My Colleague, My AI Platform: A Look at the Future of Work

    Change is inevitable in all processes, including in the way we work. Cutting-edge and ever-expanding developments in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, coupled with increasing levels of automation that AI platforms enable, will fundamentally shape the workplace of tomorrow.  In these transformed workplaces, machines will help humans make better decisions and even automate decision making.

    By embracing a vision in which AI empowers decision making, IT and business leaders will be better positioned to maximize the potential of AI. In this post, I’ll share insights on the advantages that can be realized when AI is distributed across the enterprise, and specifically the promise afforded by the combination of BizOps and AI platforms.

    Establishing a Sound Vision of AI

    There can often be extreme perspectives on the notion of AI in an enterprise. On one side of the spectrum, there’s fear and loathing, usually associated with visions of workforces removed—the bustle of human activity replaced by the humming of robots. On the other side, AI can present a vision of a team of data scientists and a bank of super computers off in a remote lab. The work being done may be important, but it’s completely isolated from daily operations, other staff, and the rest of the organization.

    It’s important to have a vision of AI. Not so much in terms of the specific technologies or use cases, but more in terms of what AI will look and feel like in the years ahead. A Gartner report offered a compelling look at the future of work.1 One of their assumptions was titled “Smart Machines Will Be Our Coworkers.”

    This is a great vision for CIOs to consider as they chart their strategies. The power of AI will only be fully harnessed when fears about its use are put aside, and when it moves out of labs. This vision of smart machines as coworkers takes the concept of the citizen data scientist to its logical conclusion. Ultimately, it presents a future in which each employee will be supported by an AI-powered colleague, one that can take on tasks, offer guidance, and take responsibility for making decisions.

    AI Platforms: Not an Either/Or Proposition

    Results from a McKinsey Global Institute study offer an interesting perspective on automation. In their research, they found that, using currently demonstrated technology, 5% of occupations could be automated in their entirety. However, around 60% of occupations have 30% of activities that could be automated.2 Rather than an either/or, all-or-nothing perspective, automation and AI platforms can be viewed as resources that empower a significant percentage of employees. Following are a few potential scenarios:

    Instead of automation and AI eliminating accounting teams, these capabilities help streamline and speed ongoing activities, and they empower teams to gain increased insights that get fed back into business operations and planning.

    Rather than automating sales away, teams can rely on automation and AI to optimize every step of the sales cycle, from who they target for outreach, to more effectively predicting requirements, and ultimately more efficiently navigating complex decision-making hierarchies and procedures.

    Instead of having an independent data science lab handing off intelligence to the marketing department, marketing teams get empowered by infusing automation and AI into their operations. As a result, these teams can establish more granular, sophisticated personalization and segmentation that boost results.

    By effectively collaborating with smart machines, teams will be able to realize greater capabilities than they could with AI or human ingenuity alone. Ultimately, AI platforms can fuel not only automated operations but automated decision making. ​By empowering team members to creatively, iteratively mine AI, they’ll be able to boost their expertise, skills, and performance.

    The Power of BizOps and AI Platforms

    As CIOs chart their organizations’ AI strategies and pursue digital transformation initiatives, BizOps represents an increasingly essential approach. While DevOps has enabled teams to make strides towards continual improvement of software quality, it doesn’t necessarily account for business outcomes. That’s where BizOps comes in. This is a framework for decision making that helps put business outcomes at the center of everything, from value management to development to IT operations.

    In an IDC report, analysts describe how the activities of successful BizOps teams can be summed up as "learn quickly, experiment, fail fast."3 In leading enterprises, AI will play an increasingly central role in these teams’ ability to learn with unprecedented speed. By facilitating the integration of business outcomes into DevOps lifecycles, BizOps will help usher in optimized AI and automation strategies and investments.

    We’re already seeing AI delivering these advantages in IT operations, where teams are employing correlated intelligence to predict potential issues and gain contextual intelligence to accelerate triaging and remediation. Ultimately, these capabilities are setting the stage for teams to establish self-healing operations.

    Through BizOps and AI, site reliability engineering (SRE) teams can streamline their initiatives by enhancing infrastructure monitoring with intelligent recommendations and automated remediation capabilities. With these capabilities, SRE teams can create more resilient production environments. By leveraging AI and automation, these teams can easily automate standard operating procedures that can be reused across environments, reducing operations toil and enabling teams to handle more events.

    AI and automation will be instrumental in gaining the analytics that unify ITOps and business services, so teams can truly align all their tactics, investments, and plans with business outcomes. Ultimately, by leveraging BizOps, automation, and AI, teams will gain the ability to truly unify planning, application delivery, and operations, so they’re optimally aligned with each other, and with the organization’s most critical business objectives.


    Maximizing the power of AI represents a strategic imperative for enterprises today. The more quickly the power of AI can be infused across the organization, the better business performance will be. When organizations combine advanced AI platforms with BizOps, they’ll be able to realize a range of breakthrough benefits, helping ensure optimal business alignment and accelerated advancement towards key business outcomes. 

    1. Gartner, “How We Will Work in 2028,” ID: G00349777, De'Onn Griffin and Mark Coleman, July 17, 2019

    2. McKinsey Global Institute, “A Future that Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity,” January 2017, URL:

    3. IDC, “BizOps: The CIO's Guide to Multiplied Business Transformation,” Marc Strohlein, Joseph C. Pucciarelli, Mike Rosen, February 2019