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Whether undertaken by individuals, departments, or entire organizations, the automation journey is virtually certain to include a hearty mix of progress and pitfalls. Ambitious objectives often go unrealized, but unexpected benefits frequently emerge as well. These mixed results prompt some to pull the plug on their automation pursuits, while compe…
 
It's been often remarked that the Chinese symbol for "crisis" is comprised of two other characters representing danger and opportunity. The coronavirus pandemic has perhaps been the most dangerous global crisis since the Cold War, but for many economic sectors, it's created great opportunity. The MSP & cloud service provider market is one such sect…
 
In Part II of this 2-part episode, we continue our conversation with Chetan Dube, who for over 2 decades has been haunted by the seminal question Alan Turing posed in 1950 - "Can Machines Think?" Chetan's years-long Odyssey in pursuit of an answer led him to found Amelia, one of the market leaders in enterprise AI software. During this segment, we'…
 
Progress, in just about any endeavor, is often driven by pioneers who see pathways where others only see dead ends. In the field of AI, one such trailblazer is Chetan Dube, whose quest to make machine intelligence approximate human intelligence led him to found IPsoft (now Amelia), the world's largest privately held AI software company. In Part I o…
 
By 2023, Gartner projects that citizen developers will outnumber professional developers more than 4-to-1 at large enterprises. This astonishing development reflects the emergence of employees with "digital dexterity", who are comfortable using new technologies that drive "better business outcomes". One example of such technology is Tonkean’s Adapt…
 
Had the great modernist poet D. H. Lawrence lived in our time, perhaps he would've alternatively phrased this famous quote as follows - "Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with shifting technological paradigms." Today, many people realize that the shifting paradigms of AI, automation, and digital transformation will disru…
 
People of a certain age will fondly remember an American TV game show called "Name That Tune", where contestants won prizes for correctly identifying a song with as few notes as possible played by an orchestra. Name That Tune offers a fitting analogy to explain Indico's value proposition - automating complex processes involving unstructured content…
 
Build or Buy? It’s a question both IT & business operations have grappled with ever since John W. Tukey first coined the term "software" in 1957. As automation & artificial intelligence quickly permeate nearly every aspect of enterprise ops over 6 decades later, the question still remains. Should an organization build its own automation & AI applic…
 
Who among us hasn't called a contact center at some point for customer service, tech support, or some other matter? Usually those interactions are mundane, unremarkable, and ultimately forgettable. You get what you need and go on with your day, blissfully unaware of what transpired behind the scenes to provide you that friction-free encounter. It t…
 
Prior to their acquisition by Oracle, Sun Microsystems operated under a memorable tagline - "The network is the computer". Their slogan illustrated the maxim that tapping into the combined computational power of an entire network would yield far more impressive results than what a lone desktop could deliver on its own. That principle is center stag…
 
Failing fast is one of Agile development’s conceptual pillars. Embracing the principle of failing fast leads to lower cost of failure, accelerated learning, and innovation-driven organizational culture. In the AI & machine learning world however, where testing & fast failing of models is heavily dependent on access to computing power, these desirab…
 
The trenches of technology's marketplace battlefield are strewn with the remains of high-tech leaders, undercut by adversaries marching in with the next great innovation. It's a manifestation of Creative Destruction, economist Joseph Schumpeter's famous theory about the continuous cycle of annihilation & creation that enables the new to replace the…
 
There's a quote circulating on the internet that "trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair". Its author was almost certainly referring to human relationships, but it turns out this sentiment applies equally to AI-driven decision making. Complex machine-learning models feeding AI algorithms can take a long time to develop.…
 
As women bridge the diversity gap in the technology industry, female executives like Cognizant’s Mariesa Coughanour, have advanced their careers to prominent positions in our profession, and it’s worth taking note. As head of Cognizant's Automation Advisory, Mariesa runs a practice for one of the world's leading professional services companies that…
 
"If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." That quote was coined by William Edwards Deming, the famous 20th-century management consultant, who viewed process excellence as a sine qua non to performance excellence. When it comes to digital transformation, process excellence is very much foundational to…
 
If a parallel could be drawn between the history of Artificial Intelligence and a professional star athlete who rehabilitated his career, it might go something like this. As a rookie, AI flashed occasional signs of brilliance that enthralled a million minds with the promise of greater possibilities. Then it floundered, getting sent down to the mino…
 
Bain & Company, one of the world's three largest strategy consulting firms, has been at the forefront of digital transformation for many years now. Leading global organizations retain Bain’s services both to keep pace with technology advances, as well as gain competitive advantage in their markets. It’s not a bad place to be employed either, as evi…
 
