How Machine Learning and Cloud Computing are Changing the Face of Business


The way that people go about their daily lives – how they work and play – is changing. Emerging technology has seen a monumental shift towards a virtual presence and operation in both business and leisure activities. The global pandemic, which has forced further “virtual” shifts at all levels of the community, has further accelerated this trend.

Many business enterprises have found a “new normal” in decentralized operation as a result of a health crisis that has necessitated social distancing and remote working. It is likely that the “new normal” in a post-COVID world will see many of those remote operations taken up permanently.

The role of cloud computing

With approximately 90% of global business enterprises reporting some form of cloud-based operation, the cloud computing sector is witnessing exponential growth and development.

Demand for qualified and specialist staff has naturally risen along with it, and several online training operations now provide a cloud certification path to meet that burgeoning demand.

In statistical terms, the global cloud computing market now exceeds USD 330 billion, with a reported average cloud budget of USD 2.2 million per organization in 2018.

The uptake of cloud-based services by business remains high and steadily growing, and an estimated one-third of a companies’ IT budget is now devoted to cloud services.

Whether it be a hybrid or a full cloud operation, the impact and extent of cloud technology on the way business now operates in 2021 speaks for itself.

Providing stable and secure data access from anywhere on the globe is a key fundamental of the cloud technology phenomena, and in that sense, cloud computing shares an inter-relationship with the developing realms of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Machine learning is not a new concept, and the principle of training a machine to perform a task with minimal human input has been known to us for decades. An early example of this is the automation of car assembly lines – process workers such as spray painters would “teach” a machine to mimic their movements and take over that process on the production line.

The move towards cloud technology involving banks of decentralized data storage servers has seen quantum leaps made in the realms of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence, which typically relies heavily upon data storage and access. This permits both operation and the ability to store information and “learn” from it, resulting in changed/improved performance.

The intelligent cloud

The relationship between cloud computing and machine learning can be best described as symbiotic. Just as AI technology relies on vast data storage and access, machine learning algorithms then serve to increase the cloud capabilities. This resultant is now being termed the “intelligent cloud.”

An example of the intelligent cloud at work in business operation is seen in the growth of intelligent “Chatbots” which can interact with customers and provide them with answers and solutions to a range of common problems. Equipped with machine learning capability, these robot assistants learn and refine their operation as they operate – effectively the same way that their human counterpart would refine their customer skills over time as they interact with more customers and scenarios.

With quantum advances being made in applying this base technology, the cloud computing/machine learning phenomena is very quickly changing the way the world goes about business.

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