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AiThority Interview with Rajesh Ganesan, Vice President at ManageEngine

AiThority Interview with Rajesh Ganesan, Vice President at ManageEngine
Could you tell us about your role at ManageEngine?

I’ve been at Zoho Corportation for over 22 years and currently am a Vice President for ManageEngine, the IT management division of Zoho Corporation. I have more than two decades of experience in building products in the areas of telecommunication, enterprise IT management, and enterprise IT security. At ManageEngine, I’m responsible for all business operations for our Products – Defining, Developing, Delivering, Marketing, and Selling software products for identified viable markets.

Digital Transformation is a term that has been used a lot lately – what do you define it as?

It is important to realize that the transformation talked about in this context is always business transformation, just that the transformation is aided by contemporary digital technologies. Businesses always undergo phases of change and every business is leveraging technology to change their basic functions and offerings. AI is part of this next phase of reinvention that businesses will undergo. It is being incorporated heavily into company roadmaps across almost every industry. With AI incorporated into multiple aspects of IT infrastructure management, organizations will have to adapt to the changes that come along with implementing this technology. AI is enabling decision automation across the stack. Businesses have to ensure that the existing process hierarchy also factors in the decisions obtained from the AI system.

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Why do businesses need to be more proactive in their IT operations?

IT is moving towards the center of all operations in business, handling much more control and access. Everything is eventually a record in a database that needs to be organized and secured. IT responsibilities include transforming the customer experience, addressing business challenges, and responding to external factors. IT is no longer just a keeper of records, but rather governs data for the whole organization. Now, with the influx of AI and Automation in both IT and business operations, it is becoming a lot easier to be productive, as this technology cuts down on the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks.

How does ManageEngine leverage AI to make teams more proactive?

Zia, which is ManageEngine and Zoho’s AI virtual support agent for businesses, helps organizations bridge the gap between the end users and IT service desk. Zia can learn from all the data in IT infrastructure and deliver intelligent recommendations. It can automatically determine the template, category, or best person that can solve a problem quickly.

On top of this, Zia is also providing AI-powered analytics in our Analytics Plus. Zia can interpret questions posed via voice and text to generate visualizations instantly, and it can offer smart suggestions based on keywords. Users can also train Zia to understand organization-specific terms to get better results. This is allowing everyone in an organization from CTOs to technicians receive quick, actionable insights.

Can AI finally bring the ‘proactive’ edge to security as well? 

Modern day AI algorithms have a multitude of options for unsupervised learning, where you do not need to input labeled data to the system in order to make predictions. When it comes to security, there are a countless number of abnormal behaviors, making it impossible to model them all. It is more efficient, and effective, to model the normal behavior of a system and alert stakeholders when there are deviations. This is how AI can be used to create a proactive edge in security.

What are the pitfalls in AI to watch out for?

AI tools are heavily reliant on data shapes. So when the incoming data shape changes, that is going to cause numerous, erroneous predictions. This challenge can be mitigated by “explainable” AI tools, which can explain why a particular result was predicted. The explanations build a layer of trust in the AI system; and they aid the person implementing the AI system’s decision, helping that person take better action.

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What factors would prevent security teams from investing in AI?

The biggest hurdle to AI implementation is integrating it with legacy systems. However, this should not deter someone from investing in AI as the benefits far outweigh the costs. Not investing in AI today is akin to not investing in the internet in the past decade.

What is in the future for Artificial Intelligence?

General AI has some time before it becomes mainstream. Explainable AI is the natural next step we will have to embrace. Once an explanation comes along with the AI’s prediction, AI adoption is going to soar, and we’ll see more enterprises put their trust into AI systems. Explanations will make AI customization easier as well.

Thank you, Rajesh! That was fun and hope to see you back on AiThority soon.

Rajesh Ganesan is the Vice President of Product at ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corporation. He has over 20 years’ experience in building enterprise IT products around security, access management, and service management.

He spends as much time as possible interacting with thousands of customers around the world and is passionate about solving IT problems with a simple, yet effective, approach. He has built many successful products at ManageEngine, focusing on delivering enterprise IT management solutions as SaaS.

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ManageEngine is the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation. Established and emerging enterprises – including 9 of every 10 Fortune 100 organizations – rely on our real-time IT management tools to ensure optimal performance of their IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, applications, desktops and more. We have offices worldwide, including the United States, the Netherlands, India, Singapore, Japan, China and Australia as well as a network of 200+ global partners to help organizations tightly align their businesses and IT.

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