Longtime Harvard professor Theodore Levitt once said “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things”. By that measure, ServiceNow must be among the most creative AND innovative organizations in the world. The disruptive product stream they've introduced to the ITSM market just in the last decade alone has propelled their grow…
 
If you've already started & led the intelligent automation practice for McKinsey & Company, one of the world's three largest strategy consulting firms, and prior to that you did the same for Ernst & Young, one of the "Big Four" accounting firms, where do you go next? If you're Pascal Bornet, you and your co-authors publish a book that instantly bec…
 
Bots. They're everywhere, proliferating fast, and evolving their capabilities. Most of us are familiar with them in the form of chatbots, crawlers, and of course RPA bots, but what about an emerging class of autonomous software programs called Digital Coworkers? They’re not just next. They’re now, and are already impacting the future of work in ver…
 
The Great British Bake Off is a popular BBC reality TV series showcasing contestants' baking skills as they advance through a series of challenge rounds. The final baker remaining after weeks of elimination stages is declared the winner. It's a grueling competition requiring culinary dexterity that encompasses numerous skills & techniques. It's als…
 
Wikipedia defines Customer success as "...the business method ensuring customers achieve success, their desired outcomes while using your product or service." If automation is your product/service, what are the keys to ensuring it succeeds for your internal and/or external customers? When digital transformation projects have a documented failure ra…
 
Is conversational AI all it's cracked up to be, or is hype eclipsing hope when it comes to deliverables? Has the gap between expectations and reality grown so wide that disappointment is inevitable, both for end-users and enterprise decision-makers? Or have the majority of chatbot vendors simply been targeting the wrong use cases, inadvertently lea…
 
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has divided AI's evolution into 3 distinct waves. Currently, we find ourselves in the 2nd wave, dominated by machine learning and big data. The 3rd wave however, is nearly upon us, and will allow AI to go from learning and perceiving to reasoning and possibly even generalizing. The ability to ge…
 
Some of you were introduced to automation in school, or at work, or perhaps even by a family member or friend. Our guest on this episode began his automation journey in the US Marine Corps. Corporal Dwayne White's first automation project involved "digitally transforming" a manual process done on a Xerox typewriter into a far more efficient solutio…
 
Perhaps you've heard the famous African Proverb "If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go with others". Our guest on this episode has gone far, but he's also gone pretty fast. Yousuf Khan has been CIO for a number of high-profile startups, a couple of them quite notable in the automation space. His talent and vision led him t…
 
"To me, Microsoft is about empowerment... we are the original democratizing force, putting a PC in every home and every desk." That quote by CEO Satya Nadella, of course, reflects the ubiquity achieved by the Windows operating system. His company’s feat of democratization however, is just prologue to the coming revolution Microsoft foresees in auto…
 
HBO’s emmy-nominated comedy series Silicon Valley offers a humorous behind-the-scenes take on the trials and tribulations of technology startups. Its techie-driven dialogue is unusual for mainstream entertainment, but refreshing for those of us in IT. Pulling back the curtains on life at Silicon Valley IT departments is a specialty of our guest on …
 
The Millennial generation is still retail's most coveted demographic, but Generation Z isn't far behind. Both cohorts grew up as "digital natives" with computers, game consoles, and mobile phones. It's no surprise then that being online is second nature to them, and increasingly, chatbots is where Millennials & Generation Z can be found interacting…
 
"First is the worst, second is the best, third is the one with the treasure chest." Some of you may recognize this old children's poem, variations of which can be found on the internet that replace the last two words "treasure chest" with....well, I'll leave it up to you to find out. Though quaint, this rhyme is actually quite germane as shorthand …
 
In ancient times the task of threshing, sifting edible grains of wheat from chaff, was performed with an agricultural tool called a flail. Modern farmers today accomplish the same undertaking at significant scale using huge mechanized vehicles called combines. When it comes to threshing the real from the imagined about AIOps, many IT executive deci…
 
When you think of Scandinavia, what comes to mind? If you're like most, then fjords, saunas, ABBA, the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and LEGO's are probably among your first thoughts. What about Skype, Linux, Spotify, Nokia, SMS texting, and "Erwise" - the first GUI browser? These innovations also emerged from the Nordic countries, who it turns out …
 
Fans of "Westworld", HBO's dystopian science fiction drama, recognize the understated yet outsized role of Lee Sizemore's character as crucial to the series plot. As head of the Narrative and Design division of Westworld’s Mesa Hub, Lee is responsible for the storylines of the "hosts". The scripts he creates for them ultimately determine the experi…
 
