With Motific, Cisco Ushers in Generative AI Policy Management

With Motific, Cisco Ushers in Generative AI Policy Management

The News: On February 6 as part of Cisco Live EMEA, Cisco announced the preview launch of Motific, a SaaS product that helps organizations deploy trustworthy generative AI. An initiative born from Outshift, Cisco’s incubation business, Motific provides a centralized view across an organization’s generative AI, empowering IT and security teams to deliver generative AI across an organization with control over data, security, responsible AI, and cost.

Here are the key details:

  • Motific is a foundation model and vendor agnostic.
  • Cuts deployment times with compliance controls for over-usage, overrun spending, and integration of organization-specific data sources. It automatically configures assistants, abstracted APIs, and handles RAG.
  • Provides built-in policy controls that organizations can use or customize, enabling companies to provision based on their internal policies; controls for sensitive data (such as personally identifiable information [PII]), security (prompt injection, etc.), and trust-related risks (toxicity, hallucinations); and enterprise controls that detect and mitigate issues and risks for large language model (LLM) responses.
  • Tracks business process and prompt usage intelligence with ROI and cost analysis, including audit trail and key metrics tracking of all user requests. Deters shadow AI usage in organizations by providing visibility into the use of unapproved third-party generative AI capabilities and helps IT admins provision organizationally compliant alternatives.
  • General availability slated for June 2024.

Read the Cisco Motific press release here.

With Motific, Cisco Ushers in Generative AI Policy Management

Analyst Take: In-house development or outsource? When it comes to generative AI, the trend continues to be strong desire by most organizations to develop in-house generative AI capabilities. Which makes centralized generative AI command and control/policy control a very logical and desirable product. Cisco Outshift, leaning on historic experience with IT policy controls, drops a comprehensive and product-agnostic solution in Motific. What will the impact of Motific be? Here are my thoughts.

Parsing AI Management versus AI Governance

Products that provide observability, security, and control for generative AI are growing. Dynatrace and CalypsoAI offer similar products that are designed as overlay to any generative AI product and non-generative AI products that interact within an organization. The approach leans into legacy command and control/policy control systems, which have proven to be highly effective and popular. There is a certain amount of trust organizations have with legacy vendors in this space, including Cisco.

There is also a family of AI governance products, and even data governance products, that are related. In particular, there is IBM’s watsonx.governance and AWS’ Guardrails for Amazon Bedrock, which are products that help organizations manage generative AI systems, albeit both of these examples are not vendor product-agnostic; they work within only IBM and AWS constructs, respectively.

Will organizations need both types? Too hard to tell at this point. Will the similar/yet different products, AI management versus AI governance, cause confusion in the market? Probably, especially in the near-term, 8-12 months.

Are There Too Many Pieces to Connect?

One of the biggest challenges for Motific and other AI management systems is integration complexity. In the generative AI case, that could mean one or more foundation model integrations, third-party AI development platforms, such as Hugging Face, GitHub, Amazon Bedrock, Google Vertex AI, etc.; third-party or internal data management systems, third-party or internal computing platforms; and more. It will be interesting to see if these new AI management systems can connect all of the dots and how quickly they can do it. The good news is that legacy observability, security, and control products are used to such wide-ranging integrations.

Does Motific Favor Public or Private Cloud?

Organizations are in the process of deciding where generative AI operations will live for their use—public cloud or private (on-premises) clouds. Is Motific better suited for one or the other? Cisco Outshift executives told The Futurum Group in an interview that Motific works in either environment and that Cisco will go where customers go.


Although there are challenges to AI management products, the demand and need for them will grow dramatically over the next year. These are the types of systems, along with other types of governance tools, that will help organizations tame generative AI risks and to use AI more responsibly.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Guardrails for Amazon Bedrock Show AWS Gets Generative AI

Dynatrace Announces Intention to Acquire Runecast

Cisco Unveils Cutting-Edge Capabilities in AppDynamics

Author Information

Mark comes to The Futurum Group from Omdia’s Artificial Intelligence practice, where his focus was on natural language and AI use cases.

Previously, Mark worked as a consultant and analyst providing custom and syndicated qualitative market analysis with an emphasis on mobile technology and identifying trends and opportunities for companies like Syniverse and ABI Research. He has been cited by international media outlets including CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and CNET. Based in Tampa, Florida, Mark is a veteran market research analyst with 25 years of experience interpreting technology business and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida.


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