Organizations are turning to artificial intelligence for network and cloud availability management

Published: Thursday, 14 October 2021 09:02

Businesses are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to improve network performance and security, according to a new 'State of AIOps Study', conducted by ZK Research and Masergy. The survey results demonstrate strong AIOps (AI for IT Operations) technology adoption rates and reveal a heightened level of confidence and trust as companies invest in AI to make their IT operations smarter, faster, and more secure.

“While digital transformation was already in motion prior to the pandemic, work-from-home (WFH) business models demand a whole new level of application performance and security measures to power and protect multi-cloud and hybrid work environments with no physical boundaries,” said Terry Traina, CTO of Masergy. “The study reinforces that we are at a pivotal moment where automation and AIOps are no longer a nice to have but rather a strategic imperative for successful, secure business operations.”

ZK Research conducted the study in August 2021 on behalf of Masergy, surveying more than 500 IT decision makers in U.S. headquartered businesses across seven industries.

Key findings from the survey include:

Network and security automation go hand-in-glove
More than half (64 percent) of companies surveyed are already using AIOps, with 55 percent using it across both network and security. Moreover, 94 percent believe it is important or very important for AIOps to manage network and cloud application performance.

With more employees using third-party cloud applications from numerous locations and devices, IT leaders, tasked with securing corporate information everywhere, can’t afford to trade WFH flexibility and performance for security. In fact, they are using AIOps to help manage those tradeoffs. The reasons companies use AIOps are tightly intertwined with network operational efficiencies, faster security threat identification, and faster security threat response reported as the top three.

“The vast majority of IT leaders have already embraced AIOps, and they’re pointing to benefits such as productivity, cloud application performance, and security improvements,” said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst, ZK Research. “Clearly, the business value of AIOps is justified. The era of AIOps is here, and anyone without a strategy will quickly be left behind.”

Software-defined networks provide the platform for AI
More than two-thirds (73 percent) of survey participants identified software-defined network modernization and virtualization as the top IT investment required to prepare for AIOps. Today’s businesses see SD-WAN’s virtualization and orchestration benefits valuable in managing distributed networks and security policies. In fact, most businesses are putting more assets in the cloud, with 67 percent citing cloud migration as another top investment making them AI-ready.

AIOps the new catalyst for network automation
A resounding majority (84 percent) see AIOps as the path to a fully automated network environment, with 86 percent expecting to have a fully automated network within five years. Asked about the confidence they have in trusting AIOps tools to act on their own recommendations and create fully automated systems, 97 percent of respondents are confident they can be trusted. Additionally 77 percent agree that AIOps performs better with a secure access service edge (SASE) architecture, where SD-WAN and security are all in one platform.