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Autonomous approach Empowering tech to take care of itself

Autonomous approach Empowering tech to take care of itself

Andrew Sutherland

Throughout history, we have used tools to help us get the things we want, from the spear to the microprocessor. In the modern world these IT systems that are now intrinsic to the smooth running of the business, have become increasingly complex, demanding greater human effort to keep them performing optimally. Rather than helping, they are making it harder for organisations to adapt to changing market conditions or take advantage of new opportunities. As a result, we are assigning more and more people and budget to managing the tools we need, rather than designing and utilising the products and services we actually want. We are employing large groups of people in the service of technology. Shouldn't it be the other way around? What if people could spend less time and effort maintaining technology, and more time adding value back to their organisation? How much more innovative could an organisation be, and how much faster could it bring products and services to market, if it was freed to focus on what it does best? So how then do we give people the freedom to perform the tasks that add the greatest value? By letting, the technology take care of itself. This is the promise of autonomous technology. Tasks such as administration, integration, security and even analytics are effectively technology-based. Autonomous technology enables the systems that underpin these tasks to manage themselves, and lets people get back to performing the tasks that genuinely add value in their organisation. Freedom from technology servitude Autonomous technology represents the next great leap in technology's evolution, through harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning to perform the functional tasks that machines are best suited to, and by processing vast volumes of data at speeds that no human could match. Previous technology waves, such as the internet or the cloud, have actually served to introduce greater complexity into organisations. Autonomous technology differs by bringing to life the idea that technology can manage itself without human intervention. This time it is machines that are doing the work - not people. Autonomous technology doesn't hide complexity behind new technology. It resolves complexity. The benefits of autonomous technology are both incremental and revolutionary. It can drive efficiency in existing systems management, freeing up human resources and generating quick wins that can be reinvested in further implementations. Staff now have the time to use their knowledge of system and functions to proactively change and improve them. They can also begin to consider and design new processes and practices, and step away from managing backend systems in favour of focusing on the frontend applications and services that matter most to employees and customers. Furthermore, autonomous technology also delivers improved capabilities to implement these new ideas, by automating tasks such as integration and security. Prototypes can be delivered securely in weeks, slashing time-to-value and helping to meet rapidly changing market dynamics and customer expectations. The result is the ability to meet business requirements with new initiatives not previously considered, at speeds never before possible while. By freeing itself up from the service of IT, the IT function can become a true partner to the organisation. Ultimately, autonomous technology can lead to a future where there is no discernible difference between IT and the business - they are converged. As Jerry Gearding, CTO, DX Marketing said, "Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud will help us roll out a data management platform that our data analysts and data scientists can build themselves and use themselves, without involving any of our IT resources" Accelerating information into action Over time organisations may find they have little choice but to adopt autonomous technology, as market pressures compress the allowable time between gathering and utilising data, and the volumes and velocity of the data become overwhelming. For example, Oracle's Autonomous Database technology eliminates manual and functional processes such as maintaining, patching and securing systems, and allows people to focus on tasks that actually add value. Not only does it clean and manage data, it reduces the time to generating insights by interrogating data sets and finding correlations, be they structured or unstructured, and surfaces them in near real-time. And because it is based on Oracle's cloud technology, it can perform these services on an as-needs basis. Oracle's autonomous integration technology can then examine the paths data takes through an organisation and optimise them, deducing the touchpoints and subsequent errors, and can repair those paths in the event they are every interrupted. This provides a more stable and flexible platform for developing new services that turn insights into outcomes. You might call it insight-as-a-service. Conclusion In putting technology at the heart of organisations, we have displaced the two groups that really should be there - employees and customers. What's worse, we have made people slaves to technology, and forced workers to engage in repetitive tasks that offer no greater value than simply ensuring the technology performs the way it is supposed to. It is time for organisations to get back to doing what they do best - providing the great service that clients expect of them. And the only way to do that is to ensure that their people are free to focus on that task. Autonomous technology delivers the freedom necessary to make that vision a reality. Writer is a Senior Vice President, Business Development, Oracle EMEA & APAC

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