Cloud computing has already done a lot to democratize the access to various services and resources that were previously accessible only to big corporations with massive budgets. Now companies of all sizes can use the latest and greatest hardware, top notch security and various digital services all thanks to the cloud.
But there’s something missing. One of the hottest topics in the IT world right now is artificial intelligence (AI). It’s a hot trend that’s just getting started. AI is slowly spreading everywhere, starting to conquer a lot of areas. It’s a buzzword that drives attention, but it also brings a lot of opportunities. Kind of like Big Data did when it first gained traction and now it’s tucked somewhere in the background.
AI is for everyone
AI has something else in common with Big Data – the more it’s used, the quicker it becomes better and more advanced. However, it’s also very expensive. Even if we put aside the obvious massive challenges and investments needed to develop and train AI, it’s still a costly technology. The setting-up process, maintenance and sheer hardware and infrastructure needed make AI unattainable for small firms.
Yet, small businesses are the ones that could benefit the most out of AI. Imagine the savings in resources, but also the benefits of having someone (or something) that can crunch data fast and then give advice or even take action automatically and efficiently. And it’s possible for SMBs to gain this advantage thanks to a relatively new business niche – AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS).
It’s a niche that has been around for a few years, but it was relatively tiny at first – about $2.3 billion in 2017, according to Allied Market Research. The same company also forecasts that AIaaS will enjoy a massive growth in the years to come.
AI to conquer
According to Allied Market Research, the AIaaS market will grow substantially and by 2025 it will reach $77 billion. It will also record a CAGR of 56.7% from 2018 to 2025. And AIaaS will also have further sub-niches. For example, machine learning, enterprise use, public or private AIaaS and so on. There are also several verticals like telecoms, urbanization and other segments.
Basically, you can expect an explosion of AIaaS developments and offers all over the place. They will come from basically all of the top cloud service providers along with plenty of entirely new players on the market. One of the main challenges is going to be a familiar one – a lack of skilled workers. This issue can hinder the market growth, but it won’t derail it completely.
Still, if you can, it’s going to be wise to invest in not only AIaaS, but skill development, as well. This will prepare you for the market changes and, in fact, it can be a great advantage to be among the first users or developers of AIaaS, so do explore the tech and see whether it is right for your company and goals.