Spiceworks CEO Jay Hallberg said artificial intelligence and automation will help solution providers automate mundane tasks and rapidly change who and what they're working with.
"In the past, a lot of our changes have been measured in decades," Hallberg said during CompTIA ChannelCon 2017. "But in three to five years, I think we're going to be stunned at what just happened to us."
Hallberg believes the technology can be harnessed in a multitude of ways to serve the interests of channel partners. Surveys have found that 70 percent of IT professionals believe AI will help them automate mundane tasks, Hallberg said, while 30 percent expect to be working heavily with that type of automation within the next decade.
"They are collectively optimistic about the capabilities it has, whether they do it themselves or it's in the products they consume," Hallberg said Wednesday during a keynote session at ChannelCon, which is being held in Austin, Texas.
Automation and AI allow for the creation of customized experiences for both consumer and business applications, said Spiceworks' Sanjay Castelino, vice president of revenue operations and marketing for the network of IT professionals.
Even something as simple as applying AI to help employees schedule meetings or manage their workday could dramatically enhance how working hours are spent, he said.
"Email, right now, is almost ineffective for most people," Castelino said.
Applying data, technology and intelligence to things we'd otherwise ask humans to do could have particularly interesting implications as it relates to industrial or vertical applications, Castelino said.
Specifically, he said leveraging AI for even small gains in the failure rates of large, extremely expensive equipment would dramatically move the needle given the large scale of operations.
There's also a strong appetite in the IT community around evolving development through DevOps, learning scripting skills to automate the mundane, and moving applications to the cloud, Hallberg said.
Spiceworks itself is in the process of adopting machine learning because it's the easiest and most effective way to create better large-scale experiences for the millions of people using the IT network, according to Castelino.
Castelino said it simply wouldn't be feasible to have a human being map out all these experiences
In the past, Hallberg said Spiceworks attempted to get the right information to its users more quickly through better organization of its pages. But going forward, Hallberg expects to turn that task over to artificial intelligence.
Resource availability and data integrity are two of the driving forces behind having a successful IT business, and M&N Communications believes artificial intelligence can help with both of those, according to Melvin Williams, president of the Blue Bell, Pa.-based solution provider.
Williams anticipates the rapid implementation of AI given the massive amounts of data now being created through the Internet of Things.
"Having that data reviewed by humans would slow down the process," Williams said.