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Firms unprepared for AI’s ‘massive’ energy requirements: Pure Storage

Data storage vendor Pure Storage, in association with Wakefield Research, released a new report today that identifies the hurdles organizations across industries face both in adopting artificial intelligence (AI), and unveiling what it described as the “the often overlooked energy requirements of this advanced technology.”

According to a release, the new report, entitled Drivers of Change: Meeting the Energy and Data Challenges of AI Adoption, reveals the importance of reassessing data infrastructure to truly reap the benefits of AI, keep energy costs in line, and stay on track with corporate environmental goals.

“The demand for smarter infrastructure has never been more pressing,” it stated. “Legacy systems often cannot support the massive AI data pipelines required to get the most from machine learning. As AI continues to accelerate in adoption, IT teams require an efficient, reliable, and high-performance infrastructure to ensure effective deployment.”

The survey, which involved interviews with 500 IT buyers at organizations with 500+ employees across the U.S. and Europe, revealed that:

  • The need for computing power is surging, driven by AI adoption: For 88 per cent of those who have adopted AI, the need for computing power is up dramatically. Nearly half (47 per cent) have had to double their computing power or more since adopting AI.
  • Organizations did not anticipate the energy demands of AI: 73 per cent of IT buyers were not completely prepared for the energy requirements of AI.
  • Energy consumption is just one AI burden: For 73 per cent, AI requires or will require data management upgrades of some kind. Among specific upgrades: data management tools (48 per cent), data management processes (46 per cent), and data storage infrastructure (46 per cent).
  • As a result, nearly all (96 per cent) have already or plan to update their IT infrastructure: 29 per cent of IT buyers said AI has or will require a complete overhaul.
  • These challenges have set back businesses’ sustainability goals: 89 per cent have found ESG goals more difficult to meet as a result of upgrades to their IT infrastructure after AI adoption. However, 60 per cent of those who have already adopted AI technologies (or plan to in the next 12 months) stated they invested in or will invest in more energy-efficient hardware to meet ESG goals.

Rob Lee, chief technology officer (CTO) at Pure Storage, said, “planning for change and ensuring flexibility are key to navigating AI adoption. As power and data demands increase exponentially in the age of AI, investing in and deploying the right AI-ready data infrastructure is not only essential to effective deployment and energy efficiency, but to driving the most value out of AI projects.

“Today’s report offers important insights for IT leaders on both the consequences of failing to plan for the changes required to implement AI, as well as the benefits of being prepared for AI’s impact on infrastructure.”

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