WEI recently had the pleasure of hosting a virtual conversation about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its critical role in digital transformation and the intelligent network. This eye-opening exchange was led by Linda Bernardi, a professional speaker, author, corporate consultant, and innovative disruptor. In her 40-minute discussion, Linda touched on the power that disruptive technologies are having across the business spectrum. She presented an actionable blueprint outlining the proven AI strategies that companies should be implementing to succeed in this new age. Linda’s bold ideas centered around the need to rethink many of the traditional progressions that restrict our thinking, and ultimately, our success.
The Inversion Paradigm
The modern consumer, whether they know it or not, often identifies a product worth purchasing based entirely on the buying experience. In other words, we shop and browse in an era where the convenience of product availability, customization, and same day delivery are elements the producer has already accounted for. Companies can no longer afford to create a product, define its use, and then expect it to sell in the display window of your local outlet store. In fact, the idea of a product itself is too limiting by its very nature. Instead, businesses must survive by the innovation that is driven by people’s needs.
A classic example where technology was carefully tailored to quench people’s needs is Amazon Alexa, which is leaps and bounds ahead of it's lesser known counterpart, Cortana. Both are virtual productivity assistants, yet Cortana is no more than a blip compared to the massive ubiquity of Alexa. This is because Cortana was a product, a feature set, that had its purpose previously defined within a computer. On the other hand, Alexa was created with no thought of limitations. No one imagined talking to a lightbulb when Alexa was first introduced to the market, yet millions of people do so today without a second thought. This idea of creating a needs-first mentality rather than a product-first mentality is what Linda identifies as the Inversion Paradigm and it is one that companies must embrace for survival.
The "Know Me" Economy
The Inversion Paradigm is more than just predicting the needs of customers – it’s about understanding what delights them, too. As mentioned above, people don’t want products anymore – they want experiences stemming from those products. For instance, the autonomous car isn’t just about getting the driver and their passengers to the destination. As the miles tick by, the car is also designed to improve their experience over time and adhering to the desires learned of its owner as the miles tick by. For a business to be successful today, it must delight its customers and it can only do this by truly knowing what they need.
The Progression of Disruption
The uncertainty of a disruptive and bold idea often triggers chaos. There’s no getting around it. Still, disruptive ideas have become a natural step in today’s enterprise world, and it is this type of idea that results in the creative innovation that businesses require for survival. The organizations that are willing to disrupt to innovate are becoming the leaders in their industries. You could go way back to the 1950s when McDonald’s first introduced the drive-thru window model as an easy example. The assembly line-like kitchen was designed to efficiently deliver on the consumer’s desire for a fresh and sanitary meal ordered just minutes ago. The convenient experience for the consumer was, and still is, just as important as the meal itself.
More specifically to Linda’s conversation though, we can also look at how Netflix disrupted the DVD rental industry with home delivery, only to further (and willingly) disrupt its own successful business model and offer digital streaming. It is all about rethinking, reimagining, removing restrictions, and resetting the mindset and core competencies of your business. To achieve disruptive change, you need diverse insight, and intelligence is what gives you the ability to harness those insights. That’s why businesses must learn to integrate intelligence into as many systems as possible through the power of AI.
The "What If" Economy
Success today is prevalent on more than just an innate understanding of people. You have to say those two powerful words, what if. Linda used the example of Honeywell, which essentially owned the thermostat market not too long ago. Then someone said, what if we connected the thermostat to the internet? That disruptive idea has been widely embraced as more than 50 million units have been sold to people that are enthusiastic about their Nest devices today. The what if mindset, however, is not about asking just once. While Peloton experienced great success early on thanks to a what if mindset, the company unfortunately failed to devise a follow up plan for when more people opted to spend less time at home due to eased COVID-19 mandates. The what if moments need to stick more than just once.
The "Know Me" Intelligent Network
So, as an IT leader, you may be wondering what this all has to do with digital innovation, or more specifically, the intelligent network. Well, the network today is the center of everything and to ensure your enterprise’s ongoing success, you must know that your network will continue to be at the center of everything tomorrow. This requires a what if mentality and an understanding of what type of network services your users will need as they progress and adapt to life. We need networks that can quickly adapt to changing environments and changing demand patterns. That is where AI comes into play – leverage machine learning to make predictions and deep learning to create self-driving awareness.
Uptime Doesn't Always Mean High Performance
While you may not know what the critical needs are of your users just yet, you do know they need your absolute assurance about network reliability and predictability. Organizations can no longer suffer one second of downtime. This means that the minimum expectation of “uptime” is no longer relevant, and no longer pertains to quality performance. In other words, your enterprise network can only be “good” if it provides the services that your users demand.
There will also be no time to wait for human intervention. Machines should be configured by machines. Everything should be automated, while integrated intelligence goes about predicting outcomes and problems before they can be derived by humans, thus creating the ultimate self-correcting and intelligent network.
You Talk To Your Lightbulb, So Why Not Your Network?
Nobody imagined talking to their lightbulb years ago, but now people recognize the value in doing so. So, why aren’t you talking to your network? You can with Marvis, Juniper Mist’s virtual network assistant whose only function is to understand the needs of your network and delight those that utilize it. It is time to start planning the network of tomorrow and to also plan for the disruptive changes that will innovate your way to sustained success. We exist in the era of a new world with new paradigms that require a whole new network. The good news is that Juniper has those intelligent network solutions already available.
NEXT STEPS: To better understand why AI should be the next step in your digital transformation journey, download and read our new white paper, “AI-Driven Enterprise: The Next Objective of Your Digital Transformation.”
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