Integrating generative AI into the cloud: trends for 2024

More and more small to medium enterprises are going to start looking to the cloud in a serious way. Image: File

More and more small to medium enterprises are going to start looking to the cloud in a serious way. Image: File

Published Mar 5, 2024


By Naseem Ahmed and Jonathan Sidney

As people continue to navigate the world of cloud computing and the new offerings AI can present, 2024 is on the brink of launching new opportunities for those willing to chart this opportunistic territory.

Gen AI into the cloud

2024 is the year that people are going to stop questioning the use of Generative AI, and rather re-evaluate where the value lies and where it fits into a broader strategy.

That is where the cloud is going to play a huge role this year as businesses look for ways to implement Gen AI and how to use it in the cloud to make it more effective.

Businesses need to focus on how they can bring Gen AI and the cloud to operate together as opposed to operating as separate, disparate technologies. Understanding how powerful each technology is will unlock potential benefits when they are combined.

Over the past year, developers have been focusing on individual AI tools, but this is the year where people will start to decide on how to better pursue this to expand its value.

Some of the questions to ask:

– What is the data strategy?

– How to get data into the cloud?

– How to build these models?

– How are our developers making use of the results?

AI and Gen AI are going to push more collaboration between different areas. Sometimes, the market gets ahead of itself and creates silos by focusing on one buzzword, for example, Gen AI.

Nothing exists in isolation and as an industry, it needs to get better as a whole. Software engineering, the cloud and AI are all part of the same thing and are not siloed, therefore, collaboration is essential. This will be the overarching trend for 2024.

How do we collaborate better between all the disparate parts and communicate better? And how do we focus on value propositions as opposed to specific technical tasks and deliverables in our domains? That is where the real interest lies. How do we get the disparate areas to form that golden nugget that adds real value to a business?”

Hybrid vs multi-cloud approach

Gen AI is what is going to be driving the cloud this year, along with big data analytics. The offering of a single cloud solution to meet all needs is coming to an end, giving way to a more tailored approach.

This is going to become the new normal for all organisations, no matter their size, offering unparalleled flexibility. The move to a multi-cloud solution also brings new challenges for the IT department. It must find ways to effectively streamline the complexities that may arise as opposed to simply covering them up.

Gen AI will be able to assist in the approach but the IT department’s human element is important in final decision making which, now, Gen AI is lacking.

SMMEs’ tackling cloud

As of recently, it has been predominately large enterprises moving into the cloud. There have always been start-ups that have wanted to take on the cloud, but in terms of mass adoption of the cloud, it has mostly been big enterprises, banks and financial houses.

Now, more and more small to medium enterprises are going to start looking to the cloud in a serious way.

This is due to its cost-effectiveness and scalability and, without the complexity of managing a server infrastructure, cloud architectures will play an increasingly pivotal role.

As cloud technologies have become more simplified and accessible to all organisations to use, the next step will be Gen AI integration which means people will need to start talking about it.

Increased demand for cloud security and resilience

As more and more companies enter the cloud realm, the demand for effective security becomes even more necessary.

All the benefits companies will gain by having their data placed in the cloud will be lost if their security is compromised. Specialised cloud security and preventative measures will have to be created to safeguard against breaches and protect organisations’ vulnerabilities.

Cloud skills shortage

This too will lead to an increase in cloud technology skills, of which, unfortunately, South Africa is in short supply. The demand for skills in the area is not unattainable, but it may take a few years to catch up to the level of overseas, first-world tech countries.

This is where the focus and drive need to be in the upcoming years to ensure that we bridge the skills gap and can keep up with the new level of technology that is available to clients and that will develop more in the years to come.

Synthesis Technology’s Naseem Ahmed, the cloud mobilisation practice lead, and Jonathan Sidney, the cloud platform lead.