Even in the Cloud, It's All About AI: Report

IT management firm Flexera recently released the 13th edition of its annual "State of the Cloud" report. Where previous versions detailed cloud usage statistics, this year's edition turns the spotlight on AI.

"AI experimentation outpaces usage," Flexera company notes at the start of the report. 

Indeed, as shown in the chart below, the number of respondents reporting generative AI experimentation (38 percent) does outpace those using it extensively (25 percent), though another 22 percent reported using GenAI sparingly, so nearly half (47 percent) of respondents are using GenAI cloud services in some form.

Use of generative AI (GenAI) public cloud services
[Click on image for larger view.] Use of Generative AI (GenAI) Public Cloud Services (source: Flexera).

"In the face of ongoing economic uncertainties, many organizations are investing in transformative initiatives such as generative AI (GenAI) and sustainability," the report said. "At the same time, managing costs effectively remains a top priority -- and trying to find a balance between the two is a formidable challenge. Despite this, cloud usage is on the rise, while wasted spend is decreasing. Hybrid cloud strategies are evolving, with a notable increase in the number of businesses adopting a more comprehensive view of cost management for hybrid deployments, including the licensing of software used in the cloud."

An accompanying news release noted that managing cloud spending is the top challenge faced by respondents, while AI, FinOps, security and sustainability are demanding attention.

"There are big plans for AI: Nearly all platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings saw a gain in usage, with the most prominent being in the data warehouse (up to 65 percent from 56 percent YoY)," Flexera said. "Container-as-a-service (52 percent) and serverless (function-as-a-service) (48 percent) are both up nine percentage points this year. Machine learning/artificial intelligence (ML/AI) had a modest gain at 41 percent, up from 36 percent last year. However, ML/AI is the PaaS offering getting the most attention from companies experimenting (32 percent) or planning to use it (17 percent)."

Public Cloud Services Used by Enterprises
[Click on image for larger view.] Public Cloud Services Used by Enterprises (source: Flexera).
Public Cloud Services Used by All Organizations
[Click on image for larger view.] Public Cloud Services Used by All Organizations (source: Flexera).

While the charts above depict how 77 percent of enterprises are either currently using (44 percent) or experimenting with (33 percent) AI/ML, and organizations are experimenting more with AI/ML than with any other PaaS offering, Flexera offered its own commentary: 

"Although current AI/ML usage is only at 41 percent with all respondents, Flexera expects this to increase significantly in the coming years as more and more organizations leverage the emerging GenAI services offered by public cloud providers."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.