You’re probably aware of the potential business benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). Unless you have been on a deserted island for the past several years, you have seen incredible growth in the number and variety of AI products and services available for business and personal use. AI and machine learning (ML) solutions have become a major component of the portfolios of major cloud service providers (CSPs).
Amazon Web Services (AWS) held its re:Invent 2023 cloud computing event in late November during which it announced new products and services that address its customers’ business requirements. The announcements included multiple instances of AI and ML tools being introduced by AWS or upgraded and modified to provide enhanced functionality. We are going to take a look at the current state of AWS AI offerings and see how small organizations can integrate AI into their business processes.
What Are the Features of the AWS AI Suite of Products?
The AWS AI suite offers organizations multiple products and services that employ AI and ML technology designed to address business objectives and requirements. The diversity of solutions has greatly expanded as AI matures and is integrated into various types of IT offerings.
- Amazon Q is a generative AI-powered assistant designed specifically for use in the workplace. Unlike more general AI assistants, Amazon Q can be tailored to your business by connecting it to company data and systems using over 40 built-in connectors. The tool can be used productively by various business users including marketers, program managers, and sales reps to quickly answer questions and solve problems. Amazon Q is aware of which information users can access and tailors results to include only data they are authorized to see.
- Amazon SageMaker is a service that provides the infrastructure, tools, and workflows necessary to build, train, and deploy machine learning models for any usage scenario. The service includes SageMaker JumpStart which supplies over 150 ML models that can perform natural language processing, image classification, and object detection. Popular use cases for SageMaker include developing models for extracting and analyzing data, automating fraud detection, and delivering personalized and unique customer experiences.
- Amazon Bedrock provides users with a fully managed service that offers a choice of foundation models from leading AI companies with which to build generative AI applications. Amazon Bedrock lets you experiment and evaluate different foundational models to determine which aligns best with your specific use case. Customers can build customized AI agents to execute tasks in their IT environment. Bedrock enables you to develop generative AI applications for internal use or to interact with your customers.
- Amazon Comprehend employs machine learning to derive valuable insights from the text within documents, customer support tickets, emails, social media feeds, and more. You can train models to autonomously classify documents and protect who has access to sensitive data resources. Personally identifiable information can be automatically redacted from documents for enhanced data protection.
- Amazon Personalize is designed to harness the power of machine learning to elevate the customer experience. The tool lets you tailor your customer’s online experiences to reflect their preferences to help build brand loyalty and stand out from the competition. Amazon Personalize allows you to target customers more accurately and optimize recommendations to offer more personalized experiences.
This is just a sampling of the AI-powered products and services available from AWS. Amazon offers an extensive suite of AI-based solutions that address many aspects of running a modern business. Utilizing these products can change the way you do business in today’s competitive environment.
Challenges to the Effective Use of AI Solutions for SMBs
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face several challenges when trying to use AI to address business requirements. Failure to take advantage of AI can impact a company’s ability to compete with market rivals. The challenges are primarily related to time, expertise, and budgetary constraints.
The following factors can impede the effective use of AI in smaller companies.
- Decision-makers at SMBs may be hindered by a lack of time to fully investigate the AI products and services available to their organizations. They often need to concentrate on meeting immediate business requirements and maintaining operations. They may not have the time to navigate the extensive offerings available from CSPs to find the right solutions for their businesses.
- Introducing AI tools may be intimidating to SMBs that lack sufficient technical expertise on staff. An organization can miss the opportunity to implement cutting-edge technology that furthers business objectives due to the absence of technical knowledge. Obtaining outside assistance to help implement and manage new AI tools enables small companies to enjoy the benefits of cutting-edge technology.
- SMBs may be reluctant to pursue AI technology due to cost concerns. Building an infrastructure to support AI and ML applications can be an expensive undertaking beyond the reach of most smaller companies. Taking advantage of the offerings of CSPs such as AWS eliminates these cost concerns and paves the way for any organization to access emerging AI solutions.
Expert Assistance Facilitates Implementing AI for Your Business
The AWS AI suite offers multiple solutions for organizations interested in the potential of AI and ML technology. Companies opting to take advantage of these solutions eliminate the need to build infrastructure to support in-house applications. Organizations can implement AI technology that addresses specific business objectives without onerous capital expenditures.
The best way for SMBs to leverage the benefits of the AWS AI suite of products is by engaging expert, third-party assistance. VAST is an AWS partner with the requisite experience to support any AWS solution, including its new and evolving AI products. We can help your company choose the best solutions for your business, deploy them efficiently in your IT environment, and provide ongoing support to ensure their optimal performance.
Talk to our AWS experts for guidance and assistance in selecting, implementing, and maintaining the right AI-powered technology to address your business requirements.