DigitalOcean Currents Report Finds That Adoption Of AI/ML, And Investments In Cybersecurity And Multi-Cloud Strategies Are On The Rise At Small Businesses

Survey underscores strong intent to leverage advancements in technology like AI/ML while continuing investment in cybersecurity to protect small businesses and their customers

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: DOCN), the cloud for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and startups, today announced the findings of its bi-annual Currents report, which found that 78% of organizations believe that their use of AI/ML will increase next year, 37% of organizations plan to increase their cybersecurity spending, and 35% are employing multi-cloud approaches, highlighting the diversification in cloud infrastructure.

DigitalOcean’s Currents Report is a regular analysis of trends among digital SMBs, their outlook, engagement with today’s newest technologies, and the challenges they’re facing. The latest report specifically looks at the present state of startups in the current economic landscape, sentiment toward remote work and return to office policies, how businesses are adopting AI technologies, and trends in cloud computing and cybersecurity.

Despite economic challenges, most companies remain committed to investing in emerging technologies like AI/ML to improve operations, though ethical concerns and implementation costs are top barriers. Software development tools and data analytics are seen as the most promising AI applications across industries, though the current hype cycle has left many uncertain about tangible benefits.Of all respondents, 43% are currently using AI/ML tools for both personal and business use. Additionally, 78% of those surveyed believe that their use of AI/ML will increase compared to last year.

The cloud infrastructure landscape remains dynamic, with 33% of organizations relying solely on a single cloud provider, 35% adopting a multi-cloud approach, and 31% integrating a hybrid model. At the same time, cybersecurity remains essential, with 37% of organizations planning to increase spending on cybersecurity. That increase is motivated by a need to invest in more advanced security software, updating older systems, and the rise of generative AI and associated threats.

Additional findings of the DigitalOcean Currents report include:

Remote and hybrid work structures dominate the tech landscape: The post-COVID work landscape is diverse, featuring a mix of remote, hybrid, and in-office arrangements as companies adapt to new operational and employee preferences.

  • 47% of respondents reported that their companies are hybrid remote, 40% reported being fully remote, and a minority, 13% reported that their company is fully in-office.
  • 19% of respondents reported that their companies had instituted a return-to-office policy.

Small businesses remain optimistic about the economy: 2023 has been characterized by rising inflation, elevated interest rates, and widespread layoffs in the tech sector and large enterprises, posing challenges for both businesses and consumers. However, SMB businesses in our survey remain optimistic.

  • 37% of respondents had a somewhat positive stance when asked about the outlook for their business in the next year, while 15% had a very positive posture.

“Based on our findings, while the technological position of small businesses is still very much in flux, their collective optimism about our global economic future is encouraging,” says Megan Wood, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at DigitalOcean. “SMBs and startups have always been particularly agile, making them especially well-positioned to capitalize on advancements in technology, including the latest developments in AI/ML.”

Read or download the full report here:

This survey was conducted through an online survey link from September 13, 2023 to October 17, 2023, and garnered 665 completed responses. The link was distributed to DigitalOcean email lists.

Approximately 26% of respondents were full-stack developers, 13% were CEOs, founders, or owners, and 10% were back-end developers. CTOs made up 7%, while systems architects and systems administrators each accounted for 5%. All other roles, spanning from DevOps specialists to marketing professionals, summed up to 34%. The remaining 5% fell into the “Other” category.

Respondents represent 68 countries, with 34% being in the United States, 8% in the UK, 4% in India, 4% in Germany, and 7% in Canada. The questionnaire was developed by DigitalOcean and was distributed via link through email and social media channels to both DigitalOcean customers and non-customers.

About DigitalOcean
DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing so builders and businesses can spend more time creating software that changes the world. With its mission-critical infrastructure and fully managed offerings, DigitalOcean helps developers at startups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rapidly build, deploy and scale, whether creating a digital presence or building digital products. DigitalOcean combines the power of simplicity, security, community and customer support so customers can spend less time managing their infrastructure and more time building innovative applications that drive business growth. For more information, visit

Spencer Anopol

Rob Bradley

Source: DigitalOcean Holdings, Inc.

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