According to a recent survey by McKinsey, businesses in a variety of industries have had to cram a decade’s worth of digital transformation into the space of a few short months to weather the pandemic. While investment in some areas slowed down, global spending on digital transformation technologies actually increased by 10% throughout 2020. If we needed any more convincing, research by Statista found that the two top priorities of CEOs when it comes to helping their businesses persevere through the COVID-19 crisis are cutting-edge digital transformation and improving the remote work experience.
Put simply, the pandemic has been tough for businesses. Necessity being the mother of invention, however, often means that technology comes to the rescue in the form of innovative game-changing solutions. Sometimes those solutions are something new entirely, but often they’re a fusion of existing technologies into one, dynamic force. In this article, we’ll talk about the application of AI when it comes to optimizing network speed – something that has become of paramount importance in 2021.
The increased importance of connectivity 2021
If there’s any small silver lining to be gleaned from the pandemic, it’s that businesses renewed impetus to modernize their technology estate. This will no doubt lead to greater efficiencies and better service down the line, but that’s not to say there aren’t first challenges to overcome. For most businesses, the path to transformation will involve moving their website and applications firmly into the cloud, or even becoming a cloud-native business entirely. Remote working policies might involve technologies like virtual desktops to ensure continuity. Whatever path a business chooses to take on its journey to the cloud, the one unifying factor will be connectivity.
Connectivity can make or break cloud transformation. But here’s the thing – the quality of a company’s internet connection doesn’t necessarily rest squarely with its chosen internet service provider. Even with the best internet service on the market today, a business can still struggle to streamline its operations if the underlying connectivity is poor due to general traffic congestion during busy periods. That’s where AI tools can make all the difference.
Optimizing network performance with AI tools
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world went into various forms of lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. In the space of 24 hours or less, people were suddenly working, learning and socializing almost exclusively over the internet. Early reports spoke of a 50-70% traffic surge that network operators around the world had to cope with. Operators like Comcast actually employed a suite of AI and ML tools to increase the speed and reliability of its service during peak times. If network operators can harness this technology, so can businesses.
An application is only really as good as the end-user experience it offers. Sadly, things like slow internet speeds are beyond the reach of most UX designers, so it falls to the business to ensure that its network is performing at its very best. That can be achieved with AI tools that enable the smart routing of traffic in real-time. The internet may seem like one cohesive network, but it’s actually made up of more than 790,000 individual networks, each with their own vulnerabilities and traffic that fluctuates with demand. Real-time routing utilizes AI technology to run thousands of tests on these available network paths every second. These tests analyze everything from packet loss and latency to historical reliability and peering capacity. This allows for optimal routing paths to be selected in real-time, ensuring that users get the best possible experience when logging on or working in the cloud.
AI is setting a new standard for performance monitoring and acceleration, and the potential for businesses as they migrate into the cloud is huge. By tapping into AI-powered tools like real-time smart routing, businesses can ensure that their online interactions are perpetually optimized, reducing slowdown and alleviating the effects of global network congestion that might otherwise interrupt workflows and impede productivity.