Sustainability and Digital Sovereignty crucial to Cloud GenAI: Gartner

By 2027, 70% of enterprises adopting generative AI (GenAI) will cite sustainability and digital sovereignty as top criteria for selecting between different public cloud GenAI services, according to Gartner, Inc.

“Because of its scale and shared services model, cloud technology is best-suited for the delivery of GenAI-enabled applications at scale and the development of general-purpose foundation models,” said Sid Nag, Vice President Analyst at Gartner.

“However, certain aspects must be addressed, including digital sovereignty, or the ability to control where data is stored and where operations are executed, and sustainability issues so that organisations can operationalise GenAI.”

The advancement of foundation models (FMs) and large language models (LLMs), which are the core of GenAI capabilities, are driving rapid and continual evolution of GenAI capabilities and use cases. Implementation of GenAI in the enterprise poses significant regulatory challenges, including regulations on the data contained within LLMs, as well applications that leverage these FMs and LLMs.

“Specialty cloud providers will become an important consideration for many enterprise cloud architectures as organisations extend their cloud operations to cover diverse locations and use cases,” said Nag. “Digital sovereignty will drive the need to include cloud providers that can meet the evolving and unique requirements of sovereign operations no matter the region they operate in.”

Sustainability’s Role in Public Cloud Decisions

Organisations deploying GenAI services will look to the public cloud, given the scale of the required infrastructure, but they will also require cloud providers to address non-technical issues related to sustainability.

The pressure from investors, customers, regulators and governments about sustainability is forcing organisations to manage and optimise their IT carbon emissions to achieve their environmental sustainability goals. New processes, capabilities and tools will be introduced, oriented to the monitoring and management of energy consumption and carbon emissions for GenAI workloads deployed on cloud.

“Cloud computing plays a pivotal role today in supporting sustainability and GenAI business applications by providing scalable infrastructure, enabling eco-friendly practices and allowing cost-effective resource management,” said Nag. “Therefore, cloud is the platform that most IT leaders rely upon to support their sustainability journey when it comes to overall GenAI implementation.”