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Gartner: 70% of firms to prioritise sustainability in AI cloud selection by 2027
Thu, 22nd Feb 2024

By 2027, 70% of enterprises adopting generative AI (GenAI) will rank sustainability and digital sovereignty as their top selection criteria for different public cloud GenAI services, according to Gartner. The prediction points to an evolving priority among organisations as they capitalise on the capabilities of GenAI.

GenAI provides the backbone for a range of applications across different sectors, including large language models (LLMs) and foundation models (FMs). The advancement of these models is driving a rapid evolution of GenAI capabilities and use cases. Implementation in the enterprise comes with its own set of significant regulatory challenges, including control over the data contained within LLMs, as well as applications that utilise FMs and LLMs.

Sid Nag, Vice President Analyst at Gartner, explains: "Because of its scale and shared services model, cloud technology is best-suited for the delivery of GenAI-enabled applications at scale and the development of general-purpose foundation models." Nag emphasises, however, the importance of addressing digital sovereignty – the ability to control where data is stored and where operations are executed – and sustainability issues for organisations to effectively use GenAI.

With respect to digital sovereignty, Nag predicts: "Specialty cloud providers will become an important consideration for many enterprise cloud architectures as organisations extend their cloud operations to cover diverse locations and use cases. Digital sovereignty will drive the need to include cloud providers that can meet the evolving and unique requirements of sovereign operations no matter the region they operate in."

Sustainability is another crucial factor shaping public cloud decisions. The need to respond to pressures from investors, regulators, customers and governments about sustainability is driving organisations towards more eco-conscious practices. With the large-scale infrastructure needed for GenAI services, organisations will also require public cloud providers to address non-technical issues related to sustainability.

Confronting these concerns may involve new processes, capabilities and tools to manage and optimise IT-related carbon emissions, particularly for GenAI workloads deployed on the cloud.

As the demand for sustainable practices grows, Nag believes cloud computing's role in supporting these environmental goals becomes paramount: "Cloud computing plays a pivotal role today in supporting sustainability and GenAI business applications by providing scalable infrastructure, enabling eco-friendly practices and allowing cost-effective resource management. Therefore, cloud is the platform that most IT leaders rely upon to support their sustainability journey when it comes to overall GenAI implementation."

The evolving landscape of cloud computing and its role in business operations will continue to be a critical factor in IT resource management and sustainability practices, with Gartner's predictions for 2027 only highlighting its increasing relevance and impact.