AI and Data Fabric: Securing Your Data in the Cloud

The Role of Data Fabric and Private AI in Process Automation

Welcome to another episode of Influential Visions! In this episode, Nathaniel Schooler interviews Malcolm Ross, the SVP of Product Strategy at Appian, to discuss the concepts of Data Fabric and Private AI. 

Do listen to the episode here or you can watch it below.

With over 22 years of experience in enterprise software, Malcolm provides valuable insights into the importance of these technologies in securing data in the cloud. The conversation also sheds light on the risks of Generative AI in cybersecurity and emphasizes the need for Private AI. While the discussion is not overly technical, it offers a comprehensive overview of these crucial topics for businesses and organizations.

The Changing Approach to Process Automation

The approach to process automation has undergone a significant transformation with the rise of extreme digitization and the application of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). 

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While previous years focused on a more philosophical and methodology-based approach to continuous process improvement, the current focus is on a technology-driven approach to automation. However, there is a resurgence of interest in blending technology with a philosophical methodology, aiming to achieve greater automation in end-to-end process automation. This new approach combines a higher-level perspective, philosophy, and methodology with a technology-driven approach to automation.

The Power of RPA and AI

RPA is the utilization of software robots to automate tasks such as data entry. This technology has gained widespread adoption across various industries, streamlining processes and improving efficiency. However, decisions still need to be made regarding the content being processed, which is where AI comes into play. AI is utilized to make decisions around content classification, data extraction, and application selection. Moreover, Generative AI is employed to create content such as emails and other communications. The combination of RPA and AI revolutionizes data processing and content generation, leading to increased efficiency and productivity. Understanding these terms is crucial to fully grasp the potential of these technologies and avoid confusion.

Understanding Data Fabric and Its Role in Process Automation

The podcast episode delves into the concept of data fabric and its significance in process automation. Malcolm defines Data Fabric as a way of consolidating all data, regardless of its structure, into a unified view, making it more easily accessible and usable. 

Data Fabric plays a key role in process automation by providing this unified view, enabling informed decision-making and streamlined workflows. Throughout the conversation, Malcolm emphasizes the importance of Data Fabric in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. He also highlights industries like healthcare and finance that have already leveraged Data Fabric to great effect.

Data Fabric: A Unique Architecture for Automation

Data Fabric is an architecture that consolidates data from various sources into a comprehensive view, allowing businesses to make decisions and create processes that span across that data. This unification of data facilitates coordination and enables automation. Unlike terms like Data Warehouse or Data Lake, Data Fabric architecture can transact with different systems and coordinate data across all enterprise systems. Appian is actively working on leveraging AI to enhance Data Fabric capabilities.

The Importance of Data Security in AI

The podcast also explores the significance of data security regulations such as GDPR and California Data Protection Rights. Companies must ensure proper governance and security of data, especially when dealing with multinational customers who have the right to be forgotten and restrict data movement. Role-level security through Data Fabric plays a vital role in ensuring that only the appropriate individuals can access specific information based on their location. Additionally, AI systems must be treated with the same level of security as humans. Anonymizing or obscuring data, before it goes to AI, can help companies harness the benefits of AI without compromising customer data. 

The podcast also highlights the challenges of monitoring AI systems’ use of data and the importance of treating AI like humans when it comes to data security.

The Risks and Philosophy of Generative AI

The adoption of Public AI services like ChatGPT can potentially violate customer data protection laws and expose confidential information to competitors. Appian’s philosophy for Generative AI is to leverage AI across all aspects of their products, breaking the human-machine barrier by using natural language to describe the intent and build entire applications. 

The discussion also addresses the challenges posed by rapidly evolving AI technology and its impact on the job market and human adaptability to learning new skills quickly.

Appian AI-Powered Process Platform: Empowering Intelligent Operations

Appian takes a holistic approach to automation, helping businesses be intelligent in their operations. This involves understanding the full end-to-end process, identifying areas for automation, and making smart decisions on how technology and humans interact. The platform is agile, allowing changes to be made over time. 

Appian’s focus goes beyond making existing processes more efficient; it extends to rethinking customer engagement and core operations. By rearchitecting processes on a software platform, businesses can maximize the benefits of AI and automation.

Reducing Technical Debt and Fostering Innovation

Appian’s platform for automation not only enables organizations to focus on technical innovation and digital transformation but also reduces technical debt by handling IT maintenance and upgrades. The pressure to digitally innovate is increasing, and organizations that neglect technical innovation will struggle to compete. 

Appian’s platform evolves over time, ensuring that applications built in the past work seamlessly on future devices. 

For those interested in learning more about Appian’s capabilities, Appian Europe will be taking place in London on 15 November 2023, providing additional opportunities to explore the Appian AI-Powered Process Platform.

In conclusion, this episode of Influential Visions offers valuable insights into the role of Data Fabric and Private AI in Process Automation. The discussion highlights the importance of these technologies in securing data, streamlining workflows, and driving efficiency.

Appian’s approach to automation and innovation provides businesses with the tools and strategies necessary to thrive in the digital age. 

Stay tuned for more thought-provoking episodes of Influential Visions!