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Amazon Web Services says SMEs can unlock $1.5 billion with AI and cloud tech

A new report by Amazon Web Services claims SME businesses that are addressing social challenges can unlock $1.5 billion and 300,000 jobs with artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-based tech.

In the “Realising a Cloud-enabled Economy: How Cloud Drives Economic and Societal Impact Through Businesses”, the survey looked at New Zealand organisations with fewer than 250 employees who are using cloud technology.

The report was done to forecast what the industry will look like in 2030, when it is expected that 90 percent of all businesses will have adopted at least basic level skills on this.

For small to medium businesses using AI and cloud-based technology, they are expected to unlock up to $1.5 billion in annual productivity gains by 2030.

It is also expected that they will support 300,000 jobs across healthcare, education and agriculture sectors, which is an estimated nine percent of total jobs in New Zealand.

With around 40 percent of New Zealand SMEs are adopting cloud-based technology and 28 percent adopting advanced AI like Generative AI and Machine Learning, Amazon says there is still a huge opportunity for SMEs.

In healthcare alone, the report estimates there is a possibility of $600 million in annual productivity benefits by 2030.

Read more: Amazon Web Services launch accelerator for Generative AI start-ups

Amazon predicts $430 million in benefits for the education sector alongside 400,000 students partaking in e-learning solutions by 2030.

“Small and medium-sized New Zealand businesses are the backbone of Aotearoa, and a major contributor to economic performance as well as driving positive societal outcomes, innovating to deliver new services globally, and playing a crucial role in addressing societal challenges such as by improving access to digital healthcare and education services, and supporting local agriculture,” says Tim Dacombe-Bird, Country Manager of Public Sector at AWS New Zealand.

“AWS is making significant investments in skills, education, and local infrastructure, including launching an AWS Region in Auckland next year, to accelerate adoption of advanced cloud-enabled technologies such as generative AI to realize economic and social benefits sooner.”

Though there are current benefits to adopting a basic understanding of AI and cloud-level technology, Amazon says further benefits can be found from deeper adoption of these tools.

Aaron Hill, Managing Director of Economic Insights at Accenture Strategy and Consulting, says more and more businesses will have greater ability to harness the power of transformative technologies with more support going forward.

“[This will] unleash even more innovation, drive economic productivity and deliver meaningful change to society,” he says.

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