How businesses are embracing AI to innovate and compete

Sponsored By: AWS

Much has been written about what AI can bring to businesses, from providing real-time data analytics to helping automate processes. With the challenges of finding resources in a hyper-competitive digital marketplace, being able to leverage AI would be a boon to businesses, particularly those on the smaller side.

But first things first — businesses today simply must have in place a modern data strategy, being a comprehensive plan for managing, accessing, analyzing, and acting on data. The pillars of such a strategy include:

  • Modernize data infrastructure from a legacy solution to a scalable, trusted, and secure cloud provider
  • Unify by breaking down silos so data can be used effectively across databases, data lakes, analytics, and ML services
  • Innovate by inventing new experiences and re-imagining processes with purpose-built databases, advanced analytics, and visualization, and AI/ML

To extract insights from data, companies need analytics and visualization tools; but to evolve from mere insights to having the ability to make predictions, businesses need ML and AI to build models and add intelligence to their applications. AI helps them scale and innovate in order to remain competitive but also better serve their customers.

The Right Time

Is AI at a stage of development where it is practical, affordable, and adoptable by all businesses? To answer this question, ITWC Research did a study, sponsored by AWS, to find out if and how all companies could leverage AI. What we found was impressive.

AI solutions require significant expertise, development effort, and computing capabilities that one would not necessarily expect to find in every company. But those barriers have been broken in recent years by a combination of factors.

Download “SMBs Leveraging AI in the Cloud – 4 Innovative Organizations”

Various government programs have provided substantial assistance to any organization looking to leverage AI. Additionally, some major universities have stepped forward to assist with the development of solutions.

But AI, in order to be a truly practical solution, requires much more than just funding. It also requires ongoing access to expertise. It needs a sophisticated and powerful computing infrastructure. It also requires – in the case of machine learning (ML) – large libraries of data to “teach” the algorithms how to perform in real-world settings.

The good news for all businesses, from the huge to the tiny, is that providers like AWS offer “on demand” services that allow access to very sophisticated technology. More than that, they also offer access to huge libraries of data required for ML solutions. And for those companies who still cannot take advantage of these resources, young and innovative entrepreneurs are always coming to market with solutions tuned to and affordable even to companies on the smaller side.

In the Report

With past technological barriers removed, companies large and small across Canada are innovating and solving real-world problems. Our report details four of these:

  • Camcloud is an Ottawa-based company that leverages cloud and AI solutions for the remote management of security cameras and data. Camcloud’s creativity solves a real problem that prevents other smaller companies from effectively monitoring their premises on a 24/7 basis.
  • Cognitive Systems Corp. is a company with the tenacity to take a solution that few believed possible, and using a regular piece of hardware – a simple router – to develop solutions that provide home monitoring and wellness monitoring for seniors, making it possible for them to continue living in their homes. This is only one of the use cases the company has identified for their WiFi Motion technology.
  • ROCarbon Labs is a company that makes carbon offsets available to smaller companies. While ROCarbon Labs was initially driven by a desire to help indigenous small businesses, the company has since brought its solution to the wider market.
  • VEER AI makes predictive analytics, once only available to large retailers, available to local businesses of all sizes, allowing them to maximize revenue and gain new customers both in-store and in their e-commerce offerings.

Companies today are eminently practical. They seek solutions that work for them in the here and now. Respecting that need, our report focused on what was in the field at this point in time. But these organizations also know they must constantly innovate in order to meet the challenges they face. These stories offer great examples of how each of these companies continues to innovate and grow their solutions.

Download “SMBs Leveraging AI in the Cloud – 4 Innovative Organizations”


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Sponsored By: AWS