Companies are tapping artificial intelligence to automate the care of their operations and information-technology infrastructure, finding that AI can identify and fix problems more quickly than humans.
Called “self-healing” or “self-driving” IT, the innovation has been made possible by advanced algorithms, more data about networks and IT infrastructure, and increased computing power.
uses an AI-based program to automate about 25 core IT tasks that were previously done by employees.
The company spent about nine months developing the program using open-source technology, said Chief Information Officer Cynthia Stoddard. It has been in use for about a year.
“We wanted to look at issues that we could automate and get the human element out,” Ms. Stoddard said.
One thing the new system does: It automatically fixes failures in data-batching. The method is an efficient way to process and transfer large amounts of data, but it often results in errors. Adobe’s self-healing software was able to reduce the average time to correct a data-batching failure to about three minutes from 30 minutes, Ms. Stoddard said.
The software can also detect whether a specific business application an employee is using is close to crashing and automatically increase the computing or storage capacity so the application continues to run. “It not only shortens the time to fix [a problem] but proactively fixes it,” Ms. Stoddard said.
Renée Lahti, chief information officer at data-storage firm
Vantara, a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd., said the company launched a project last year that leverages AI, real-time analytics and sensors to monitor, analyze and self-correct temperature and airflow in data centers. She said the initiative has saved 38% in annual data center costs, on average, while boosting storage capacities.
Within three to five years, AI-enabled networks are predicted to become mainstream at big companies, said Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at research firm International Data Corp.
AI will be integral to company networks in the future, Mr. Mehra said, as they continue to expand with the influx of the Internet of Things, virtual reality, and fifth-generation wireless technology.
Networks are critical to companies because they make it possible for employees to access critical applications and exchange information in real time. But they can break down as they get bigger because of increased traffic related to emails, file transfers, videos and business applications.
About half of IT staff surveyed recently said the most important thing an AI-enabled network would bring is improving the availability and performance of applications, which would help improve user experience. The IDC survey released in February polled 301 IT professionals from medium and large businesses.
sells IT automation tools to customers under its AI OpenScale suite of software products. The company is now researching AI algorithms that can proactively monitor networks, predict a network failure or performance issue, and fix it automatically.
This will be especially important for “mission critical” applications, which could be at risk of going down for as many as four hours until IT staff can fix the issue, said Ruchir Puri, chief scientist at IBM Research.
“The goal is to be proactive so that systems monitor themselves and correct themselves, and with AI, it is really becoming possible,” he said.
—Angus Loten contributed to this article.
Write to Sara Castellanos at email@example.com
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