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Data’s side-kick: artificial intelligence

Steve Young

Steve Young

UKI Sales Engineering Director at Commvault
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Image credit: Jirsak / Shutterstock.com

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all around us – when opening our phones with Face ID, in navigation apps to find the quickest route whilst avoiding traffic, and when we speak to our smart assistants, such as Alexa or Siri.

With the valuable assistance that it brings to our everyday lives, it is unsurprising that the AI market is predicted to grow by 146% between 2022 and 2025.

Businesses across all sectors and industries are realising the benefits that AI can bring to their operations. As the market continues to grow over the coming years, we will increasingly see AI used to unify, analyse, and automate data processes – acting as its sidekick to simplify the quest for success.

The backstory

As with every loveable sidekick, you have to get to know them and where they came from. AI was created to simulate human intelligence demonstrated by machines. The machine learning techniques used to imitate – and surpass – the capabilities of the human mind means that AI can process huge amounts of data at lightning speed.

AI has the potential to transform the operations of an array of industries, from healthcare to manufacturing. For example, when AI is applied to patients’ health records, it can provide insights that enable better clinical decisions to be made, whilst freeing up the doctors’ critical time that they would have taken to analyse the record themselves. Similarly, the ability to monitor health through wearable and personal devices has transformed healthcare. The artificial intelligence used in smartwatches allows heart rates to be monitored 24/7, allowing any abnormalities to be detected quickly.

Meanwhile, for the manufacturing industry, AI improves product quality by automatically detecting defects in the technology or final product. This constant monitoring also increases employee productivity as it reduces the time workers spend manually checking the quality of each product before it leaves the factory.

Its foolery and flaws

However, as with any sidekick, AI has its flaws. One thing that many organisations overlook when implementing AI is data protection. The enormous amount of data – and often sensitive data – that is fed into AI-driven algorithms makes it susceptible to data breaches. It is, therefore, vital that IT teams ensure that strong data protection solutions are in place when embarking on a digital transformation journey.

With 97% of UK organisations planning to adopt a permanent hybrid working model post-pandemic, a solid data protection strategy is more important than ever. A distributed workforce means that employees are accessing company data from various locations, creating greater exposure to data and a higher risk of data being compromised.

Saving the day

Despite this shortfall, ultimately AI is a ground-breaking data tool that can revolutionalise any sector. A few of its many capabilities include:

  • Identifying patterns and anomalies – its ability to identify patterns and anomalies in business operations increases productivity and quality, two crucial key performance indicators for many organisations.
  • Data classification – AI can classify data in a faster and more accurate manner than humans are capable of.
  • Attending to requests – AI bots’ ability to recognise, route, and service data in a split second allows chatbots like Alexa and Siri to attend to an array of requests quickly and accurately.
  • Data safeguarding – when the correct data protection solutions are applied to the data it analyses, AI can play a key role in weeding out any malicious sources.

Its own sequel?

With all these advantages, it is unsurprising that AI is one of the greatest emerging technologies of today. However, as a still slightly newer technology, it still has many boundaries to push and new markets to expand into. Undoubtedly, it will be the main character and rightful hero of the technology industry in years to come.

An area where AI is currently underutilised is in backup and recovery solutions. AI’s ability to automate backup solutions could eliminate such routine tasks that previously used up the valuable time of skilled workers. This would, therefore, free up employees’ time to focus on more complex matters that require their skills or creativity. Similarly, this spare time can be reinvested into improving other business practices such as customer service, essential for operations and reputation. 

What’s more, by applying AI technologies to data protection solutions, backup providers can also enable organisations to obtain further insights into their data. This encourages innovation and allows organisations to make more informed business decisions.

AI certainly has the capabilities to transform a number of industries but no more than the backup sector that is so familiar to us. It is only a matter of time until these technologies become more developed and take over the world – watch this space. 

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