A new set of predictive services from Cisco will tackle some of the work associated with IT maintenance and failures, freeing up IT to focus on growth and innovation. Announced in a Tuesday press release, Cisco’s Business Critical Services and High-value Services can help predict failure, automate tasks, and improve analytics.

The IT skills gap is something that some 83% of tech leaders struggle with, according to a recent TechRepublic CIO Jury report. This means that the available talent is often focused on putting out fires and maintaining day-to-day operations, leaving little time for efforts that could grow the business or improve continuity.

“Today’s world is moving faster than ever, and to be successful, businesses must have the right blend of IT talent and services,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said in the release. “By leveraging AI and machine learning to address critical IT issues, Cisco’s new services offerings will truly help our customers free up time to focus on the growing IT talent gap, and remain competitive into the future.”

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Using intelligence and automation, the new services could help handle some of the labor-intensive IT tasks and free up tech pros to spend more time on forward-looking business innovations.

Business Critical Services looks to boost compliance, security, and analytics in the enterprise. These services will help to “minimize human error” and help IT get the most out of its existing products and investments, the release said.

Complexity is reduced with the help of automation and orchestration through Business Critical Services, the release said. Additionally, these services could help IT prioritize infrastructure and more. Business Critical Services could reduce downtime by 74%, the release said, based on data from a recent Cisco Optimization Services Executive Summary.

“Cisco Business Critical Services provides the guidance and intelligence to configure new technology properly and reconfigure it safely during scheduled network changes, resulting in fewer issues and less downtime,” Craig Hudgins, senior manager of technology architecture at Bell, said in the release.

The high-value services, on the other hand, help with scale, onboarding, analytics, and efficiency, the release said. These are the services that could help IT get more out of its existing products and investments. They also provide additional support for software, services, and networking issues.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Cisco has released new predictive services, powered by AI, that aim to free up IT to focus on more innovative projects for business.
  2. The portfolio is split between two arms–Business Critical Services and High-value Services–that can help predict failure, automate tasks, and improve analytics.
  3. The services portfolio also could help businesses address the growing IT skills gap by handling some of the background tasks.