Gathering Clouds may Pave way for More AI

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Cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly common in the Hungarian business world, as fears and suspicion fade away, with AI as the next big thing just around the corner, according to a joint research by Microsoft, the ITC Association of Hungary (IVSZ), and Bell Research.

From left: Áron Jakab, Ákos Mácz, Christopher Mattheisen, Gabriella Bábel.

The results of the survey conducted among large enterprises were presented at the Microsoft Headquarters in Graphisoft Park by Microsoft CEO Christopher Mattheisen, Microsoft large enterprises branch head Gabriella Bábel, Bell Research’s Áron Jakab, and Ákos Mácz from IVSZ.  

Some 72% of the surveyed leaders said that digitalization is a revolution in business exceeding the importance of all previous major changes. The number of company heads who say that cloud tech is a natural tool of everyday business processes is also growing, with 88% saying that employees are able to access company systems via mobile devices.  

“Only one or two years ago, there was a defensive mindset at a large number of companies,” said Christopher Mattheisen. “A few heads said: get into the cloud, use AI, change the world,” he added, noting that some early adapters in Hungary such as encryption specialists Tresorit and remote connectivity services company LogMeIn have become worldwide leaders in their business line.

Mobility, and long-distance work patterns, supported by newer technologies and faster connection speeds, may also offer relief to the region-wide labor shortage, according to Mattheisen.  

“Three or four years ago, we were in the 3G world; now we have unlimited 4G connectivity almost everywhere,” he emphasized.

Áron Jakab explained that this is the fourth time the survey has been carried out.

“In the first research the question was: ‘Are you familiar with cloud technology?’,” he said, agreeing that mobility is the driving force behind cloud tech.

Baseless Fears

The expert argued that cloud technology has reached an “inflexion point”, where those who already use the technology have realized that their fears, such as data security, have been baseless.

Gabriella Bábel pointed out: “2019 saw a decreasing number of company heads outright refusing clouds. Even they may be using the cloud in their private lives, without realizing it.”

Regarding AI, she added that “AI is not the future, not sci-fi, it is the present. It can relieve people’s burdens to an unprecedented extent. While today, people in the upper management consider AI solutions a luxury, and too expensive, they can choose constructions based on usage as well.”

According to the research, only 34% of those surveyed believed robots and AI will disrupt the division of work. Mattheisen argued that the situation is akin to that of the cloud a few years ago, saying “Let us sit here for two years, and we’ll see that the numbers will be higher.”

IVSZ’ Mácz added that the negative response is an innate reaction. “They think that ‘this cannot happen to me’,” he noted. “There are trend followers and pioneers,” he added.

Regarding negative IT practices that might delay uptake, Bábel said, “An obsolete IT system is used so long as it does not cause critical problems every day.”  

Still, whether this practice is better than facing down fears regarding modern technologies such as cloud and AI is up for company heads to consider.

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