Much of the world was caught off-guard when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. As governments began issuing stay-at-home orders in an effort to slow transmission of the virus that causes the disease, the corporate world struggled to redeploy their staff to remote work. A notable organization that didn't break stride during this upheaval was OneShare He…
 
Every moonshot needs a rocket. For many enterprises around the world, digital transformation is their moonshot, and automation + artificial intelligence is their rocket. In order for those digital transformations to achieve mission objectives though, enterprises must scale up their automation & AI deployments. When they do, the results can be out-o…
 
Worldwide spending on digital transformation services is expected to reach nearly $2 Trillion by 2022. However, anecdotal evidence suggests the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating digital transformation initiatives ahead of schedule at many organizations. This has more than a few IT executives wondering how they can best move faster in the midst of a…
 
According to MarketsAndMarkets, “The managed services market is expected to grow from over $180 billion in 2018 to $282.0 billion by 2023, a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9.3%.” Yet despite the rosy forecast, Gartner is advising MSPs to make an investment in automation now in order to reap profitable & sustainable benefits down the road. Otherwise…
 
Societal transformations are often epoch-defining milestones in mankind’s history. The transition from Stone Age to Bronze Age. The changeover from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The overthrow of Communism in favor of Free Market economies & democracy. The fall of the Iron Curtain was a particularly defining event for this episode’s guest, who…
 
As artificial intelligence opens up new possibilities that make the unimaginable routine, it also raises unasked ethical questions whose answers will determine if humanity reaps the benefits of AI equitably. Increasingly however, we find ourselves in uncharted territory, grappling with unanticipated ethical quandaries stemming from the continuing e…
 
In response to the growing balkanization of IT management practices among its various government branches in the 1980's, the United Kingdom developed a set of standardized practices that all their agencies & vendors were expected to follow. These standardized practices eventually evolved into a widely adopted framework for administration of informa…
 
The renowned business management guru Tom Peters once wrote that "Business is about people. It's about passion. It's about bold ideas, bold small ideas or bold large ideas." Automation, arguably, is a bold large idea that's taken root in large enterprises. Less well known is the fact that it's pretty popular among smaller businesses as well, where …
 
Automation in the enterprise has proven efficient, cost effective, & mature enough that early adopters have begun scaling up their deployments to increase returns & amplify their competitive advantage. The long-term repercussions of this will likely widen the gap between market leaders & laggards. In the short term, this expansion will raise questi…
 
Automation in the enterprise has proven efficient, cost effective, & mature enough that early adopters have begun scaling up their deployments to increase returns & amplify their competitive advantage. The long-term repercussions of this will likely widen the gap between market leaders & laggards. In the short term, this expansion will raise questi…
 
Traditionally, learning & work have been viewed as mutually exclusive domains in our lives. Each took place in its own chronologically segregated time, often sequentially, but occasionally overlapping each other. However, organizational digital transformation obliges us to re-examine that approach, as perpetual reskilling & upskilling become promin…
 
In just about every data center worldwide, there's a lot of experience, expertise, and instinct stored in the brains of the people keeping that data center running. However, the surge in demand for data center services, combined with the increasing complexity of their IT infrastructures, is putting a tremendous burden on their staff. It turns out t…
 
Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution has long been applied outside biology, to domains such as medicine and psychology. Evolutionary principles have also found applicability in the realm of artificial intelligence and machine learning via algorithms that have the ability to evolve. Ironically, over 150 years ago, Darwin described himself in almost …
 
It’s been said that the enemy of execution is complexity. Nowhere has this rung truer than corporate data centers, where growing systems complexity threatens the execution of digital transformation strategies. How can enterprises successfully transition to this new digital business paradigm, without succumbing to the hazards that can jeopardize inc…
 
The ground-shifting digital transformations underway at many enterprises are beginning to transform the executive C-suite as well. Traditional IT leadership roles like CIO & CTO are being joined by new executive titles like Chief Automation Officer (CAO). The elevation of this function to the C-suite parallels the rise in strategic importance of au…
 
The failure rate for digital transformations range anywhere from 70% to as high 84%, depending on which global management consulting firm you believe. For an undertaking so vital to an enterprise's long-term viability, and where failure shouldn't even be an option, these figures are shockingly high. Digital transformation is widely regarded as an e…
 
How do you envision the future of work? More utopian or more dystopian? Are we destined for a scenario where robots do all the work, leaving our biggest challenge to be deciding what to do with our abundance of leisure time? Or are we doomed to experience massive social unrest owing to the multitudes of unemployed displaced by those same robots? As…
 
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