AI and Sustainability Forge the Future of Tech and Talent in 2024

Ajeya Motaganahalli, VP - Engineering, and MD, Pure Storage India | Monday, 12 February 2024, 11:27 IST

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Ajeya is a dynamic leader deeply committed to advancing deep tech, constructing scalable products and solutions, and nurturing startups. With profound expertise in enterprise storage, he has held pivotal leadership roles in various multinational technology firms. 

In the ever-evolving technology landscape, the symbiotic relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainability has emerged as a formidable force shaping the trajectory of innovation in 2024. Together, AI and sustainability are reshaping business strategies, creating opportunities for growth, and compelling a shift toward a conscientious and future-oriented approach. Here's a glimpse into how this synergy will be instrumental in defining the key trends of 2024.

AI will spawn specialized cloud service providers

The realm of cloud computing is set to witness a seismic shift in 2024, driven by the proliferation of Gen AI. According to a recent EY report, Gen AI could contribute $1.2-1.5 trillion to India's GDP in the next seven years. We will see new, specialized cloud providers focused on AI-specific services such as Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Cloud. Not only will they grow rapidly with GPU chip manufacturers channeling the demand from a wide range of customers, but their entry will also disrupt the status quo of IaaS hyperscalers. We might even witness some mergers and acquisitions as incumbent IaaS hyperscalers look to acquire AI Cloud capabilities of their own.

Rise of sovereign cloud

There is increasing global focus on data sovereignty, wherein a country has the right to govern and control any data generated within its borders. The recently passed Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 together with the implementation of AI and GenAI systems, heightens the importance of sovereign cloud. A recent IDC report forecasts global spending on sovereign cloud solutions to hit $258.5 billion by 2027, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.6% by the same year. As most cloud providers have data centers in multiple countries, businesses would do well to opt for a provider whose data residency provisions are in line with their own data sovereignty requirements. The leading cloud providers offer features such as data encryption, which help in achieving data sovereignty.

IT's role in corporate sustainability

In the wake of COP28's landmark decision to transition away from fossil fuels, 2024 will see a significant change in the responsibilities of IT departments, as they play a key role in advancing company-wide environmental sustainability objectives. Beyond optimizing their own energy efficiency, IT departments will collaborate more closely with the Chief Technology Officer, Chief Digital Officer, and the Head of Sustainability. Standardizing software, a seemingly subtle change, is projected to have a substantial impact, potentially reducing energy waste by up to 90%. The synergy between technology and sustainability is poised to be a critical factor in corporate responsibility initiatives. A recent survey by PwC found that nearly 79% of investors consider ESG management as an important factor for investment decisions while promising long-term success and resilience.

A growing need for AI talent

The rapid evolution of AI technology is accompanied by a growing demand for skilled professionals, leading to a talent crunch. A recent report by EY and iMochalast year found that nearly 81% of organizations in India were facing a shortage of tech talent, which was costing them billions of dollars annually and adversely impacting their ability to innovate. This scarcity is not limited to AI but extends to areas like cloud computing, Kubernetes, data architecture, and cybersecurity. Even traditionally less tech-driven industries, such as agriculture, forestry, and fishing, are migrating to data analytics, intensifying the competition for skilled professionals.

2024 promises to be a year of significant advancement in AI and sustainability. The accelerating pace of AI adoption and pressure to reduce energy consumption and costs will intensify over the year and beyond. Companies will contend with mounting pressure to be sustainable and socially responsible as ESG becomes an important factor in technology investment decision-making. A successful and sustainable implementation of AI is impossible without properly preparing IT infrastructure to handle the high-performance data demands and energy requirements essential for maximizing its benefits. The demand for smarter infrastructure has never been more pressing.


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