Rackspace report reveals AI adoption benefits despite security risks – IT Brief New Zealand

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The latest 2024 AI Research Report released by Rackspace Technology reveals that while businesses are enthusiastic about the possibilities artificial intelligence (AI) offers, they remain wary of the potential security risks involved. According to the study, 54% of business leaders cited security as the primary risk associated with AI adoption. Furthermore, only 35% of respondents indicated that their organisations adhere to adequate data management and retention policies to ensure compliance.

Interestingly, the report found that 60% of respondents have moved beyond the planning and proof-of-concept phases in their AI strategies, moving into the initial stages of implementing AI in their operations. Furthermore, a significant 89% of companies surveyed reported experiencing tangible benefits from AI implementation.

Srini Koushik, President of AI, Technology, and Sustainability at Rackspace Technology, stated, “Unlike previous technological disruptions that were years in the making, such as the mainframe, client servers, and cloud computing, there has been little to no ‘wait and see’ period for AI. Companies across the board have jumped in with both feet.”

Despite this, ethical considerations surrounding AI usage are coming to the fore. More than 50% of the respondents contended that their approach to AI governance includes responsible and ethical AI employment. Furthermore, in the quest for achieving ‘Responsible AI’, respondents outlined data privacy (55%), accountability (57%), and transparency (52%) as the primary considerations.

The report also highlighted that businesses are feeling the strain of an AI skills gap, with demand outstripping supply for roles requiring proficiency in skills like R or Python (49%), software development (46%), machine learning (48%), data analytics (48%), automation engineering (46%), data engineer (45%), and governance (44%).

Reflecting this, 41% of companies currently offer AI training or learning programs to their workforce, and an additional 57% plan to develop such initiatives.

According to the report, investment in AI technology remains robust. AI budgets in companies in the APJ region are predicted to double in 2024 compared to 2023. The report also revealed that AI is widely recognised as a profoundly impactful technology with transformative capabilities, according to Martin Dube, Vice President of Public Cloud for APJ at Rackspace Technology.

The survey, sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS), covered a broad cross-section of sectors and regions, examining responses from 1,420 IT decision-makers in industries such as manufacturing, logistics, retail, hospitality and travel, energy, healthcare, government, media and entertainment, and financial services across Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The 2024 AI Research Report by Rackspace Technology highlights the enthusiasm and caution surrounding AI adoption in businesses. While many organisations are progressing beyond planning stages and experiencing tangible benefits from AI implementation, concerns about security, ethical governance, and skills gaps persist.

Despite these challenges, there’s a clear commitment to investing in AI technology, with budgets expected to double in the APJ region in 2024. As AI continues to shape various sectors globally, the report underscores the importance of addressing security, ethics, and skill development to realise the full potential of AI while mitigating risks.

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