Ipswitch survey says 'intelligent' systems already affecting business

Security company Ipswitch has released new research which has shown that intelligent systems are coming fast but businesses are ill equipped to protect themselves from them.

Ipswitch did lots of work to try and differentiate AI and intelligent systems
Ipswitch did lots of work to try and differentiate AI and intelligent systems

Security company Ipswitch has released new research which has shown that intelligent systems are coming fast but businesses are ill-equipped to protect themselves and unprepared for the effect of those systems on business.

The research, conducted by Freeform Dynamics, has shown that security, funding and lack of knowledge are all key concerns from those surveyed.

In security terms, two thirds (68 percent) say their current network security and access management capabilities are inadequate or need strengthening to cope. 30 percent said funding constraints are a big worry and 24 percent feel they don't have the knowledge and understanding of intelligent systems to adopt them safely.

Exploring the fast-paced adoption of these systems, the report also looked at the positive impacts already being observed in the commercial world and the potential barriers to even further mainstream adoption over the next decade.

According to the research, investment in intelligent business systems and automation is well underway across the globe. Top current application deployment areas cited by respondents include digital customer engagement systems (55 percent), process automation and workflow systems (52 percent), and automated risk monitoring and management solutions (50 percent).

The research further reveals that:

  • 45 percent have adopted intelligent IoT (Internet of Things) platforms and services, with 34 percent saying these technologies are on the agenda.

  • 42 percent are utilising autonomous apps and bots, and 32 percent say they plan to do so.

  • 45 percent are using cognitive computing and inference engines and a further 30 percent are looking to deploy in the near future.

  • 40 percent are using complex event processing (CEP) technology and a further 34 percent plan to soon.

Tony Lock, distinguished analyst at Freeform Dynamics told SCMagazineUK.com that, “we conducted this research as we wanted to understand what IT decision makers thought of AI. We found it to be actively a top priority, with 92 percent of respondents recognising that intelligent computing is essential to business.

Lock went on to tell SC that almost half (48 percent) of surveyed said they believed that commercial damage could result of the operational failure and breakdown of intelligent systems in the future, and 44 percent believed that commercial damage due to poor actions, decisions and recommendations is a future risk

Despite the speed of adoption, the study reveals that IT decision makers are finding it difficult to assess the full extent of the risks, challenges and threats posed by intelligent business systems.

Security concerns (33 percent), funding constraints (30 percent) and lack of knowledge (24 percent) were all identified as areas of worry and named as primary obstacles to adoption and use.

To give just one example, a fifth of respondents (20 percent) said increased ‘noise' on the network is making it harder to detect malicious activity, with automated/bot access to APIs causing system/application issues and creating unexpected security exposures.

48 percent said they were concerned that in the future we would have too much reliance on machines and an increasing use of intelligent systems would lead to complacency and lack of human oversight

“Organisations are harnessing the transformative powers of intelligent systems to gain competitive advantage. But IT decision makers recognise that, while a force for good, these technologies also expose the enterprise to new internal and external risk vectors,” said Lock. 

“As the pace of adoption increases, there will be no escaping the impact of intelligent systems on the enterprise – regardless of whether or not organisations directly invest in such technologies.”