5 Minutes Read By Christian Brugger

AI Platforms: Differences and Opportunities

#Advanced Data Analytics#Artificial Intelligence#Digital Transformation#Industry Trends

AI platforms play a crucial role in digital transformation by serving as enablers that help organizations become more data-driven. These platforms provide the necessary tools and infrastructure to collect, analyze, and derive insights from companies’ diverse data sources, facilitating informed decision-making and use case implementation.

Benefits of AI platforms

Key players like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure offer platforms with extensive AI and supporting functionalities, such as LLM (Large Language Model) operations and management. AI platforms bring numerous benefits, including the automation of routine tasks, enhanced predictive analytics, improved customer experience through personalized interactions, and increased operational efficiency. These platforms are easy to scale, provide real-time insights, and ensure data security. Off-the-shelf elements of the platforms can be rapidly deployed, while custom-developed solutions can be integrated seamlessly to meet specific business needs and gain a competitive advantage.

How to select the right AI platform

However, one thing to stress is the importance of focusing on the problem rather than jumping straight to solutions. By thoroughly understanding the problem, businesses can address the root cause and develop more effective and sustainable solutions. AI platforms and their elements should be selected based on how well they solve specific business challenges and objectives, ensuring the chosen solution aligns with the company's needs.

Furthermore, becoming truly data-driven also requires an organizational change. Businesses must cultivate a data-centric culture where decisions are driven by data insights, and employees are trained to work with data effectively. This approach ensures that AI platforms act as powerful enablers in the journey towards digital transformation.

Differences and key features

In the market, we see different types of AI platforms:

  • Horizontal AI Platforms: These platforms are embedded within broader cloud ecosystems like Google Vertex AI, Microsoft Azure AI, AWS SageMaker, and IBM Watson X. They offer extensive functionalities suitable for various domains and focus on deployment, security, model management, and AutoML, with additional solutions like voice recognition and invoice scanning.
  • Vertically Integrated AI Platforms: These platforms are integrated into broader software ecosystems but are not limited to specific industries. Examples include Salesforce and Palantir. They provide versatile AI capabilities that can be applied across different sectors, with a strong use case focus such as customer relationship management (CRM) and data analytics.
  • AI-Only Platforms: Examples include Dataiku, Databricks, Iguazio, and Alteryx. These platforms focus solely on AI and machine learning functionalities, offering powerful tools for data analysis, model training, and deployment without the broader cloud service ecosystem.

Additionally, beyond the platforms, there are different providers for AI services, AI applications, models (e. g. GPT models), frameworks (e. g. TensorFlow), and even hardware companies (e. g. NVIDIA).

The platforms themselves are differentiated by features like advanced data integration, automated machine learning (AutoML), natural language processing (NLP), and support for large language models (LLM). They also offer robust data security, real-time analytics, user-friendly interfaces, and scalability.

Horizontal or vertically integrated solution?

Currently, horizontal AI platforms show a significant market presence, supported by their extensive customer base and comprehensive functionalities. Vertically integrated solutions also maintain a strong presence due to their established customer relationships. AI-only platforms are rarer but provide specialized AI and machine learning capabilities.

Especially horizontal AI platforms are particularly focused on developing new LLM functionalities, such as model guardrails, which ensure safe and effective AI operations. Their investment power and focus on these advancements indicate that they will continue to expand their market presence. However, each type of horizontal platform has unique strengths and weaknesses depending on the use case and industry. For instance, Google Cloud is particularly strong in marketing applications.

AI platforms in different industries

The diverse AI platforms cater to multiple industries with various use cases. For example, in healthcare, AI platforms can predict patient outcomes and optimize treatment plans. In finance, they enhance risk management and fraud detection. In retail, they improve customer experience through personalized content and inventory management. These industry-specific solutions help businesses leverage AI to address their unique challenges effectively. Data integration is one of the key capabilities that leading AI platforms have to offer. They should be able to seamlessly integrate with diverse data sources and existing tech architectures, ensuring comprehensive data collection, smooth operation, and full utilization of AI investments.

