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Organisations unprepared for high energy and data demands of AI, says report

Written by Wed 15 Nov 2023

A report by Pure Storage and Wakefield Research has found most organisations lack the infrastructure to handle the data demands and energy requirements for artificial intelligence (AI).

The report found that 88% of IT buyers who have embraced AI are experiencing a significant increase in the demand for computing power. 

A total of 73% of IT buyers were unprepared for AI’s energy needs. The same percentage of IT buyers said AI requires or will require data management upgrades of some kind. These upgrades included data management tools (48%), data management processes (46%), and data storage infrastructure (46%).

“Planning for change and ensuring flexibility are key to navigating AI adoption. As power and data demands increase exponentially in the age of AI, investing in and deploying the right AI-ready data infrastructure is not only essential to effective deployment and energy efficiency but to drive the most value out of AI projects,” said Rob Lee, Chief Technology Officer at Pure Storage.

Nearly all IT buyers (96%) already have plans to update their IT infrastructure, yet 29% say AI has caused or will require a complete overhaul.

The survey found these challenges have set back businesses’ sustainability goals. A total of 89% have found Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals more difficult to meet as a result of upgrades to their IT infrastructure after AI adoption.

Over half of IT buyers (60%) who have already adopted or plan to adopt AI technologies in the next 12 months said they invested or will invest in energy-efficient hardware to achieve ESG goals.

Most companies lack the infrastructure to support high-performance data demands and energy requirements to maximise the benefits of AI. In turn, this hampers the successful implementation of AI to support critical corporate initiatives. 

PureStorage and Wakefield Research discovered that almost all IT buyers feel pressured to reduce their carbon footprint. However, 88% of buyers also acknowledge that meeting IT goals is impossible without adequately preparing IT infrastructure to support AI.

The report stressed the need for advanced infrastructure. Many legacy systems struggle to accommodate the extensive data pipelines necessary for optimal machine learning outcomes. 

The report surveyed 500 IT buyers at companies of 500 employees or more. These individuals are defined as those whose primary responsibility is purchasing hardware, software, and support services for their organisations in the US, Germany, France, and UK markets.

Results of the survey followed a recent study conducted by O’Reilly which revealed that 93% of UK IT professionals have concerns about their C-suite’s ambitions for the deployment of AI.

This apprehension is underscored by a perceived lack of training, understanding, and risk assessment at senior management levels.


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Written by Wed 15 Nov 2023

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