Maximising AI with cloud

28 November 2023

David Terrar, CEO, Cloud Industry Forum

David Terrar, CEO, Cloud Industry Forum

Currently, there is no shortage of stories discussing the seemingly inexorable rise of AI. While most tend to talk about what AI can do now and what it could do in the future, there is less focus on how organisations using it can actually maximise its potential. To achieve this, companies must take things back to basics, and ensure all the technology underpinning their AI strategy is as effective and as efficient as it possibly can be. This is according to the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF).

The appetite to take on AI is clear. Research conducted by CIF this year found that 86% of respondents consider AI either very important or critical to their business, while 14% have completed the process of migrating applications to the cloud and are now using cloud to develop their AI strategy. The research was carried out a few months after the launch of ChatGPT, with interest in AI growing even further since then. It is imperative, however, that organisations do not lose sight of the challenges ahead.

“We’re very much at the start of a new wave of technological advancement, encompassing AI and other emerging tech, such as the metaverse, mixed reality, robotics and IoT. It’s vital for organisations to ride this wave rather than be swamped by it,” said David Terrar, CEO of the Cloud Industry Forum. “Technologies like AI might promise to revolutionise businesses, but getting the best out of them takes time and effort, so businesses must think hard about the journey as well as the destination. This means taking the time now to put in the groundwork and ensure your AI strategy is built on solid foundations and accurate, trusted training data. This covers not just your ability to develop and deliver the technology itself, but making sure your house is in order in every other aspect. Having comprehensive cybersecurity adapted to the age of AI, for example, is crucial. Just as critical is ensuring that you are fully in line with data protection regulations and are quick to adapt to any changes, as falling foul of these could lead to serious problems down the line. Once the above has been achieved, organisations must, as an absolute priority, ensure that the training data they use to build their AI algorithms is of the highest quality. ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ is an oft-used phrase when it comes to data-related pursuits, and it’s more relevant than ever in AI. The allure of AI lies in its autonomous power, but it can’t reach its potential if the less glamorous work isn’t done in the background to help it succeed.”

Cloud has an important role to play in helping organisations make the best of AI. This is borne out by data: 90% of respondents in the CIF report say that cloud has helped their company improve in its digital transformation efforts and become more effective as a business, while 96% assert that their cloud strategy has delivered against their expectations for their IT estate.

“There are lots of challenges to address in becoming an AI frontrunner in any given industry, and cloud remains a powerful enabler in this respect. As an established technology that continues to grow in sophistication, it offers an accessible and hugely effective way of streamlining IT and building a more resilient organisation. With stability in IT, ambitious AI projects become much easier to realise,” said Terrar.