Cisco targets enterprise tech skills gap with predictive services

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Cisco has announced a new portfolio of predictive services powered by AI that it says will enable organizations to invest more of their IT budgets on technology innovation amid a growing technical skills gap.

The suite of predictive services – labeled as “Business Critical Services” and “High-value Services” – anticipates IT failures, mitigates risk, reduces maintenance costs, and assists organizations in attaining the necessary skills to transform their businesses, Cisco says.

Going into detail, Cisco said that Business Critical Services will help minimize human error and extract the most value from products and solutions while creating a secure IT environment, enabling organizations to reduce complexity and cost through automation, orchestration, and technical expertise, accelerate business agility and transformation through advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities, and reduce risk with automated compliance and remediation services, coupled with a security portfolio including incident response for threat protection.

Cisco says its Business Critical Services suite aims to help enterprises reduce downtime by 74%, resolve issues 41% faster and reduce operational costs by 21%.

Meanwhile, Cisco’s High-Value Services (a.k.a. technical services) builds on its product support services for software, solutions and networks by adding analytics, onboarding, expertise, and scale to deliver more proactive and prescriptive services.

More than ever, organizations look to heads of IT to create new revenue streams for their businesses. Yet the shortage of digital skills and the technical skills gap are putting organizations at peril of losing their competitiveness.

Cisco says its predictive services offer the power and intelligence of AI and machine learning to optimize IT talent, knowledge and skills and allow organizations to solve their problems first and ultimately get closer to their end user/customer.

“Today’s world is moving faster than ever, and to be successful, businesses must have the right blend of IT talent and services,” said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. “By leveraging AI and machine learning to address critical IT issues, Cisco’s new services offerings will truly help our customers free up time to focus on the growing IT talent gap, and remain competitive into the future.”

According to IDC’s 2017 Global Digital Transformational (DX) Leader Survey [PDF], a lack of digital skills in the organization was cited as the single largest challenge to successfully implement digital transformation. Correspondingly, companies seeking to implement digital transformation are creatively looking to other sources of talent to enable their digital strategies. IDC forecasts $6.3 trillion in direct digital transformation investments over the period from 2017 to 2020. IDC says $2.6 trillion of this investment is being budgeted and spent exclusively on third party services firms with expertise in digital transformation.

“The landscape is evolving too fast for some businesses to keep up with digital transformation, as a result they rely on their larger vendor partners with the skills, expertise and capabilities to help address these talent gaps,” said IDC analyst Chris Barnard. “By leveraging IT vendors with strong knowledge and a breadth and depth in IT skill sets, organizations are able to get up to speed, adjust to changing market conditions and ultimately focus on innovation.”

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