Autonomous tech key to helping African business embrace the digital age

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Often, cases of security breaches, fraud and outages are caused by human errors of omission and commission. From the recent SIM swap fiasco that rocked the telco industry to the many reported cases of fraud and graft.

Emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can operate independently from end-to-end. Not only do they operate independently, but they are also self-learning. This means that the margin for error is very limited, if not eliminated completely.

The value of technology is so great, that it allows humans to improve business operations and focus on generating revenue. Considerable portions of technology today can run on their own without the need for human intervention.

Introducing autonomy

This is the era of autonomous technology; for technology systems of today and of the future to deliver on their potential, they will not need humans to maintain them. Autonomous technology uses the power of AI and ML to become self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing enabling organisations to lower costs, reduce risk and accelerate innovation without human intervention. It is not only self-maintaining but also self-patching, allowing it to correct anomalies. It generates data and analyses it, identifies abnormal patterns and proactively raises red flags.

Oracle has been at the forefront of driving this innovation. The first part of this new portfolio of cloud services, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service is already in use worldwide. Other platform services also recently became available and work is ongoing to make a whole range of services in the platform area autonomous, including emerging areas like blockchain and chatbots.

Autonomous technology is facilitated by cloud computing, which in its own right is leading to the explosion of new technology. Emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI are embedded within the cloud platform, enabling their application on demand.

Business benefit

Autonomous cloud brings 3 significant benefits to business:
1. It can lower costs by reducing administration costs by up to 80% with complete automation of operations and tuning,
2. Reducing runtime costs by up to 70% by paying only for resources needed at any given time,
3. It also enables companies to deploy new apps in minutes as opposed to months, allowing them to save tens of thousands of shillings and keep pace with more agile, start-up style competitors.

Whereas the autonomous industry is nascent, it is growing rapidly, attracting interest from our customer base. The technology brings significant benefits that appeal to companies of all sizes. For example, business leaders I have engaged with across industries are interested in the technology to deliver new capabilities and more business value much faster than they would have ever dreamed possible before.

It is projected that by the year 2020, more than 50 percent of all enterprise data will be managed autonomously in the cloud and 90% of all enterprise applications will include a customer AI-based capability. This is significantly faster than some of the other technologies that have been adopted in the past. While it took approximately 50 years for electricity to be adopted by 60% of U.S. households, it took cell phones only about 10 years and smartphones only about 5 years to reach the same penetration.

Autonomous technology is the answer to the challenging technological world of today. A business running an autonomous IT ecosystem creates an environment where IT supports business innovation in an intelligent way and drives the business forward instead of focusing on manual tasks like tuning and maintenance. It is also an effective antidote to the barrage of cyber-attacks and data breaches, which humans just cannot keep up with.

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