Sara Watson, Industry Analyst and Technology Critic introduces Audrey Benjamin, Senior Manager of Business Development at CDW, and Phil Taylor, Practice Vice President and CTO, at a CDW Executive session.

Sep 26 2023

CDW Executive SummIT: How to Drive Accelerated Automation in Your Business

As businesses accelerate their automation efforts, they must negotiate how to integrate new tools with their existing IT infrastructure, and it all starts with finding where the tech fits.

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, organizations are constantly seeking ways to innovate and deliver products faster. Leveraging artificial intelligence has become a transformative strategy for achieving this goal. In fact, AI will contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to CDW research.

At September’s CDW Executive SummIT in Dallas on “Enabling Innovation by Building on Your Foundation,” IT leaders learned why AI is a catalyst for accelerating product velocity, fostering innovation and staying competitive in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

Here's what IT decision-makers need to know to stay ahead:

DISCOVER: Find out how platform engineering helps DevOps workflow.

How to Leverage AI to Improve Modern Business

There’s a dynamic intersection of AI and product development happening right now, and most of that is directed at problem-solving. In fact, 54 percent of IT professionals who work with these AI engineering platforms say the primary goal is to reduce troubleshooting.

“We’re here today, though, because we feel like there's an even bigger opportunity for businesses like yours to leverage AI to deliver new and differentiated experiences,” said Audrey Benjamin, senior manager of business development at CDW.

EXPLORE: Learn how to leverage the benefits of DevOps and automation at scale.

Experts at the SummIT shared a few examples of how these cutting-edge technologies are being deployed. Phil Taylor, practice vice president and CTO of Digital Velocity at CDW recounted how the company helped one customer, a global battery manufacturer whose batteries kept malfunctioning during transport. The problems resulted in entire shipments being returned, causing delays and customer dissatisfaction.

Audrey Benjamin
We’re here today, though, because we feel like there's an even bigger opportunity for businesses like yours to leverage AI to deliver new and differentiated experiences.”

Audrey Benjamin Senior Manager of Business Development, CDW

“We helped engineer an IoT sensor that could manufacture and help them build the algorithms underneath that will detect when that battery will fail for a number of reasons and alert the driver so they can do maintenance before that failure occurs,” said Taylor.

This suggests that innovations can be not only new inventions but also subtle improvements to workflow or consumer experience. In another example, Taylor cited how Bank of America is using AI to locate where customers are traveling in the world and monitor for suspicious transactions. This saves users time and enhances security.

How Digital Velocity and AI Can Boost Your Competitive Edge

By automating repetitive, time-consuming or error-prone tasks, organizations can save time, improve productivity and free employees to focus on more creative and strategic tasks.

“The use cases for AI go well beyond just a chatbot or search engine,” said Benjamin. She cited examples of companies like Chipotle and White Castle that are using AI and the Internet of Things to offload assembly line tasks, such as flipping burgers and frying tortilla chips.

Companies like Uber,, Stripe and GitHub, Benjamin added, are also using AI to their advantage to outperform competitors and disrupt the market.

Free Up Developers to Innovate by Automating Infrastructure 

Automation can also benefit the complex code that companies run on. Particularly useful in platform engineering, it can improve the overall developer experience by automating infrastructure, improving connectivity, building modern and scalable software and boosting cloud performance.

“Invest in your software engineers,” advised E.G. Nadhan, global chief architect leader of the CTO Organization at Red Hat. Doing so will improve your ability to integrate new technology into your IT foundation.

ADVANCE: Deepen your understanding of digital velocity and how it can help your business.

Foster a Collaborative Culture for Greater Innovation

Businesses who are still transitioning from older tech (or looking to merge old and new tools) should know that fostering a culture of collaboration is key. “When you have legacy investments,” said Nadhan, “it’s really a mindset shift. It is not just a technology change. In fact, it’s more of a mindset shift.”

This means developing a cross-disciplinary exchange and making sure your technology expertise is aligned with your big-picture goals and best practices.

“If you don’t have the intent to collaborate, if you don’t have that culture of collaboration, having the actual mechanism to collaborate is to no avail,” said Nadhan. “So, the open way of working is extremely critical.”

Find BizTech’s full coverage of the event here, follow our live news coverage of the CDW Executive SummIT on X (formerly Twitter) at @BizTechMagazine and join the conversation using hashtag #JoinCDW.

Photography by Lily Lopate

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