Sergey Nivens -

AI and security sparking channel opportunities

Research from Couchbase and ANS has underlined the assistance users need from partners around emerging technologies and defending against the latest threats

There should be opportunities for the channel to make revenues from artificial intelligence (AI) helping customers with IT modernisation.

Research from Couchbase has highlighted a pressing need for many users to upgrade their infrastructure to take advantage of AI, with spending on modernisation expected to increase by 30% as firms look to get on board with the technology.

Despite an appetite for AI, the vast majority of firms are under-prepared, and lack the data management tools that will be needed, opening the door for the channel.

“Enterprises have entered the AI age, but so far are only scratching the surface,” said Matt McDonough, senior vice-president of product and partners at Couchbase.

“Almost every enterprise we surveyed has specific goals to use GenAI in 2024,” he added. “If used correctly, this technology will be key to managing the challenges facing organisations. From keeping pace with end-user expectations for adaptable applications, to meeting ever-accelerating productivity demands, GenAI-powered applications can provide the agility and productivity enterprises need.”

The Couchbase findings included the revelation that only 18% of enterprises have a database that can store data efficiently, and many are relying on legacy technology, which is holding back advances.

Money is being spent in targeted areas, with the bulk going on AI tools to help developers create apps, as well as edge computing to capture and act where data is being collected.

Strategic role

The channel will also have to play a strategic role, with those that have rushed into AI reporting mixed results and concerns about weakening other parts of the infrastructure.

McDonough said that to unlock the benefits of AI, there would need to be a solid foundation. “Enterprises must be certain that their data architecture can cope with GenAI’s demands, as without high-speed access to accurate, tightly managed data, it can easily guide individuals and organisations down the wrong path,” he said.

One of the biggest fears users have around AI is the increased security risks it will pose, and that has also been underlined in a report from ANS.

The firm found that security remained a top concern for users, and they were worried it was becoming harder to keep defences in line with the latest threats.

“The cyber threat landscape is ever evolving and, unfortunately, UK mid-sized enterprises are all too often the target for cyber criminals,” said Stephen Crow, head of information security at ANS. “All businesses, regardless of their size and turnover, must invest in cyber security now and take a proactive stance.

“Understandably, keeping up to date with the latest threat intelligence and advice can be daunting, but a digital transformation partner can help ensure the process is as seamless as possible,” he added.

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