Vodafone 2024 Annual Report

11 Vodafone Group Plc Annual Report 2024

Strategic report



Other information

Adoption of cloud technology Over the past decade, large technology companies have invested heavily in advanced centralised data storage and processing capabilities that organisations and consumers can access remotely through connectivity services (commonly termed ‘cloud’ technology). As a result, organisations and consumers are increasingly moving away from using their own expensive hardware and device-specific software to using more efficient shared hardware capacity or services through the cloud. This is popular as it allows upfront capital investment savings, the ability to efficiently scale resources to meet demand, systems that can be easily updated and increased resilience. This is driving demand for fast, reliable and secure connectivity with lower latency. Many small businesses increasingly understand the benefits of cloud technology, however, they lack the technical expertise or direct relationships with large enterprise and cloud specialists. This presents an opportunity for network operators, particularly those with strong existing relationships to help customers navigate their move to the cloud at scale. Larger corporates, which may already use the cloud today, are progressively moving away from complex systems based on their own servers or single cloud solutions, to multi-cloud offers sold by network operators and their partners. This approach reduces supplier risk and increases corporate agility and resilience. Large corporates continue to drive higher demand for robust, secure and efficient connectivity services as they transition from their own legacy hardware and services. Cloud providers also recognise the criticality of telecommunications networks. Many cloud providers are partnering with the largest network operators, sometimes through revenue sharing agreements, to develop edge computing solutions which integrate data centres at the edge of telecommunication networks to deliver customers reduced latency. The opportunity is significant, as the total addressable market in business-to-business cloud and security is expected to reach €86 billion by 2028 compared to €47 billion today. Consumers use cloud solutions for a variety of reasons, including digital storage, online media consumption or interacting through the metaverse. Consumer hardware can also in some cases be replaced by cloud-first solutions. For example, new cloud-based gaming services allow consumers to stream complex, bandwidth-heavy computer games directly to their phones or tablets, without the need for expensive dedicated hardware. Fast and reliable connectivity will act as a catalyst for further innovation and consumer applications, many of which do not yet exist today.

Generative artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (‘AI’) is the ability of machines to perform tasks that are typically associated with human intelligence, such as learning and problem-solving. Generative AI (‘Gen AI’) is a type of AI that can create new content, such as images, text or music by learning from existing examples of the same content. It does this by training foundation models, known as Large Language Models (‘LLMs’), on huge sets of example data. At the end of the training, the model can generate content that is statistically similar to the examples used for its training. Growth in computing power and the abundance of data available for training has led to an exponential growth in the size and capability of artificial neural networks, with the release of ChatGPT in November 2022 sparking a significant increase in interest in the technology among both consumers and enterprises. The latest Gen AI models are based on networks with trillions of parameters and have been trained on the entire contents of the internet. Potential applications of Gen AI can range from those that directly benefit customers, such as AI-generated recommendations or hyper-personalised marketing content, to more operational use cases such as analysis of unstructured data or software development ‘co-piloting’ (drafting computer code based on natural-language prompts). The full range of potential applications and long-term impacts of Gen AI are starting to be understood, but the technology is widely expected to drive significant economic benefit globally through productivity increases and new business opportunities. Vodafone is strategically positioned to deploy Gen AI at industry- leading speed and scale, leveraging our deep partnerships with Google and Microsoft and our best-in-class reference architecture and cloud-based data ocean. Initial use cases include enhancing customer satisfaction by delivering hyper-personalised experiences across all Vodafone customer touch points, including Vodafone’s digital assistant TOBi. Vodafone employees will also be able to leverage Gen AI capabilities to transform working practices, boost productivity and improve digital efficiency.

Click or scan to learn more about how Vodafone is working with AI: investors.vodafone.com/ artificial-intelligence

Click to read more about our 10 -year strategic partnership with Microsoft: investors.vodafone.com/ microsoft-strategic-partnership

Read more about Vodafone’s approach to responsible AI on page 46

Click to read more about our six- year strategic partnership with Google: investors.vodafone.com/ google-strategic-partnership

Click or scan to learn more about our cloud technology in our technology investor briefing: investors.vodafone.com/ vtbriefing

Powered by