May 12, 2021

The digital divide also exists in the cloud | Trends

The digital divide also exists in the cloud | Trends


The cloud transforms who gets on it. But can you all go up to enjoy that transformation? No. There is still a long way to go: the technological gap is still there.

"They do not need to know of machine learning", Says Andy Jassy, ​​head of Amazon Web Services, the subsidiary dedicated to the cloud of the technological conglomerate. The manager tries to attack this problem during the talk he gave at the Re: Invent, the company's great annual event that takes place in Las Vegas. They were, altogether, three announcements, three new services thought for those who do not have training in data science. The most striking, Amazon Textract, which allows you to take any document and scan it while retaining all its format attributes.

Just a mirage? The vast majority of ads in the event were devoted to improving the recognition of images via machine learning or to reinventing blockchain in their own way, they were designed for those who can afford a technology-focused team.

The consequences of this abyss have caused alerts in the main economic appointments of the year. From the World Economic Forum in Davos a disturbing fact was announced, which finally put a specific number to measure the size of that gap. It does not matter if you talk about finance, the automobile industry, insurance or tourism. Nowadays, the growth associated with the adoption of new technologies is carried by 20% of the leading companies in each sector. It was the conclusion of a report made between the World Economic Forum and the technology consultancy Accenture that looked at no less than 14 different industries.

At the same time, it is also quantified that SMEs (or SMES, as they are known in the Anglo-Saxon world) represent up to 55% of global GDP and between 60 and 70% of employment, according to data from the World Trade Organization. . In countries like Spain, this figure is even higher: 99.98% of our companies are SMEs and create 74% of employment, According to data from the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

From Davos, he warned that the problem of leaving the global economic heart out of the benefits of reinventing itself with technology is not trivial: "If they are not implemented [los avances tecnológicos] in a broader way, an industrial inequality could emerge, creating a small group of highly productive industrial leaders and leaving the rest of the economy behind. "

The logos images that accompanied each Amazon Web Services ad in their big news conference were a true reflection of this problem. Brands from all sectors, yes, but leading brands: Nike, Netflix, Ubisoft, Snapchat, Comcast, Disney, Siemens …

From Amazon they affirm "to be aware and very sensitive of the problem". In an interview with EL PAÍS RETINA, Miguel Álava, director of AWS for southern Europe, delved into the problem, which is not so linked to a need to have a large size to undertake a technological project but to the knowledge that is needed to get the most out of these tools: "To mitigate this, we are working on two lines. The first, insist a lot on training. Last year, we trained 7,000 people for free. The second, make the barrier of knowledge every lower. And that is done with concrete services that we have presented, such as OCR, that do not require knowing how to program. But we believe that it is a question that goes beyond us, which is a global social issue ".

And what do SMEs lose for not making the leap to the cloud? What is this change about? The best reflection was given from the re: Invent the companies that belong to the most traditional sectors. During the conference Paving the ground for the future of the automotive industry, Peter Garzarella, responsible for the Volkswagen software team, was brutally sincere: "We are living the transformation of a company focused on metal, sheet metal and paint to be, essentially, a software company."

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