AI in enterprise storage and IT faces a 'cynicism barrier' to adoption. How do we know? We asked Reg readers

Freeform Dynamics took a look at survey submissions, now shares its report for you to pore over

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Analysis Every organisation realizes and understands storage is important – or should do. Users, customers, and executives all want instant access to information, using whatever tools they wish to use. And then there are the demands of auditors and regulators. Storage is anything but invisible.

This makes the installation and operation of storage platforms increasingly important, especially as the volume of data created and stored grows dramatically. But with IT staff under pressure across the board, an interesting point is raised: with artificial intelligence proving useful elsewhere, could it be drafted to help with storage management, and where do IT pros see it bringing any advantages in future?

Freeform Dynamics asked Reg readers to tell us their views on the use of machine learning in IT operations, sometimes called AIOps or intelligent infrastructure, and in storage in particular. The results make interesting reading, especially as a significant number of respondents, roughly two in every five, said the term "intelligent infrastructure" sounds like meaningless marketing speak. It shows just how high is the "cynicism barrier" that any AI-based technology now faces.

That said, while only a minority of those taking part in the survey were already using intelligent infrastructure in their storage systems, between a third and a half of respondents do see such solutions having a significant impact in a number of storage administration activities, ranging from provisioning, performance optimization, and workload movement, through to problem and fault remediation.

When asked how their colleagues in different technology areas felt about AI in general, it is interesting to see that while there are some who are extremely keen and others who are totally against, the answer that came through loud and clear, almost across the board, was “they don’t care as long as it works.”

However, among every user type covered, ranging from developers and system operators to senior IT leaders, a lot of uncertainty exists. The same can be said of storage admins, security admins, and DBAs, although in each of these groups there is also a considerable cohort who are totally against allowing AI to have a role. This may be due to natural concerns around trust, though in a few cases, it may be more reflective of job security concerns.

The survey also reveals a variety of thoughts on how and where AI and ML may save time or money, or maybe even generate new business value. As for potential inhibitors to investment, some were skeptical that solutions were available from their suppliers, which, along with those still not trusting such systems, gives vendors some issues to resolve.

If you are interested in finding out more, just download the research report: The Role of Machine Learning and Automation in Storage. ®

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