Microsoft Stands Alone as Leader in New AI Governance Research Report

A new report from industry analyst firm IDC says Microsoft is the only cloud giant currently worthy of the name "Leader" in AI governance. In fact, among the largest cloud computing platforms, IBM was the only other company that cited. Fellow hyperscalers AWS and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) were not even mentioned.

In the firm's inaugural report ("IDC MarketScape Worldwide AI Governance Platforms 2023 Vendor Assessment,") authors Ritu Jyoti and Raghunandhan Kuppuswamy defined "AI governance" as processes, policies and tools that bring together diverse stakeholders to ensure AI systems are built, deployed, used, and managed to maximize benefits and prevent unintended negative consequences, resulting in what is commonly called "responsible AI."

Microsoft's David Seda, General Manager in the company's Azure AI group, pointed to the report, which categorized  covered vendors into "Major Players," "Contenders," and "Participants," in a blog post.

"AI is transforming every industry, enabling new levels of productivity, efficiency, and innovation," Seda wrote. "AI governance is not only a matter of compliance and risk management, but also a strategic advantage and a source of trust to accelerate returns on AI investment. We are excited to announce that Microsoft is recognized as a Leader in the [report].

The inclusion of Microsoft in the report perhaps isn't surprising considering the company got a head-start on everyone else due to its multibillion partnership with ChatGPT creator OpenAI, which allowed Redmond to infuse advanced generative AI tech throughout its products and services, especially those housed in Azure. The exclusion of AWS and GCP is perhaps more surprising, as they have made monumental efforts to catch up to Microsoft and are among those most active in developing new AI constructs like large language models (LLMs) and so on.

All of the "Big 3" cloud giants publicize their efforts in AI governance and responsibility:

While the various free excerpts -- or the $20,000 entire report -- can be used to sort out the strengths and weaknesses of the covered vendors, IDC does offer up some general information and guidance in the excerpts, including this advice for organizations seeking to choose a vendor:

  • Clearly define your AI governance requirements: Before selecting a platform, it is critical to assess your organization's specific AI governance requirements and objectives. Consider data security, compliance regulations, ethical considerations, and transparency requirements. This will help you narrow down your options and choose a platform that meets the specific needs of your organization.
  • Assess the platform's capabilities: Look for a platform with comprehensive features and capabilities to meet your governance needs. Examine its ability to manage data privacy and security, monitor and audit AI models, ensure fairness and bias mitigation, and make AI decisions explainable and interpretable. A solid platform should also facilitate stakeholder collaboration and support regulatory compliance.
  • Consider scalability and flexibility: Choose a platform that can adapt to your organization's growth and future advancements in AI governance. It should be scalable, flexible, and compatible with existing systems, AI technologies, and various use cases, ensuring it supports a wide range of use cases.
  • Evaluate vendor expertise and customer service: Assess the vendor's expertise in AI governance solutions, track record of successful implementation in organizations, and level of support, including training, documentation, ongoing maintenance, and customer service.
  • Get feedback from other users: Talk to organizations that have already implemented the AI governance platform you're thinking about. Learn from their experiences and gain insight into how well the platform meets their governance requirements. User feedback can provide useful information about the platform's strengths, weaknesses, and overall level of satisfaction.


About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.