The Future of Cloud and AI: Amsterdam Roundtable

Our Cloud experts in Amsterdam recently met with a group of technology experts to discuss the evolving climate of infrastructure.

The discussion centered around various strategies and challenges associated with Cloud infrastructure and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Concerns around Cloud deployment options, misunderstandings around Cloud migration, the need for human intervention from service providers, and the challenges and possibilities of AI were all topics the group dived into. 

Amsterdam roundtable cloud and AI

Cloud Increasingly Favored for Deployments

It is apparent that services are increasingly being deployed and interconnected in the Cloud. For instance, the integration of chatbots, customer service centers, value-add middleware, and integration platforms, are all now commonly occurring within the Cloud.

Popular Cloud Options

Many attendees compared Legacy infrastructure (on-premises) with Cloud alternatives, such as Private Cloud versus Public Cloud. Private Cloud solutions are often more cost-effective for tasks like video transcoding. Additionally, the concept of Hybrid Cloud, a blend of Private and Public Cloud services, was discussed. Public Cloud services offer scalability, particularly at the edge of the environment, accommodating additional users and their requests. Depending on the type of workload, the best practice is to choose an infrastructure solution that optimizes the features, performance, and costs.

Evolution of Cloud Desktop Services

Particularly when it comes to large providers offering services directly to end-customers, we are seeing considerable changes in Cloud desktop services. Managed service providers, who traditionally oversee these services on behalf of their clients, face challenges as major providers like Microsoft increasingly offer these services directly to end-customers.

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False Expectations and Cloud Migration

Deciding where to host application services presents a challenge for many end-customers. Market knowledge and customer insights appear to be declining. While shifting everything to the Public Cloud may seem appealing, it introduces new challenges such as cost control and performance issues. Contrary to some expectations, migrating to the Public Cloud does not eliminate the need for in-house IT management. Managed service providers are transitioning towards consultancy roles, while larger Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers assume more operational responsibilities.

By handing over workloads to cloud provider environments, customers lose visibility in terms of performance, security, and compliance. Many have now realized that they need more control for themselves and their stakeholders. To regain control, implementing IT Chain Monitoring and Service Level agreements was proposed to enhance visibility.

The Need for Human Intervention from Service Providers

Concerns regarding escalating customer service costs have led many providers to emphasize self-service options. However, success rates for self-service interactions remain alarmingly low, underscoring the ongoing necessity for human intervention.

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AI Challenges and Possibilities

The Tech Brunch concluded with a spirited discussion on AI, exploring its definition, implications, and utilization. AI encompasses various use cases, including Natural Language Processing (e.g. chatbots), Computer Vision (e.g. Virtual Reality), and Predictive Analytics (e.g. forecasting). The distinction between Private AI and Public AI, such as ChatGPT, was highlighted. Private AI is an AI platform setup and built for one organization, which can be in-house. Whereas Public AI is a service for a public audience where unique data entries can be re-used by the AI platform for the results of other users. Therefore, the importance of safeguarding sensitive information was emphasized.

Training AI presents challenges, as many Public AI platforms appear biased towards American language and culture due to their training data sources. European AI platforms, facing data limitations, may exhibit lower accuracy. Additionally, there are also concerns over Dutch investments and legislation in AI, suggesting a lag compared to countries like France and the US.

Despite challenges, the group remained optimistic about AI’s potential, likening its impact to the advent of Google Search. Personal relationships were deemed crucial alongside AI advancements.

The importance of simplicity in understanding customer needs was underscored. Challenging biases and utilizing creativity, such as involving students in customer inquiries, can yield surprising insights. AI can facilitate asking better questions to improve offerings and stay relevant to customers.

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Leaseweb Roundtables

A big thank you to the representatives from RSH, Enable-U, EasyDMARC, SentioCX, DGOffice, Youfone, Bold&Beyond, PQR, and Arrow Electronics for joining this Roundtable.

If you’re interested in discussing these or other topics with our Cloud experts, be sure to join us at the upcoming Roundtable in Paris.

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