Data quality is key

With the latest developments in LLMs, AI platforms now have new capabilities to process and analyze unstructured data. This enhances their potential to deliver even more valuable insights from a broader set of data sources. However, data quality remains absolutely vital for the success of AI implementation. The principle “garbage in, garbage out” still applies. An analogy would be constructing a building: if the foundation is weak, no matter how well-constructed the house above is, it will not be stable. In the same way, without strong data quality, even the most advanced AI solutions will not be effective.

That is why in a first step it makes sense to review the company’s data quality and integration readiness. Ensuring high-quality data and seamless integration is the basis of every successful AI use case. To achieve this, organizations should invest in a robust data infrastructure – and reach out to experts in case they need support.

The role of trust

Additionally, effective data governance maintains compliance with regulations and builds trust in AI systems. This involves setting up clear policies and procedures for data handling, ensuring data privacy, and implementing regular audits to maintain data integrity and security. Especially the trust aspect is not to underestimate when it comes to new AI developments – internally and externally.

Trends with AI platforms

The rapid AI developments from major players like OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google will continue to enhance the capabilities of AI platforms that companies can leverage. AI platforms, as enablers, will significantly expand their functionality and toolkits, allowing businesses to tackle a wider array of challenges – that they were not able to tackle before.

AI platforms will support faster prototyping, allowing businesses to quickly validate use cases without extensive training periods. Often, AI products are combinations of multiple AI models, and these platforms enable quick assembly of such solutions. This rapid iteration capability helps organizations to efficiently build comprehensive products that address complex needs. Furthermore, new algorithms will improve the accuracy and efficiency of AI models, while innovative data storage techniques will enhance data handling and retrieval capabilities. Improved integration offerings will ensure seamless connectivity with diverse data sources and existing tech infrastructures. Additionally, advanced deployment methods, such as edge computing and hybrid cloud solutions, will provide more flexible and scalable AI implementations.

Future areas of application

This will enable many potential use cases across functional areas. Automated negotiation bots can for example handle pricing and terms, transforming procurement and sales by securing better deals and optimizing supply chains. Significant advancements in AI-driven personalized marketing will also arise, where LLMs create targeted campaigns, boosting customer engagement and sales. AI-powered virtual assistants will manage complex tasks and support strategic decisions, freeing up employee time. In healthcare, AI will enhance diagnostics and treatment plans. The entertainment industry will benefit from AI-generated content, creating new revenue streams and enhancing user experiences with personalized recommendations. Additionally, AI will drive the growth of autonomous systems and robotics, opening up new business models centered around automation and robotics-as-a-service.

By continuously expanding their capabilities, AI platforms will provide businesses with the tools they need to address evolving customer problems and opportunities. This approach ensures that companies can leverage AI to drive growth, innovation, and efficiency, creating a dynamic and prosperous business environment.

Want to learn more about our AI expertise? Get in touch with our experts through the form below!

By Christian Brugger

Contact an expert

Do you want to know more about our expertise? Get in touch!

Industry Insights

How to transform an industrial giant into a digital leader

In today's digital age, businesses must constantly evolve to stay competitive. Culligan/Waterlogic, a leader in water dispensing solutions, [...]

Industry Insights

Decoding Data & AI: A deep dive into central data warehouses

In our Decoding Data & AI (Artificial Intelligence) series, we provide you with key insights for successful data & AI projects to boost your business. [...]

Industry Insights

Your Path to Cyber Resilience

No company wants to be on the news for the wrong reasons – which means that information security is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. With the [...]

Industry Insights

AI in pharma: The right approach for value creation and efficiency gains

Over 40% of tasks in the pharma industry are eligible for some form of AI automation or augmentation, according to a study by the World Economic [...]

Case Studies

The CWS Case

Future winners think about marketing/sales optimization and growth in new ways, actively pursuing multiple digital transformation dimensions. Here is [...]

Case Studies

The Median Case

MEDIAN is the biggest private operator of rehabilitation facilities in Germany with an outstanding reputation. The group operates 122 rehab clinics, [...]

Case Studies

The WAGO Case

WAGO is an internationally leading supplier of connection and automation technology and interface electronics, as well as the global market leader in [...]

Case Studies

ghd: Scaling digital marketing and sales performance holistically

As an innovative and premium brand for hairstyling products, ghd seeks to provide their customers with an at-home hair salon experience with [...]

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Development and Execution of a Customized Digital Growth Strategy