The Data Demands of Artificial Intelligence: New Survey Sheds Light on Enterprise Perspectives
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The Data Demands of Artificial Intelligence: New Survey Sheds Light on Enterprise Perspectives

By Alex Passett

As we’re currently seeing it, the landscape of AI adoption and overall corporate spend is less of a big block of enterprise info and more of a complex tapestry, of sorts – in this vein, a single perspective doesn’t do it justice. That’s why gleaning insights from numerous sources – diverse research terms from plenty of firms over the course of time – holds the real value it does.

Typically when fellow editor Greg Tavarez and I write up our thoughts on such insights, we see them through a unique lens each time. For instance, a study by a management consultancy might focus heavily on tracking the ROI of AI for specific industries, whereas a university research team might dive much deeper into the multifaceted ethical considerations that come part and parcel with globally scaled AI implementations.

The long-story-short of it, readers? Anything to help paint a smarter, data-rich picture of AI trends, challenges and opportunities to be seized should more or less be a great plus.

Such is the case with today’s coverage of Couchbase, Inc. – an AI-powered cloud database platform company – and the findings from its seventh annual survey of global IT leaders.

This particular study surveyed hundreds of senior IT decision makers and found that, according to Couchbase, “investment in IT modernization is set to increase by 27% in 2024 as enterprises take advantage of technologies like AI, intelligent automation and edge computing.”

Per Couchbase, enterprises plan to spend an average of $35.5 million on IT, and much of that – ranging between $6.7 million and roughly $21 million – is set to be invested on GenAI implementations, specifically.

The drivers for this are clear; rapidly prototyping and real-world testing new ideas, boosting employees’ levels of efficient productivity, and identifying and capitalizing on new business trends.

But the challenges are real; 54% of surveyed businesses claim that they don’t have all the elements in place when it comes to data strategies suitable for GenAI-powered solutions. Couchbase says that “only 18% of enterprises have a database that can store, manage and index vector data efficiently,” and also how outdated reliances on legacy technologies are stalling GenAI modernization; “an average of $4 million in wasted investments per” was tracked, noting how strategic projects are being rushed in order to capitalize on the AI hype train.

Moreover:

  • 71% of IT departments are under growing pressure to do more with less. On average, enterprises need to increase productivity by 33% year-on-year simply to remain competitive. This could explain why 98% of respondents have specific goals to use GenAI in 2024.
  • Sufficient compute power and data center infrastructure can’t be ignored as the AI gold rush continues. 60% of respondents are legitimately worried about whether or not their organization has enough to support GenAI at scale. (And that’s not even fully taking into account the corporate social responsibilities that must be maintained.)
  • Lastly for now, Couchbase wrote about how key adaptability is becoming to meet end-user demands; 61% of respondents claimed they’re under immense pressure to continually deliver on innovation, and average consumer-facing applications are falling behind without properly harnessed AI. But is that the ultimate answer, or should the hype be taken down a minor peg so GenAI can be seen as a valuable tool, rather than an end-all-be-all saving grace of an answer to accelerated digitization?

Matt McDonough, Senior Vice President of Product and Partners at Couchbase, had this to say:

“Enterprises have entered the AI age, but so far they’re only scratching the surface. Almost every enterprise we surveyed has specific goals to use GenAI in 2024. If used correctly, this technology will be key to managing the challenges facing organizations. From keeping pace with end-user expectations for adaptable applications, to meeting ever-accelerating productivity demands, GenAI-powered applications can provide the agility and productivity enterprises need. Enterprises must be certain that their data architecture can cope with GenAI's demands, as without high-speed access to accurate, tightly managed data it can easily guide individuals and organizations down the wrong path."

“But investing in the right architecture is vital,” McDonough added. "For instance, organizations don't need vast, complex 'jack of all trades' AU applications to improve productivity and meet expectations, nor do they need multiple, costly databases to meet evolving needs. An adaptive application that can tap GenAI to enhance a specific end-user experience will be equally effective, while also having a much faster time to market. The human element must be maintained, and a modern multipurpose solution backed by sensible strategies will help keep architectures and costs as streamlined as possible."

For those interested in the full Couchbase report, read here.




Edited by Greg Tavarez
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