On June 18 2024, Telefónica Tech announced it was expanding its partnership with IBM to help businesses in Spain adopt artificial intelligence, including GenAI.

The companies will offer SHARK.X, a platform designed for data management, analytics, and artificial intelligence. The platform will incorporate key technologies from IBM, including IBM Cloud Pak for Data and IBM watsonx AI and Data. However, the partnership is not limited to hardware and software. The companies will work together to provide training and educational programs, as well as to develop use cases and to help customers implement pilot projects.

Challenges when adopting GenAI

Generative AI can be used in a range of applications, including to summarise documents, speed research, improve chat bots, translate language, write code, create synthetic data, and enhance fraud detection. Many enterprises report that it is the line of business teams, rather than IT departments, that are pushing for more widespread adoption of the game-changing technology.

However, enterprises face numerous challenges when it comes to adopting GenAI. They are unsure of which large language model to work with, whether to experiment with small language models, and how to implement RAG to improve query results. Many are experimenting with open-source models but have security concerns and limit their use to specific applications.

Furthermore, most businesses don’t have internal teams with experience in generative AI in place and are having difficulty identifying consultancies with adequate levels of expertise. As a result, the complexities of implementing the technology and integrating it with existing systems present a challenge, and most enterprises report that deployments take much longer than originally anticipated.

Garbage in garbage out still holds true

Another commonly cited hurdle to broader adoption of generative AI is developing a robust data management and governance strategy. The importance of data quality to analytics outcomes has been widely touted but can’t be emphasised enough. Poor quality inputs will lead to poor quality outputs.

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Generative AI has exposed the dangers of weak data governance structures to corporate security. In what may possibly be a silver lining, GenAI has made the importance of robust data management abundantly clear to those outside of IT departments, spurring much needed investment.

Telefónica Tech – a winning strategy

Telefónica Tech is wise to implement a strategy that helps businesses of all sizes adopt GenAI. Across the globe, enterprises are eager reap the benefits of the new technology, and Spain is no exception.

According to GlobalData’s Generative AI forecast, the market opportunity for the technology in Spain is expected to grow from $19m in 2022 to $425m in 2027, a CAGR of 86%.

Telefónica Tech is already known for partnering with key vendors to bring emerging solutions to customers. Expanding its portfolio to include data management and access to generative AI platforms fits neatly into its existing strategy. Additionally, it has relationships with the mid-sized organisations that are eager to adopt AI but don’t have the deep pockets to engage with top tier consulting organisations.

By making tools more accessible, and augmenting them with training and professional services, Telefónica Tech is positioning itself as a trusted partner.

When the time is right, and businesses are ready to expand their cloud connectivity, deploy AI at the edge, invest in additional storage, incorporate latency sensitive applications, or expand networks to capture additional data points, Telefonica will already be well placed to grow the customer relationship.