Why GenAI has IT in the catbird seat

Here’s why IT teams should lead GenAI initiatives in order to unlock its full business potential

Commissioned In baseball, "sitting in the catbird seat" means holding a position of strategic advantage. Like a batter with no strikes and three balls.

The legendary commentator for the Dodgers, Red Barber, borrowed this phrase from the behavior of the gray catbird in the southern United States. Sitting high above the ground, the catbird is ready to capitalize on opportunities. IT administrators are in the same spot, ready to steer their organization to the forefront of Generative AI (GenAI).

Research suggests 82 percent of business leaders believe GenAI will significantly transform their business. Using their organization's data to create new content, automate processes, and deliver insights with speed and efficiency.

However, the deployment and management of GenAI technologies demands a nuanced understanding of data management, network requirements, and infrastructure scalability. These are domains where Infrastructure Technology teams excel.

IT admins: strategic players in AI initiatives

IT teams are poised to lead the adoption and integration of GenAI technologies across the business for three key reasons:

IT knows how to get to the data

At the heart of GenAI initiatives is the ability to access and manage large volumes of data. Organization specific knowledge holds incredible potential. What begins as "just" data, has the potential to become insights, innovation, and intelligence unique to each business.

Storage admins have long been at home in this complex landscape. They have spent years managing structured and unstructured data. They have learned to excel in a multicloud world, providing access to both on-premises and cloud-based data.

The success of GenAI projects hinges on the efficient retrieval and processing of data. New requirements like real-time access to large volumes of data, and architectures optimized for speed and flexibility will drive the need for new approaches to storage management. Here, storage administrators can spearhead the adoption of innovative tools like the Dell Data Lakehouse to ensure that data in any format is accessible, preprocessed, and primed for effective AI training.

IT knows how to navigate the network

Network administrators have played a crucial role in establishing and maintaining the connectivity framework within organizations since the inception of IT teams. They laid foundational digital highways, enabled seamless communication, data transfer, and access to resources.

If data is the lifeblood of GenAI, then networking is its backbone. GenAI initiatives and the exponential growth of data will drive even more complex and powerful network infrastructure. Software-defined networking, orchestration and advances in congestion control and adaptive routing mechanisms will continue to help fuel this rapid growth. While InfiniBand is most frequently used, Ethernet technologies continue to advance.

Analysts forecast that the need for non-proprietary, cost-effective solutions, will drive a 50 percent expansion in the datacenter switch market with 800Gbps making up most AI back-end networks by 2025. Network admins can ensure their organizations are ready for AI infrastructure by strategically learning and deploying the right solution to meet the growing demands of their organization.

IT knows how to scale and virtualize compute

IT teams excel at scaling technology to meet the expanding needs of the business. When management complexity expanded, they drove containerization and virtualization. When their organizations grew, they deployed scalable infrastructure and implemented cloud services.

As GenAI projects find success, the ability to quickly scale is paramount. Transitioning from proof of concept to full-scale production while quickly showing ROI can present a significant challenge. The key for IT teams will be to start with low hanging, high probability use cases. Simultaneously they will need to anticipate growth trajectories and prepare infrastructure to support expansion. Leveraging an agile framework like the Dell AI Factory for NVIDIA provides a highly scalable infrastructure with a flexible microservices architecture.

A call to action

It is time for IT teams to take advantage of their unique position, not as participants, but as leaders. This journey calls for a deepening of skill sets. From mastering data processing for GenAI, to understanding the demands of high-bandwidth GenAI infrastructure, to looking at the datacenter in an entirely new light. The opportunity is ripe for IT professionals to build upon their established expertise, driving not only their careers forward but also positioning their organizations at the forefront of the AI revolution. IT teams do not have to do this on their own. Dell Technologies is also driving these initiatives with education, services, and great solutions.

Visit us at Dell.com/AI to learn more.

Brought to you by Dell Technologies.

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