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by Peter Krass on 08/07/2018
Blog Category: Advanced Technologies

Machine learning still has a lot to learn. Infrastructure as a Service is highly serviceable. And digital transformation is undergoing a transformation in Canada.

That’s the latest intel from top IT market watchers. And here’s your tech provider’s update.

Machine learning

Machine learning (ML) is still in its infancy. Only 15% of organizations have had ML models in production for 5 years or more. Just 1 in 3 (36%) have had ML models in production for 2 to 5 years. And roughly half (49%) say they're still just looking.

So finds a new report, The State of Machine Learning in the Enterprise, by Ben Lorica, chief data scientist at O’Reilly Media, and Paco Nathan, a former director at O’Reilly.

The report is based on their survey of people who either attended recent related events or consumed related content. In all, responses were received from more than 11,400 people in North America, Europe and Asia.

Other key findings:

> Job titles: Nearly 6 in 10 (57%) of respondents say their organizations have data scientists on staff. That’s a key job title for machine learning. But only 15% say they have a chief data scientist, another important ML title.

> Who builds? About half (51%) the respondents say ML models are built at their organizations by data-science teams. Nearly a quarter (23%) say the models are built by product developers.

> Methodologies: Nearly half (48%) the respondents use the Agile approach for their ML work. About a third (32%) say they use no methodology at all.

Infrastructure as a Service

The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market grew quickly in 2017, finds a recent update from research and analysis firm Gartner.

Last year, total worldwide IaaS sales came to $23.5 billion. That marked a nearly 30% increase over 2016, when worldwide IaaS sales totaled $18.2 billion, Gartner says.

By vendors, the IaaS market leaders are, in order, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and IBM. The first 4 together command nearly half (47%) the market, according to Gartner.

Where’s all the growth coming from? Two main sources, Gartner says. One is organizations migrating away from their traditional data centers to cloud-based IaaS. The other: organizations implementing digital-transformation business projects (for more on that, see the next section).

Digital transformation up north

Digital transformation is big in Canada, too. Market watcher IDC this week predicted that total Canadian spending on digital transformation tech and services this year will rise 20% over last year to total some $16 billion.

By industry, the biggest Canadian spenders on digital transformation this year will be manufacturers and providers of business services, IDC says.

The biggest drivers of spending will be what IDC calls “innovation accelerators.” These are products and services associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive and AI systems, next-generation security, 3-D printing, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and robotics.

Canadian spending on these innovation accelerators will grow nearly 30% a year through 2021, IDC expects, when it will total $24 billion.

Other big spending areas are big data and analytics, cloud, mobile and social. Together, these are what IDC calls the “4 pillars of digital transformation.” It predicts sales of these technologies to grow about 15% a year through 2021, when it will reach $9.3 billion.

“Canadian organizations are clearly moving quickly to adopt digital-transformation solutions and technologies to respond to marketplace challenges from competitors, customers and employees,” says IDC research manager Jim Westcott. 

So, I'd bet, are your customers.