Every business leader wants to be the next hero, praised for sharpening the corporate competitive edge. Business heroes are the ones who solve big problems by leveraging emerging technology to awaken new powers accelerating strategic outcomes. So, why not use artificial intelligence (AI) to step into your higher potential, automating a system that drives more dollar value out of your corporate IT investments?\n\nIt\u2019s time to get more value out of accelerated innovation\n\nThanks to years of accelerated innovation, businesses of all sizes are capitalizing on the agility of digital services and remote work. But at what cost? The challenge today is: How efficient and sustainable is your IT spending when it\u2019s gone unrestrained over the past three years? Business heroes might even be taking on the task of curing a corporate digital transformational hangover. Consider that:\n\nToday, IT investments happen at warp speed, and afterward business leaders are expected to govern those investments, normalizing them into the company\u2019s standards of operational excellence. That requires applying security protections to cloud investments and remote work, taking a recount of all IT resources after widespread changes, putting checks and balances in place to manage new assets, and realigning spending with business goals.\n\nWhile anyone can achieve these goals, only those who can automate them will be celebrated as a hero. But as we all know, a hero can\u2019t win the big prize without first going on a journey.\n\nAI: the journey to intelligent IT expense optimization\n\nAI is making intelligent automation the new business standard. In IT, machine learning and behavioral analytics are no longer used only for making sense of security threat data or predicting network service outages. They are now being applied to address the problems of IT cost control, vendor management, and administration burdens surrounding today\u2019s highly distributed business ecosystems.\n\nMuch like a robot vacuum learns the layout of your house, AI-powered analytics can be used to study the entire IT environment alongside its associated services and expenses, correlating this information with usage data. Tracking cloud infrastructure, network connections, mobile devices, and their services generates granular data intelligence, allowing AI engines to \u201cunderstand\u201d current IT spending trends and \u201csee\u201d how effectively a company uses its existing investments. Let\u2019s look at one example.\n\nIT service sprawl: championing vendor management with AI\n\nAI is solving the problems of vendor management and provider sprawl\u2014issues all too familiar to IT leaders handling an ever-expanding landscape of tools, services, and dashboards. In fact, it\u2019s assisting with some of the downsides of software-defined networks (SD-WAN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) investments when companies suddenly find themselves with an overabundance of internet service providers (ISPs) to manage. AI works to eliminate the manual work of handling hundreds of ISPs and other sprawling IT service providers.\n\nHow does it work? Advanced analytics observe network services, connectivity usage, and the costs of global links across multiple vendors, allowing IT leaders to make quick sense of highly complex telecommunications environments. With a mountain of data crunched across ISPs, voice, and all fixed wireline services, companies can gain contextual clarity into how they are using their network services all in one consolidated view for elevated insights.\n\nAI-powered telecom expense optimization can:\n\nThis is one way AI automates IT expense optimization. Let\u2019s explore the others.\n\nCloud optimization: awakening the powers of AI and closed-loop automation\n\nEveryone is migrating to the cloud, and AI engines designed to automate cloud cost savings have two unique capabilities worth highlighting.\n\nThe first important distinction is AI\u2019s ability to recommend solutions for the problems it recognizes. Big data insights and problem identification are the advantages of yesterday\u2014actionable recommendations and automated problem solving are today\u2019s biggest AI benefits. For example, AI can observe your corporate cloud infrastructure services and cloud application investments, essentially guiding you in how to use what you already own more efficiently.\n\nAn AI engine might recommend how to:\n\nThe second important distinction: the ability for AI to automatically act on its own recommendations. This is the signature of advanced AI capabilities known as \u201cclosed-loop automation.\u201d Not only can AI recognize the problem alongside the solution, but it can also make that solution a reality with just the click of an approval button. Tight integration makes this possible. Only when AI engines are connected to the cloud service delivery platform can they manipulate settings and make changes to the control panel on your behalf.\n\nClosed-loop automation marks the moment when AI advances from a data intelligence service to a virtual assistant, doing the more meaningful work of actually solving the core problem.\n\nUsing the cloud cost optimization examples from above, here\u2019s what closed-loop automation looks like in a real-world scenario:\n\nThis is the type of automation that gets business leaders crowned heroes. Automated problem solving is the true digital advantage because it literally accelerates business outcomes. Let\u2019s face it, every business hero knows that nothing stops innovation in its tracks like the moment when a computer-automated workflow gets handed back to the human, essentially asking the employee to take it from there.\n\nArriving at automated IT expense optimization \n\nAfter accelerated innovation, harnessing information across the IT ecosystem is harder than it was just three years ago, and AI is the best tool for smarter resource allocation and tighter cost control.\n\nThe first step for business heroes is to apply advanced analytics to cloud and network services, so AI engines can start to understand what\u2019s happening inside the IT environment. The key is to align AI to your strategic cost-savings initiatives, knowing which data streams coincide. After using AI to quickly recognize spending patterns and discrepancies between service usage and costs, it then becomes easier to advance into automated problem-solving using closed-loop automation.\n\nWorried about how to get started?\n\nStart with any functional area that is plagued by a combination of complex data with manual administrative processes and lean on IT expense management providers to usher in AI-powered platforms that simplify implementation through software and services. If you have a vast Iandscape of global IT services to cost optimize, look for a partner that can integrate with hundreds of IT service providers across the globe. The best expense optimization teams bring a library of IT spending insights, understanding the latest pricing information as well as how companies should shift their IT investments in response to economic pressures, remote work, and new technology trends.\n\nIn the end, business leaders crowned true heroes are the ones who save 15-40% of their IT costs by automating expense optimization. But in doing so, they also help their companies spend less money on the tools they need to simply run the business and more money on digital innovation.\n\nTo learn more about IT expense and asset management services, visit us here.