Can businesses take advantage of AI in their IT without disrupting their day-to-day operations? It’s not just possible – but in today’s connected world, it’s increasingly necessary. AI can help businesses not only gain better performance from their current IT footprint; but also grow without the many associated issues of complexity and scale. Used correctly, it can simultaneously raise the quality of the user experience while driving down operational costs. Best of all: deploying and managing AI today is much easier than many businesses might think.

What’s in it for my business?

AI-driven infrastructures can achieve significantly higher performance, with far less manual labour, than traditional networks and systems. Juniper Access Points driven by Mist AI, which was designed specially to automate many of the routine network admin tasks required to “keep the lights on”. This includes

  • Automatically monitoring the network for performance drops and immediately correcting them wherever possible;
  • Assigning users to the band of radio spectrum that gives them the best performance – while avoiding interference with other devices on the network; and
  • Analysing trends in user experience, finding correlations between issues, and using those insights to proactively resolve issues before users notice a thing.

These tasks are not just complex, they’re also mundane and extremely frequent – and they only grow in volume as businesses scale up their digital infrastructure. Putting AI in the network helps keep IT staff from getting bogged down by these issues, allowing them to stay focused on higher-value actions like customer support or tech strategy. Often, it yields performance-related insights and correlations that, because of the complexity of networks, even experienced IT pros would find near impossible to detect. Juniper’s Mist devices even offer an AI-powered virtual network assistant (known as Marvis) which guides network admins to the most relevant dashboards and commands when the network needs a human touch.

The result of AI in the network: quality of service that’s higher and more predictable, even when the business using it grows. That’s an attractive value proposition for businesses that are looking to scale digitally, manage their network across multiple sites, or simply strengthen its core.

What’s the cost…or the catch?

AI-driven infrastructure, like the Juniper Access Points we’ve used as an example, is inevitably pricier than more traditional non-AI based devices and hardware. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that AI-drivendevices like those from Juniper should last much longer and offer greater outcomes for your business. Juniper access points, for example, can provide not only much stronger support for larger numbers of Internet of Things devices, but are also easier to manage and maintain thanks to the cloud platform that they operate on – especially for IT staff who are looking after multiple sites. AI and automation also make it much easier for IT to adapt their networks to changing business and user requirements, something that happens more often than ever in today’s market environment.

That said, it’s worth choosing AI-driven infrastructure that can support existing hardware. Juniper EX switches, for example, can now be integrated into the Juniper Mist cloud architecture where its AI capabilities reside, meaning organisations can apply the same AI-driven controls and manage their wired and wireless networks on a single platform. Next on the Mist AI roadmap: integrating SRX firewalls so that your network’s security can be managed on the very same platform. Consider how your AI systems might interact with existing technologies and explore compatibility levels before you decide on purchasing.

In short, AI-driven networks and other infrastructure offer a powerful, way to support growing digital capabilities and give end-users (whether customers or employees) a more seamless digital experience. In a time when digital innovation and services often define an organisation’s competitive edge, they’re worth considering as a relatively small step towards these installations often have potentially huge long-term impacts.

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The Author

Paul Wen

Paul is a Data Centre and Networks Solution Architect in the Dicker Data Networks Team. With over 10 years of practical and technical experience in the industry, Paul enables the pursuit of effective business solutions utilising appropriate technologies for storage and server optimization, as well as wired and wireless networks performance. Paul’s hands-on approach and dedication to customer service gives customers a peace of mind that they are well-supported every step of the way.