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In the Zone

Research roundup: AI gets pervasive, social-media censorship, cloud services took off

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 08/24/2020
Blog Category: cloud-and-data-centers

A majority of executives say AI will transform their industry. Many Americans believe social-media sites practice censorship. And public-cloud services spending shows no sign of slowing.

That’s the latest from leading market watchers. And here’s your tech provider’s research roundup.

Pervasive AI

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of executives believe artificial intelligence will substantially transform their industry in the next three years.

AI adopters are investing heavily, with over half (53%) having spent more than $20 million in the last year on AI tech and talent.

Yet only about half (47%) have the skills needed to select AI products and suppliers.

These stats come from a new “State of AI in the Enterprise” survey report published recently by consultants and tax advisors Deloitte. The survey, conducted before the pandemic, received responses from nearly 2,740 IT and line-of-business executives.

Other important findings from Deloitte’s survey include:

> 83% of respondents expect AI will become critical to their business in the next two years. That’s up from 73% who believe AI is critical today.

> Fewer than half (45%) of respondents said they possess all the skills needed to integrate AI into their existing IT environment. (An opportunity for tech providers. These companies need your help.)

> Virtually all (95%) AI adopters are concerned about the technology’s ethical risks or safety.

Social-media censorship

Roughly three-quarters of Americans believe that social-media sites censor political viewpoints, finds a new Pew Research Center survey. Only one in four believes they don’t.

To gauge sentiment on social media, Pew Research polled conducted the survey in June. It received responses from 4,708 U.S. adults.

Republicans are especially confident that social-media sites are engaged in censorship, Pew Research found. Fully 90% of respondents who identified themselves as either Republicans or independents who lean toward the party said it’s at least somewhat likely that social-media sites censor political viewpoints they find objectionable. Among respondents who identified as Democrats, that sentiment was shared by only 59%.

Republicans are also more likely to believe that social-media sites skew liberal. Nearly seven in 10 (69%) Republican respondents said major tech companies generally support liberal views over those of conservatives. Only one in four (25%) of Democrat respondents agreed.

Cloud services took off

Global spending on public-cloud services in 2019 rose by a hefty 26% over the previous year, according to new figures from IDC. This includes spending on SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Last year, the worldwide total for all this spending came to $233.4 billion.

“Cloud is expanding beyond niche e-commerce and online ad-supported searches,” says IDC’s group VP of worldwide research, Rick Villars. “It underpins all the digital activities that individuals and enterprises depend on as we navigate and move beyond the pandemic.”

Last year, SaaS accounted for about two-thirds (67%) of all public-cloud services spending, the market watcher says. PaaS accounted for 14%, and IaaS, for 19%.

When IDC went back even further, to 2016, it found that last year’s figures showed the public-cloud market had actually doubled. And when it focused just on spending on IaaS and PaaS, it found spending had actually tripled.

Looking ahead, IDC expects spending on IaaS and PaaS to continue growing at a higher rate than the overall cloud market, at least for the next several years. It seems there are no clouds in the forecast for public cloud.


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