The systems that organizations manage have grown exponentially. The advance of cloud computing and the need for technology modernization over the past few years has created more demand from people. All this has led to an IT talent gap. I recently spoke with Mehdi Daoudi, founder and CEO of internet resiliency company Catchpoint about this talent shortage. Here’s the conversation, edited for length.

SD Times: It almost seems as if there’s a perfect storm leading to a lack of talent to fill these new roles.

Daoudi: There is definitely a hole created by the appetite that some companies have, with the explosion in complexity. And aside from technology providers,  the fact is you have companies that are also trying to reinvent themselves. You look at banks, the insurance industry… those guys are also trying to become more agile, more modern. And so they also need people. Even if we wanted to ‘import talent,’ it takes 900 days in India to get a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy. It’s just insane.


SD Times: Won’t AI help fill some of that talent gap?

Daoudi: I think AI could help. I’m a huge fan of AI. But I’m also a huge proponent of, ‘let’s not put the AI like peanut butter or ketchup up on everything kind of thing. Let’s be a little bit careful. But when you think about the tasks that people do, a lot of it is toil, a lot of it is manual work.. And I truly believe that the world we’re going to be living in the near future, is a world where there is good data. And you have good models that can basically now either assist, or do some of the automation. AI can basically relieve the teams from the more mundane things, and that’s the first step. We’re already starting to see a lot of companies have some amazing results. Google, Meta, and those guys have been on the forefront of intent-based networking, and that’s driven a lot by their AI capabilities. 


SD Times: What do you mean by intent-based networking?

Daoudi: So this is something I learned from the folks at Google many years ago, where basically, the systems are smart enough, or they’re self aware enough that they know that, for instance, you shouldn’t do this, or you shouldn’t be connected this way. Or that the data should be routed a different way. Or if this system is down, automatically spin up another service somewhere else. But it’s really automation to the nth degree, where systems are aware of their rules or their boundaries, and they’re capable of, of self healing. So that’s really what this is all about self healing capabilities. 


SD Times: Google, and a lot of the industry innovators, are indeed ahead of the field. For businesses like you mentioned – banks, insurance companies, whatever – where do you think they’re seeing the early ROI on implementing artificial intelligence? And what might take a little bit longer for them to catch up?

Daoudi: I think one of the biggest thing that I’m seeing across our customers, whether they are more modern or more traditional, is around the alerting fatigue in the world of monitoring and observability. I think that’s one of the biggest low-hanging fruits out there. Can I build or have access to a system that can basically ingest and connect the dots, because that’s where we spend most of our time. And even some of the innovation we’re doing on the Catchpoint side is really about how we can help our customers connect the dots faster, better, more visually, without having a war room with 3,000 people in it. So I think that’s one of the first things that people are going to start to benefit from AI … digest all the data and connect the dots for me.