The future of business is increasingly based on anywhere, anytime, any device/person connectivity. While the phenomenon called “digital transformation” (DT) is being driven by technology, it really comes down to innovation, says Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim. “Secure networks are a critical element in helping companies innovate faster, and with boldness.” AI and machine learning (ML) are playing a greater role in ensuring secure innovation.
AI is making it possible to accelerate the identification of new revenue streams and reduce redundancies, but cybersecurity must still be a consideration, says Rahim. Organizations must build a system that enables the business to innovate while protecting critical assets.
By 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services; by 2021, 75% of commercial enterprise apps will use AI, according to a recent report from IDC. The research giant says insatiable demand for higher levels of convenience and efficiency is driving digital innovations of all kinds, which have converged on a few maturing technologies — including AI. More than two-thirds (67%) of organizations globally have adopted or have plans to adopt AI in the next five years. The majority of adopters have seen quantified returns meeting or exceeding expectations, and will increase their AI spending in the next two years.
“AI is a positive force for change,” stated Mark Purdy, Managing Director of Economic Research, Accenture Research. “It has the potential to markedly increase growth rates and substantially raise economic output across industries, while helping organizations to more easily rotate to the new way of doing business.”
In fact, Accenture found that AI could boost average profitability rates by 38% and lead to an economic increase of $14 trillion by 2035.
Unfortunately, the very things that make DT’s future so bright — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics, mobility, social media, and security — also make the future worrisome:
A company’s attack surface is becoming much wider and subject to other entities’ security, such as public cloud infrastructure and SaaS applications.
Nearly half of U.S. organizations using some sort of IoT network (48%) have experienced a recent security breach.
On average, a company suffers 130 breaches per year, a 27.4% increase over 2016 and almost double what it was five years ago.
It’s a challenge that is ultimately beyond human capability, says Juniper’s Rahim. “No human can keep up with the pace of software changes today,” he says. Cybersecurity “is set up like no other vertical I can think of when it comes to being ready for AI and what it can accomplish.”
A good example of AI relevance for cybersecurity is Juniper’s Software-Defined Secure Network (SDSN), which is powered by automation, machine learning, and real-time intelligence. It activates your multivendor network assets to protect your business across private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds — essentially everywhere.
Going digital offers potentially game-changing increases in revenues and decreases in costs, but also comes with comparable risks; the failure rates for unsuccessful digital transformation projects can range from a “low” of 70% to a high of 84%.
DT success is enhanced with artificial intelligence, especially when it is applied to your network’s security.