the industrial revolution, business leaders have been leveraging technology to augment human workers with the goal of maximizing efficiency and productivity while simultaneously cutting costs. Now, thanks to the recent tidal wave of intelligent technology advancement, we have suddenly found ourselves staring down the barrel of a workplace that looks quite different than the one we have become used to.

What do automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) mean for tomorrow’s workforce? Will AI eliminate the need for human workers altogether? The reality isn’t quite so cut and dry. In fact, the future of work will likely be a hybrid that involves both human and machine intelligence working in conjunction toward the same shared goals. Let’s explore this in a little more detail.

Redefining The Way We Work

The basic concept behind automation hasn’t changed all that much over the past century or so. When menial tasks can be shifted from human employees to robots, work can be completed faster and without the risk of human error. This dramatically improves efficiency levels, which means a better bottom line for an organization as a whole. And because the output of quality of work increases, service levels also receive a boost, so in theory, everybody wins.

However, automation powered by artificial intelligence has taken this basic concept and brought it to an entirely new level. Now, it’s not just about programming a machine to perform simple tasks; rather, it’s about relying on technology that is intuitive enough to adapt and improve without the need for human input. Take chatbots, for example. This technology is capable of using the data gathered over time from incoming customer inquiries to continuously develop a robust catalog of answers. In other words, the more it’s used, the smarter it becomes.

A New Realm Of Possibilities

Automation will inevitably lead to redundancy in certain roles. It’s only logical to assume that if software robots are capable of performing the majority of a lower-skilled employee’s tasks, it’s a much more economical business decision to shift those duties to technology, subsequently making certain roles obsolete. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that we’re doomed to a future of humanless offices. The truth is that while automation may eliminate some jobs, it also creates new roles and opportunities for human workers to pursue.

It’s also important to point out that as far as intelligent automation has come, there are still certain areas where the human touch cannot be replaced or replicated. For instance, a chatbot can be programmed to perform basic customer support, but it is not capable of managing complex situations. Likewise, intelligent automation can be highly effective in identifying ideal candidates for a job opening, but the actual hiring process is still a human-centric function.

Humans And Machines: A Match Made In Heaven

Ideally, the best way to approach the adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace is to view it from a more holistic perspective. Rather than machines and humans working independently, the two should be working in tandem toward the greater good of an organization. For example, process automation can be leveraged to handle the majority of the mundane, repetitive IT tasks while seamlessly transferring more complex issues to human workers.

AI can also be highly effective in helping business leaders make smarter, more data-driven decisions. Machines handle the data mining process, identifying, extracting and organizing the most relevant information available. Executives can then use this information to more accurately project and plan for the future. This facilitates greater innovation, which means those enterprises who adopt AI will lead the charge in their respective fields.

A New Definition Of Work

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve and improve, the very definition of what we consider to be mundane or routine will also continue to change. With smarter technology, more and more tasks will be shifted to machines. In fact, according to a recent report from Gartner, smart machines and robots could take over the tasks performed by highly trained professionals in such fields as IT, medicine and law by 2022.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean certain unemployment for those individuals working on the front lines. To the contrary, according to one study conducted by ServiceNow, 79% of executives surveyed say they expect an increase in the adoption of automation to lead to the creation of new jobs. Furthermore, an incredible 94% agreed that when repetitive tasks are automated, the demand for jobs that call for soft skills like communication, collaboration and creative problem-solving will grow.

Ultimately, it’s the way human workers approach this technology that will determine what tomorrow will bring. For those who choose to embrace artificial intelligence and all of the opportunities it presents, the future certainly looks bright.

This article was originally published on Forbes as part of the Forbes Technology Council. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

Want to Keep Your Organization Safe from Insider Threats? Watch Your C-Suite…

Want to Keep Your Organization Safe from Insider Threats? Watch Your C-Suite…These days, security professionals must be highly vigilant against the many threats that place their organizations at risk on a daily basis. And while hackers certainly show up high on the list, the truth of the matter is, it’s the people who work within your company that pose the greatest risk to data security. That’s why things like spear phishing have become such a successful method of entry. In fact, 80 percent of companies say that “end user carelessness” is the biggest security threat to their organization.

But the ones that are making your company most vulnerable to potential breaches aren’t poorly trained entry-level employees. It’s your senior level managers. Surprised? Many are. Yet, if you think about it, these individuals have access to information that is much more sensitive than that of the everyday employee. So, it stands to reason that the chance of an error resulting in a breach is naturally higher for this group.

And the numbers seem to support this theory. 58 percent of senior managers have accidentally sent sensitive information to the wrong person (compared to just 25 percent of workers overall). 51 percent have taken files with them after leaving a job – twice as many as office workers in general.

What are the biggest security risks these insiders pose? Most tend to fall within one or more of the following:

  • Reusing or sharing passwords with others
  • Leaving computers unattended outside of the workplace
  • Failing to delete data from computers once it’s no longer necessary
  • Carrying unnecessary sensitive data on a device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) while traveling
  • Using unsecured personal devices to process sensitive information
  • Failing to encrypt information when transmitting

So, what’s the solution? Well, the best approach should be multifaceted. Here’s a list of recommended actions:

  • Develop and establish a written security policy
  • Communicate that policy openly and regularly to ensure awareness across all levels of the company
  • Ensure appropriate access restriction to sensitive data (virtual and physical)
  • Conduct regular training to increase security awareness about what is and isn’t acceptable (start from the top!)

Last, but certainly not least, you should invest in available technology. This includes monitoring systems, alerting programs and automated cybersecurity incident response. These things will ensure that should an employee still make an error, it will be detected, addressed and remediated as quickly as possible.

Could your senior managers be placing your organization at risk? The time to act is now – before it’s too late! Start working on your strategy and download your free 30 day trial of Ayehu automation and orchestration platform.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response