The Strategic Imperative of AI in 2024

The winds of change are sweeping across industries, propelled by the transformative power of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI). In 2024, AI has become a strategic imperative for enterprises seeking to stay ahead of the curve. Although some organizations may view AI with hesitation, the reality is that ignoring its potential puts them at risk of falling behind. 

In this article, we examine the incredible growth of AI and explore its potential power to transform industries and help enterprises accelerate innovation.

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The Cambrian explosion of artificial intelligence

You are probably familiar with chatbots for desktop users, such as ChatGPT and Google Gemini. However, the landscape of enterprise applications is teeming with examples of AI driving differentiation and success. Consider healthcare, where AI algorithms can aid in early disease detection and personalized treatment plans, or finance, where AI-powered fraud detection systems and algorithmic trading are reshaping the industry. In manufacturing, AI-driven robots can optimize production lines, and predictive maintenance can help minimize downtime. 

We are seeing an even more significant expansion as new types of AI systems provide solutions to problems previously not attainable with machine learning. New GenAI systems offer capabilities to solve organizations’ most pressing issues faster and more efficiently than ever.

In 2023, IBM reported that 42% of IT professionals at large organizations report that they have actively deployed AI, while an additional 40% are actively exploring using the technology. Across the board, businesses are leveraging AI to innovate, gain market share, and secure a competitive edge.

The landscape of AI models has undergone a fascinating shift in a very short time. We have witnessed the initial explosion of behemoths like OpenAI’s GPT 4o, boasting billions of parameters and impressive capabilities. These large language models (LLMs) captivated the world with their ability to generate human-quality text, translate languages, and answer complex questions.

Shift in scale

The sheer scale of these LLMs, however, has presented challenges in terms of computational resources, training costs, and environmental impact. As sustainability concerns have intensified and accessibility has become a priority, a new breed of AI models has emerged: the small and robust models.

These smaller models, exemplified by projects like Mixtral, Microsoft’s Phi, Google’s Gemini, and others, operate with significantly fewer parameters, often in the millions or even tens of millions. This reduction in size does not equate to a decrease in capability. These models leverage innovative architectures and training techniques to achieve impressive performance metrics, sometimes rivaling their larger counterparts.

As the number and type of models have increased, there has also been growth of open source ethos in AI. Hugging Face, a repository for open source AI software, datasets, and development tools, has seen its list of models grow to more than 500,000 models of all shapes and sizes suited for various applications (Figure 1). Many of these models are ideally suited for deployment in containers that can be developed locally or in the data center.

Screenshot of list of open source models on hugging face.
Figure 1: Hugging Face provides a repository of open source models and tools to help test and develop large language models.

This shift toward smaller, more efficient models signifies a crucial change in focus. The emphasis is no longer solely on raw power but also on practicality, resourcefulness, and accessibility. These models help democratize AI by lowering the barrier to entry for researchers, enterprise software developers, and even small and medium businesses with limited resources. They pave the way for deployment on edge devices, fostering advancements in areas like AI at the edge and ubiquitous computing.

These models will also provide the foundation for enterprises to adapt and fine-tune these models for their usage. They will do so using existing practices of containerization and will need tools that can provide the ability to move quickly through each phase of the software development lifecycle. As the industry’s de facto development and deployment environment for enterprise applications, Docker containerization offers an ideal approach. 

The arrival of these small yet powerful models also signals a new era in AI development. This change is a testament to the ingenuity of researchers and represents a shift towards responsible and sustainable AI advancement. Although large models will likely continue to play a vital role, the future of AI will increasingly be driven by these smaller, more impactful models.

Operational drivers

Beyond the competitive landscape, AI presents a compelling value proposition through its operational benefits. Imagine automating repetitive tasks, extracting actionable insights from massive datasets, and delivering more personalized experiences. AI facilitates data-driven decision-making as users push projects to completion, improving efficiency, cost reduction, and resource optimization.

Alignment with business goals

Users must align AI initiatives with specific business goals and objectives, however, rather than simply deploying AI as a technology standalone. Whether driving revenue growth, expanding market share, or enhancing operational excellence, AI-driven projects can be powerful when directed toward strategic priorities. For instance, AI-powered recommendation engines can help boost sales, while chatbots can improve customer service, ultimately contributing to overall business success.

Digital transformation

Moreover, AI has become a cornerstone of digital transformation initiatives. Businesses are undergoing a fundamental shift toward data-driven, interconnected operations, and AI plays a critical role in unlocking new opportunities and accelerating this transformation. From personalized marketing campaigns to hyper-efficient supply chains, AI empowers organizations to adapt to ever-changing market dynamics and achieve sustainable growth.

The AI imperative

As competitors leverage AI to fuel innovation and gain a competitive edge, businesses that fail to embrace this transformative technology risk being left behind. AI has the potential to revolutionize a variety of industries, from manufacturing to healthcare, and can provide enterprises with a host of benefits, including:

  • Enhanced decision-making: AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns, trends, and insights beyond human analysis capabilities. This capability enables businesses to make informed decisions, optimize operations, and minimize risks.
  • Streamlined and automated processes: AI-powered automation can handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks precisely and efficiently, freeing up valuable human resources for more strategic and creative endeavors. This approach can increase productivity, cost savings, and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Enhanced customer experience: AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can provide seamless and personalized customer support, resolving queries promptly and efficiently. AI can also analyze customer data to tailor marketing campaigns, product recommendations, and offers, thereby creating a more engaging and satisfying customer experience.
  • Innovation and product development: AI can accelerate innovation by allowing businesses to explore new ideas, test hypotheses, and rapidly prototype solutions. This approach can lead to the development of innovative products and services that meet changing customer needs.

The adoption of AI also comes with challenges that businesses must carefully navigate. For example, hurdles that enterprises must address include ethical considerations, data privacy concerns, and the need for skilled AI professionals.


In 2024 and beyond, AI is poised to reshape the business landscape. Enterprises that recognize the strategic imperative of AI and embrace it will stay ahead of the curve, while those that lag may struggle to remain competitive. Businesses need to consider how best to invest in AI, develop a clear AI strategy, and adopt this transformative technology. 

To learn more, read the whitepaper Docker, Putting the AI in Containers, which aims to equip you with the knowledge and tools to unlock the transformative potential of AI, starting with the powerful platform of Docker containerization.

Read the white paper: Docker, Putting the AI in Containers

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This post was contributed by Mark Hinkle, CEO and Founder of Peripety Labs.