DigitalOcean Currents Report Finds That Adoption of AI/ML, and Investments in Cybersecurity and Multi-cloud Strategies Are On The Rise at Small Businesses

November 15, 2023 Off By David

DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc. announced the findings of its bi-annual Currents report, which found that 78% of organizations believe that their use of AI/ML will increase next year, 37% of organizations plan to increase their cybersecurity spending, and 35% are employing multi-cloud approaches, highlighting the diversification in cloud infrastructure.

DigitalOcean’s Currents Report is a regular analysis of trends among digital SMBs, their outlook, engagement with today’s newest technologies, and the challenges they’re facing. The latest report specifically looks at the present state of startups in the current economic landscape, sentiment toward remote work and return to office policies, how businesses are adopting AI technologies, and trends in cloud computing and cybersecurity.

Despite economic challenges, most companies remain committed to investing in emerging technologies like AI/ML to improve operations, though ethical concerns and implementation costs are top barriers. Software development tools and data analytics are seen as the most promising AI applications across industries, though the current hype cycle has left many uncertain about tangible benefits.Of all respondents, 43% are currently using AI/ML tools for both personal and business use. Additionally, 78% of those surveyed believe that their use of AI/ML will increase compared to last year.

The cloud infrastructure landscape remains dynamic, with 33% of organizations relying solely on a single cloud provider, 35% adopting a multi-cloud approach, and 31% integrating a hybrid model. At the same time, cybersecurity remains essential, with 37% of organizations planning to increase spending on cybersecurity. That increase is motivated by a need to invest in more advanced security software, updating older systems, and the rise of generative AI and associated threats.

Additional findings of the DigitalOcean Currents report include:

Remote and hybrid work structures dominate the tech landscape: The post-COVID work landscape is diverse, featuring a mix of remote, hybrid, and in-office arrangements as companies adapt to new operational and employee preferences.

  • 47% of respondents reported that their companies are hybrid remote, 40% reported being fully remote, and a minority, 13% reported that their company is fully in-office.
  • 19% of respondents reported that their companies had instituted a return-to-office policy.

Small businesses remain optimistic about the economy: 2023 has been characterized by rising inflation, elevated interest rates, and widespread layoffs in the tech sector and large enterprises, posing challenges for both businesses and consumers. However, SMB businesses in our survey remain optimistic.

  • 37% of respondents had a somewhat positive stance when asked about the outlook for their business in the next year, while 15% had a very positive posture.

“Based on our findings, while the technological position of small businesses is still very much in flux, their collective optimism about our global economic future is encouraging,” says Megan Wood, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at DigitalOcean. “SMBs and startups have always been particularly agile, making them especially well-positioned to capitalize on advancements in technology, including the latest developments in AI/ML.”

Read or download the full report here: