Climb UK made its much anticipated return to the tech capital of the north this month. Now in its second year, the two-day expo saw a range of delegates, speakers, and active investors take over Leeds Dock on 5-6 June for a foray into industry, innovation, and investment in the tech space and beyond.

Launched by Investor Ladder, the UK’s largest network of investors, Climb UK offers a critical opportunity for start-ups, scale-ups, and blue-chips to connect with investors on a more local stage. Yet, already, it has garnered significant attention from industry leaders, innovators, and experts across the globe.

“I was surprised how busy the event was, especially on the second day,” says Tim Mercer, CEO at Vapour. “But it was organised expertly. Not only was the location ideally suited, the visuals — staging, lighting, and video — were executed perfectly. And on the operational side of things, the whole thing ran like clockwork, which isn’t easy to achieve.”

This year’s insight spanned a range of thought-provoking topics, including founder wellbeing, artificial intelligence, GreenTech, HealthTech, cyber security, diversity and inclusion, and so much more.

Tim continues: “Showcasing young talent seemed to be a priority, offering help and advice in a market that is sometimes difficult to navigate for even the most experienced professionals — let alone those breaking entry. With plenty of conversation surrounding women in tech, it was also a tonic to see that reducing gender disparities remains at the top of the agenda.

“It was great not only to knowledge-share with leading lights in the industry, but to connect with forward-thinking professionals who share the same thirst for innovation. I’m already fired up for next year’s expo. In the meantime, Vapour remains committed to exploring opportunities for strategic differentiation into 2024 and beyond — delivering truly value-add services that meet the needs of our customers as their priorities pivot.” 


Keen to continue conversations with Tim and the team? Get in touch.

In the second instalment of a three-fold series, ICT Channel partners united for The Big Goal’s Northern Regional Finals tournament last Friday. Vapour’s five-a-side team, captained by CEO Tim Mercer, took to Sunderland’s Beacon of Light for the occasion.

The event, sponsored by Foundation of Light, saw 10 teams go head-to-head for the winning title — including headline sponsor Giacom, ANS Group, Sky Business, Daisy Corporate Services, Firstcom Europe Ltd, PXC and Elite Group. 

Despite a gripping game against Giacom, Vapour missed the chance to compete in the knockout stage, where semi-finalists Daisy Corporate Services and Firstcom Europe Ltd., and finalists PXC and Elite Group, battled for glory. Ultimately, it was a ‘last gasp’ goal, leading to a dramatic 5-4 victory, that saw Elite Group reign as the champions.

PXC’s performance didn’t go unnoticed, however, as Darren McKnight took home the Golden Boot trophy, for scoring an incredible 20 goals on the day. Giacom’s Giacommanders also secured the Fair Play team award for their stellar performance.

“We were gutted to have not qualified, but all was not lost,” says Tim. “Supporting The Big Goal is about more than enjoying a kick about. Off the pitch, we’re helping to provide better opportunities for homeless and disadvantaged youth in the local community.

“Through the nationally acclaimed Street Soccer Academy programme, we’re sponsoring a local professional football club community organisation as part of the Autumn intake. Whether it’s sharing CV-writing tips and supporting employability skills or offering shadowing opportunities with our seasoned tech professionals, we're committed to equipping individuals with the tools and support they need to confidently step into brighter futures.”

The four qualifying teams from the Northern Regionals will be joined in the Nationals Finals later this year by Southern Regional winners Focus Group United, runners up Gamma (South), and semi-finalists Vorboss and InTEC 2. The top teams from the Midlands Regionals, yet to be determined, will complete the line-up for what promises to be an exhilarating showdown at the home of England Football, St George’s Park.

Tim concludes: “The organisation of the event has been exceptional from start to finish — a far cry from what you might expect from such a fledgling initiative. And if the regional tournaments are anything to go by, the final is set to be one for the memory books. You can bet we’ll be back to do it all again next year. Although, I realised football in your 50s hurts more than you remembered in your thirties, so it’s back to golf for the time being! ” 

Head to The Big Goal’s website to learn how you can get involved.

Against a challenging fiscal backdrop, the results of the Spring Budget dominated media headlines this month. Although, not necessarily for the right reasons, as an overarching lack of funds and direction across a number of sectors cast a shadow over the government’s 2024 strategy.

Yet, irrespective of these challenges, Vapour’s quarter one renewals paint a picture of strength and resilience — particularly in the education sector, where internet investments shine. Explore our recent activity snapshot, to see which services are the most in-demand right now…

With a sextuple of three-year internet services deals re-signed, the aftersales team has been busy supporting a number of primary and secondary schools with their digital learning strategies.

In the Calderdale borough, Bolton Brow Primary, Christ Church Sowerby Bridge Primary, and Calder High School sought Vapour’s continued support. Meanwhile, we’ve also partnered with Horbury St Peter's & Clifton CE (VC) Primary and Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield and St Patrick's Catholic Voluntary Academy in Sheffield.

But it’s not just the education sector that’s tapping into our connectivity expertise. We’re also delighted to have seen renewals from the likes of Unipart rail, the UK’s leading railway product and technology specialist, as well as Stafford-based Dean’s Accountants. 

As the firm looks to boost the resilience of its software suite, renewing Veeam backup services with Vapour has proven to be the logical step for Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors. As a trusted partner of Veeam, we provide the assurance and expertise our customers require to navigate their digital environments with peace of mind, knowing that their data is in capable hands.

The continued trust placed in Vapour by long standing further speaks volumes about the quality and reliability of our toolkit. Ark-H Handling, one of our first-ever customers in 2013, has renewed its network connectivity, firewall, hosted server, and backup services for another 36 months. 

Committed to delivering exceptional solutions beyond our direct customers, we’re also proud to see Vapour partner Aeon Cloud Solutions renew Teams Voice for one of its customers, for another 24 months. This fully cloud-based solution won’t just curb call costs, but increase technical efficiencies and boost collaboration across the board.

Intrigued to learn more about the solutions explored here? Let’s talk. 

It’s no secret that the global tech sector is advancing at an astonishingly rapid pace – not least in relation to the now integral role of digital transformation in spearheading growth and success. But no matter the size or scope or your organisation – or how sophisticated your innovation strategy is – the only way to drive significant change is to leverage the power of people.

So, to champion some of the industry’s finest talent, and gain insight into the minds of individuals from across the tech space, we’re inviting friends and partners of the business to take part in our quickfire Q&A.

This month, Sharon Annat, data analyst at leading shredder manufacturer UNTHA UK, takes centre stage…

Tell us about your role at UNTHA UK and the part you play in the tech sector:

My role is all things data. With a powerful software engine, Microsoft Dynamics 365, bringing increasingly more agility and efficiency to our specialist shredding operations, it’s my job to make sense of the data behind it. By providing dashboards, reports, and visualisations, our department leads and directors can proactively monitor daily, monthly, and annual activity to make data-driven decisions. These actionable insights are a critical source for us to cleanse data, further streamline processes, and optimise performance. 

What innovation was the turning point for your organisation, to get it to where you are now?

In the first instance, the introduction of Dynamics 365 in 2016 — the platform that leveraged our digital transformation. We were ahead of our time for an organisation of our size, which saw us garner acclaim in Digital Enterprise’s Top 100 three years running, including special recognition as one of ten Leading Lights in 2022. Then, the integration of Power BI empowered us with increased structure and visibility to enhance business intelligence.

And where’s next for your business?

At UNTHA, we pride ourselves on continual improvement, and this applies to our digital platform too. Bringing our remaining segregated processes under the Dynamics umbrella will enable us to further develop and strengthen our data analysis through Power BI. 

Finish the sentence: The biggest misconception faced by the tech sector is…

There are a number. However, the industry is always changing.  In line with International Women’s Day, I’d say one is that tech roles are male dominated. While the statistics support this notion as a whole, there is a growing number of women in tech roles today — many in leadership positions, driving companies forward.  As a mum to a daughter embarking on her own career journey, these amazing role models are essential for the next generation of young women, who are just starting out and forging their path. 

What do you think will be the biggest tech trend over the next 12 months?

The development of the data-driven business is upon us. Organisations are realising the value in their business intelligence to propel their company forward securely and effectively.  

Of course, AI is likely to play a key role in the coming months and years. However, as a mature analyst, I hope we don’t eliminate the satisfaction we experience from manually developing data, and never overlook the results humans can achieve with the support of innovative tech.  Automation that aids what we do is a positive benefit, role replacement is not. 

What top tip would you give to an individual trying to excel in their tech career?

If you’re embarking on years of study, choose a topic as broad as you can to allow you to diversify. What suits you now, may not in the future, so it’s great to have the ability to dip into other areas of specialism or branch out. Once you’ve found your niche, learn as much as you can and stay up to date with developments.

And, if the role is data related, KNOW YOUR DATA. It’s imperative that you have an understanding of your organisation’s and/or customer’s data before embarking on any development work. You have to be able to identify any rogue raw intelligence that doesn't have a place in your analysis. It’s all in the prep!

The next purchase on your personal tech wish list is…?

I’m not a huge techie, although a new camera would be very nice. Outside of work, I love the simple things in life — the great outdoors and fresh air. I think it’s important we nurture that balance in our lives, not least in a world so focused on tech and ‘the next big thing’.

And what is the earliest memory you have of tech in your life?

I think it was an Amstrad GX400 video game console. It’s the one with the little green square, that you hit against a wall like a game of squash. I’m showing my age now!

What is one long standing piece of tech that you are shocked is still used today?

Crikey, fax machines. 

If you are without the internet for an hour, what would be the first activity you resort to, to pass the time?

I’d do what I do now, and read. The feel and smell of a physical book is something you can’t get from a digital version, and it’s an immersive experience that I love. I have a very well stocked bookshelf.

Want more where this came from? Read our Q&A with Richard May, CEO of virtualDCS.

Fusing the dynamism of the ICT Channel with the power of football, The Big Goal is a twofold initiative aimed at combating youth homelessness in the UK. And this year, Vapour is proud to pledge its support. Explore how we’re making a meaningful impact in the lives of disadvantaged youth across the country.

What is The Big Goal?

The Street Soccer Foundation – formed by multi-award-winning, nationally acclaimed entrepreneur and business leader, Keith Mabbutt – is the primary brain behind The Big Goal.

As the number one football-led project tackling youth homelessness in England, the charity works in partnership with various clubs across The Premier League and English Football League (EFL) club community organisations, aiming to equip people with the skills they need to prepare them for a brighter future.

The Big Goal is one piece of a wider puzzle. At its core, it’s an industry-led ambition – with Giacom as headline sponsor and Comms Dealer as media partner – marrying the world's most beloved sport with one of the UK's largest industry sectors to address a pressing social issue: youth homelessness. The ultimate goal? To take 1,600 young people off the street and into employment.

The initiative's dual components, the five-a-side tournament and The Street Soccer Academy, offer diverse avenues for companies like Vapour to get involved and support the cause.

Playing for change at the home of football

The five-a-side tournament aspect of The Big Goal unites ICT resellers for a spirited competition on the football pitch. With the final set to take place at the home of football, St George’s Park, in summer, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime for all channel partners involved.

Beyond the thrill of the game, each team's entry fee serves as a direct sponsorship of up to 10 young people enrolled in The Street Soccer Foundation's National Academy program. This won’t just serve as a platform for young players to learn skills and build confidence in a football-based environment, but to further opportunities long after the programme ends.

Taking young individuals from pitch to purpose 

Meanwhile, The Academy represents a deeper commitment to empowering young individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Through a 10-week personal development training program, participants receive a blend of football coaching, mindset training, and soft skills workshops. 

Designed for individuals aged 18-30, The Academy aims to enhance physical health and mental wellbeing, as well as to instil confidence, self-belief, and practical skills essential for employment and independent living.

How Vapour is playing its part 

As a founding member and sponsor of The Big Goal, Vapour is fully engaged in both aspects of the initiative.

By fielding a five-a-side team in the national tournament, the firm not only competes for a cause but also directly contributes to the support and empowerment of young people through The Academy.

“Crucially, Vapour's involvement extends beyond the football pitch,” says CEO Tim Mercer. “I’m poised to share insights and expertise that don’t just cover the tech space but span essentials like how to excel in an interview and ways to safeguard business success during setup. 

“As a company, we’re also looking to offer work experience opportunities and mentorship to program participants, so we can offer a real avenue for growth later down the line. It’s not just a chance for Vapour to give back, though. Having welcomed a number of apprentices into the fold over the years, we know firsthand just how valuable fresh, emerging talent can be to our team.”

Keith Mabbutt, CEO and founder of the Street Soccer Foundation, added: “I am so excited about our new industry-wide initiative, The Big Goal, and to have Vapour on board as a Founding Member.

“It’s a true call to action across one of the largest sectors in the country and the way in which we are using football as the anchor to unite these brilliant organisations not only sees several of our academies become sponsored for the benefit of young people as well as local communities nationwide; but through the offered tournament element, it helps brings to life how by playing football, these wonderful companies can experience for themselves the power of playing for change.”

Tim will join the Northern team’s five-a-side regional line-up at Sunderland AFC’s Beacon of Light on 19 April, before The Big Goal’s second Academy intake reveals who will complete the Vapour pair in Autumn. 

Keen to help champion the cause? Discover how you can change lives through football.

Initially unveiled to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Bard has been on a rapid growth trajectory since its launch in February 2023. And with brand-based transformations making headlines this month, it seems there’s only more competition and capabilities to come. Vapour CEO, Tim Mercer, unpicks the latest changelog and explores what’s to come for the generative AI model in 2024.

Hot on the heels of media speculation — spurred by noted app developer and occasional information leaker, Dylan Roussel, on X — Google officially announced Bard’s rebrand to Gemini this month. The new-look platform coordinates with its multi-modal AI model of the same name, which was rolled out in December last year, and claims to have broken ground by outperforming human experts on Massive Multitask Language Understanding (MMLU).

Why has Google Bard rebranded to Gemini?

Since its debut, Google’s AI tool has introduced a number of enhancements, including the ability to generate images from text. Now, in leveraging the name of the Large Language Model (LLM) powering the AI chatbot, the global giant looks to better reflect the advanced tech at its core, while curbing the confusion surrounding the growing number of AI-powered products in its portfolio. This includes, for example, Google’s Duet AI collaboration tools for Google Workspace.

What other changes will Gemini bring?

Beyond the name change, Google has evolved Gemini’s User Interface (UI) to reduce visual distractions, improve legibility, and simplify the navigation for consumers. The introduction of the gemini.google.com website domain marks a true ‘clean slate’ launch too. 

The chatbot will also launch Gemini Advanced, a paid version which utilises a more powerful generative AI model called Gemini Ultra, instead of Gemini Pro as standard. Rolling out in 150 countries to start, it’s set to be better at complex coding, logical reasoning, and creative collaboration queries. In the future, it will also grow its multi-modal capabilities, and be able to analyse more data simultaneously.

While core features of the standard plan remain intact, a new mobile app for Android will offer more streamlined access to Gemini for on-the-go queries too, as well as an option to replace Google Assistant. But with the former not yet capable of performing on-device tasks — despite its conversational slant and multi-modal capabilities — it’s unlikely to steal the march just yet.

A recent article from Computer World summarises the differences, stating that “the real problem with Gemini as the Android assistant is that Google's forgotten why a phone assistant actually matters — and what we, as actual users in the real world, need from such a service. Plain and simple, using Gemini in place of Google Assistant feels like having a square peg awkwardly forced into a round hole.”

Charting for growth in 2024 and beyond

Google isn’t the only AI titan to make such leaps, however. Competition is rife among Microsoft, Open AI, and several burgeoning AI startups right now too. It was only last month that Microsoft unveiled a slew of Copilot updates, including supercharged subscriptions with its Pro offering and the ability to create your own Copilot GPTs. Meanwhile, new embedding models and API updates are making their way to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise the generative AI market is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2032.

Keen to harness AI the right way? Let’s talk about our complementary technologies and how they can take your business to new heights in 2024.

Transformational cloud technology firm Vapour has agreed a deal with Leeds-headquartered virtualDCS, to move its entire Veeam estate and hosting platform over to the channel specialist’s infrastructure.

All Vapour’s hosted servers and backups will be migrated over to the virtualDCS environment in a three-phased programme of work that will span the next six months.

Although technology agnostic, Vapour has frequently recommended Veeam solutions to clients as the business has grown over the last 10 years. But as the scope and scale of customer requirements continues to advance, Vapour wanted to supercharge its data protection strategy.

Collaborating with virtualDCS – a Veeam platinum partner and 2023 Veeam innovation Award winner  – will bolster Vapour’s ability to deliver greater resilience, technical support, and agile cloud growth for the market.

Elaborating on the partnership, Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer explained: “As we continually expand our cloud portfolio, we’re always looking for ways to provide additional layers of availability and security.

With access to virtualDCS’s multiple UK data centres we could now spin up an unlimited number of servers with ease, safe in the knowledge we don’t just have access to more hardware – we’ll benefit from the latest software releases too. The collaboration provides us with the most cost-efficient and energy savvy scalability strategy, for Vapour and customers alike.

“People familiar with the Vapour brand know we love solving technology challenges too. virtualDCS’s engineers will now act as an extension of our own team, meaning we can now offer real depth to our pre-sales support. And that’s before we think about the new services we’ll be able to offer when this initial six month project is complete.”

Jason Newell, channel director at virtualDCS added: "This is a fantastic partnership and mutual opportunity for virtualDCS, Vapour Cloud and their customers. By working together, we can deliver a range of comprehensive disaster recovery and Infrastructure services, which not only meet but exceed customer expectations.

The new partnership forges a resilient and customer-centric approach to business continuity and with virtualDCS now acting as an extension to Vapour’s technical team, their customers can benefit from world-leading Veeam services and data protection experts." 

With its HQ in Huddersfield, but colleagues across the country in Glasgow, Sunderland, Manchester and London, Vapour provides the hidden technology behind powerful business.

Industrial shredding specialist UNTHA UK is no stranger to Vapour’s cloud toolkit, having long been a user of the TeamsLink solution for savvy Microsoft communication. But impressed with the quality of the collaboration to date, the growing business has returned to Vapour once again, to further strengthen its Microsoft estate.

The engineering firm has been independently recognised for its progressive use of technology, having been hailed as a ‘leading light’ in the Digital Enterprise Top 100 hit list for 2022. And UNTHA UK’s pioneering use of Microsoft Dynamics functionality throughout its entire business, is one of the main reasons for this prestigious accolade.

Because their existing Microsoft partner could no longer provide the organisation’s licences, UNTHA UK turned to Vapour for alternative provision. But instead of simply supplying the licences ‘as is’, the Vapour team conducted a thorough audit and optimisation exercise, ensuring the licence types were fit for purpose for individual colleagues’ existing and future requirements. Not only does this align to the collaboration and productivity goals of the growing business, but it helps protect UNTHA UK’s budget too. There was an evaluation of the current licences base being used and changed in line with the UNTHA UK business strategy.

Vapour’s senior sales support James Wood explains: “We’re very transparent, as a business, about our approach to providing the best possible service to customers. We openly call on the expertise of our partner network where required, and the UNTHA UK project represented a fantastic opportunity to bring in our peers at CloudCoCo for the licensing support. The relationship still sits with Vapour, so UNTHA UK has a single point of contact, but the customer benefits from the involvement of true specialists in their respective fields. This is when things start to get very exciting.”

With a visionary roadmap of upcoming activity still to unfold, conversations are now ongoing regarding UNTHA UK’s even more progressive use of Microsoft Dynamics moving forward, with key considerations around backup and automation already underway. 

At Vapour, we’re as known for our people as we are our toolkit. Experienced, dependable and undeniably human, they’ve played an integral role in driving the company’s success since 2013. And this month, we’re delighted to be celebrating two major milestones that pay perfect testament to that remarkable journey.

During their decade of service, Carol McGrotty, head of digital transformation and innovation, and James (Jimmy) Wood, senior sales support, have made their mark on colleagues, customers, and channel partners alike.

With over 20 years’ experience, Carol’s first foray into the tech and telecoms space was a chance secondment role with NTL (now Virgin Media). Making the leap to join Vapour in 2014, she spent seven years as our head of operations, before being promoted in 2021.

From managing the technical, field and administrative teams to defining the operating model to run TechOps and business support functions, she’s now referred to as the ‘lifeblood’ of the Vapour team by many; a true ‘dot-joiner’.

As well as spearheading major projects including Vapour’s own strategic rebrand — a visual overhaul, as well as a mechanism to reposition the brand in a crowded space — Carol has delivered insightful talks with the likes of Mills & Reeve and Channel Live, as well as penned pieces for publications including WeAreTechWomen and TechBlast. She’s therefore a true ambassador for women in tech.

Meanwhile, Jimmy has remained a critical component of our customer care team. Hyper-focused on combating the smoke and mirrors that cloud the tech space, he’s built a career around demystifying. Stripping away the jargon, he ensures our solutions are simple, effective and understandable — because you don’t have to be a techie to appreciate the value of streamlined technology.

With his knack for translating complex concepts into plain language, he empowers our customers to make informed decisions and fully embrace the advantages of our user-friendly toolkit. Long gone are the days of tech being intimidating or exclusive. Recently, we were also proud to see him awarded a distinction in his Team Leader / Supervisor (Level 3) qualification.

Jimmy’s expertise doesn't end there, though. Keeping a constant eye on emerging tech, he actively contributes to shaping the future direction of our products and services too. His commitment to staying ahead of the curve has led to the implementation of cutting-edge features and improvements within our toolkit, ensuring our clients benefit from the latest advancements, while keeping our own business fresh.

Commenting on the duo’s milestone, Vapour CEO Tim Mercer said: “Challenging the status quo and pushing for better has always been a key part of our DNA. But that doesn’t just ‘happen’. More importantly, it doesn’t occur overnight. It takes a team of talented people — with grit, empathy, and dependability — to keep the wheels in motion.

“The success of Vapour is not merely a result of cutting-edge technology but is deeply rooted in the people who breathe life into our organisation every day. The past decade has seen us evolve, adapt, and thrive in a dynamic industry, and we owe much of that success to individuals like Carol and Jimmy.”

Carol's strategic vision and Jimmy's relentless pursuit of simplicity have been instrumental in propelling Vapour to new heights. And as we strive for further innovation and customer-centricity, we’re excited to see what the next decade will bring for the team. 

Curious to meet the wider Vapour collective? Meet the faces behind the business.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its mark. From virtual assistants to data analytics, biometric security features, fraud detection and medical diagnosis, its applications are vast and varied. And, as Tim Mercer explored in his recent thoughts on the ‘future CEO’, it won’t be long before it has earned a seat at the boardroom table too.

But what does the next phase of growth and innovation look like, until then? And with 2023 having ushered in a number of changes on a regulatory front, how might we expect the next 12 months to take shape? 

Rapid and somewhat unprecedented, AI progress has given rise to a number of concerns throughout the tech space. Can we really trust these burgeoning systems? How much does AI truly understand? And if you’re not concerned about sentience and security, you might be wondering whether the tech will have an adverse impact on your job long-term.

Those concerns may have even been fuelled by the emergence of Google Gemini more recently — reported to be the first AI model to outperform human experts on massive multitask language understanding (MMLU) and has outperformed ChatGPT’s free tool in widespread testing too.

Ongoing changes to AI regulation 

The reality is, the tool itself isn’t inherently bad. It’s about what we, as humans and handlers, choose to do with it that counts. Heard of Ross O’Lochlainn’s ‘IKE-AI effect’ theory? Similar to the ‘IKEA effect’, he predicted organisations would overestimate the value of ‘soul-less, average garbage’ content, just because they made it with AI. It’s a very different sector of course, but a trend that parallels the very fears we’re seeing in other spaces.

Nevertheless, prevailing concerns have caused such a ripple that countries across the globe have moved to regulate them more comprehensively. The European Union reached political agreement on the AI Act in December. Intended to ensure the safety of AI systems on the EU market and provide legal certainty for investments and innovation in AI, the Act will enforce harmonised rules for the development, market placement and use of AI systems in the EU, following a proportionate risk-based approach. 

Overseas, Canada implemented a voluntary code of conduct in October to govern how AI is developed within its borders. Companies that sign on to the code are agreeing to multiple principles to boost data transparency, address potential bias for accuracy, and more. And in China, regulations have long revealed a considerable interest in generative AI and protections against synthetically generated images, video, audio, and text. 

Is ongoing scepticism limiting AI’s potential?

We’re taking back control. But at what cost? There’s room to suggest this ‘hysteria hype’ could just be stifling competitive-edge and innovation.

Andrew Ng — Google Brain cofounder and Stanford professor, widely regarded as one of the pioneers of machine learning — recently weighed in on these concerns by way of experiment, in which he tried to coax ChatGPT into coming up with ways to exterminate humanity. In his newsletter, he shared how multiple prompts failed to trigger the ‘doomsday scenario’ so many are scared of. It’s a humorous example, but Ng isn’t the first AI luminary to doubt misconceptions either.

No matter your stance, or the regulatory backdrop, AI is here to stay. And these energy-intensive applications demand advanced hardware to power their workloads. Building data centres with greater power density therefore plays a key role in enabling transformation. But with increased capacity comes greater heat output. Of course, the liquid cooling solutions required to combat this represent a number of technical and environmental hurdles in itself. So, how can organisations keep pace? 

AI dependance is shifting data centre strategy

For firms utilising multiple AI tools, colocation services can be a holy grail this year. By renting rack space in specialised data centres, businesses leverage advanced cooling systems and expertise to manage high-power density workloads, as well as benefits such as physical security, redundancy, and 24/7 monitoring.

This, coupled with a hybrid cloud approach, facilitates seamless integration of multiple AI tools and technologies. Plus, it provides instantaneous compute resources closer to their end users while efficiently managing the escalating data volumes driven largely by AI dependence.

Even industries forced to hold their cards close to their chest — finance and healthcare, for example — are growing hungrier to embrace such approaches. If we’ve learnt anything in recent years though, it’s to avoid knee-jerk implementations at all costs. That’s unless spiralling budgets and mismatched workloads are what you’re aiming for this year (we doubt it). Learn more about what a successful cloud migration strategy looks like, to underpin any AI-related endeavours.

It’s uncertain, but it’s exciting — as long as we harness it the right way.

Did the cloud and colocation talk catch your interest? Talk to our experts to see how you can unlock the true potential of your infrastructure in 2024.

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