Snowflake Summit 2024: The Era of Enterprise AI
By Kate Huber

The Concord team recently attended the Snowflake Summit 2024. With a focus on enhancing AI capabilities and the underlying data foundations that support them, here are our key takeaways from the event.

Snowflake Summit 2024 was a week-long event in San Francisco that brought together Snowflake’s customers, developers, and partners to explore how the company is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in data management and analytics.

The conference showcased numerous advancements that are set to transform the way companies manage and utilize data. From strengthening data foundations to accelerating AI and optimizing application development, Snowflake’s innovations provide powerful tools for driving success.

As a proud partner of Snowflake, our experts attended Snowflake Summit and compiled a list of their highlights from the event. Let’s take a look at our team’s top takeaways:

Enterprise AI Adoption

An unmissable theme at Snowflake Summit was the rapid rise of enterprise AI and its integration with the platform. The keynotes were filled with demos of new AI-powered capabilities, including:

Cortex Analyst and Cortex Search: Cortex, Snowflake's flagship data platform, introduced Cortex Analyst, which will enable enterprises to build applications on top of their data in Snowflake. This announcement indicates a trend where enterprise developers will increasingly use data platforms to build and extend applications.

They also announced Cortex Search, which will leverage retrieval and ranking technology from Neeva and Snowflake Arctic to allow users to build applications based on documents and text-based data sets.

Snowflake AI and ML Studio: Snowflake showcased Snowflake AI and ML Studio in private preview to run along Cortex AI, which will provide multiple foundational models to users. With a no-code and low-code interface, Snowflake’s AI and ML studio will help customers test, evaluate, and deploy models to fit use cases.

Snowflake ML enhancements: Snowflake also announced the public previews of Snowpark Pandas API, Snowflake Notebooks, and Snowflake Feature Store.  

AI is no longer just a niche tool; it is becoming integral to every business process, application, and user experience. Companies embracing this shift can gain a significant competitive edge over those still treating AI as a silo.

Data Governance & Security to Accelerate AI

With the help of AI, data volumes are expanding at unprecedented rates. Companies now face the challenge of managing a rapid increase in data, large language models, and applications distributed across various business units. In response, Snowflake has released features to help users monitor and govern this increasingly complex environment.

Snowflake is advancing Snowflake Horizon, its integrated governance and discovery solution that offers a unified set of compliance, security, privacy, interoperability, and access capabilities. The Internal Marketplace was showcased as part of Snowflake Horizon’s new capabilities and will allow users to curate and publish data, models, and applications for teams within their organization to use while preventing unintended sharing with external parties.

Snowflake is further extending its collaboration capabilities with Iceberg Tables, a new feature that enables real-time data sharing across companies while maintaining full data governance. This tool can be a game-changer for industries including healthcare and financial services where sharing sensitive data has been challenging.  

Snowflake also launched an effort to improve observability for developers with the introduction of Snowflake Trail. This set of tools helps users monitor, troubleshoot, debug, and act on pipelines, applications, and code through visualizations. Snowflake Trail is available in Snowsight directly or via other enterprise tools.

Rob Peterson, Practice Director of Cybersecurity at Concord, emphasized the importance of robust data governance and security as data volumes increase and AI becomes essential in enterprises.

“As data volumes grow and AI becomes integral to enterprise operations, it's crucial to ensure robust data governance and security. Proper configuration of Snowflake environments, along with a well-planned strategy for identity and access management, is essential for protecting sensitive data and maintaining compliance,” Rob said. “By implementing stringent security measures and access controls, organizations can securely harness the power of Snowflake's innovative capabilities while ensuring their data remains protected and compliant with regulatory standards.”

Data Application Deployment & Management

The enterprise app market is also rapidly growing due to an increased demand for AI applications. These apps require handling large data sets, high computing power, data privacy, sophisticated web experiences, and strong security throughout development. Many apps use containers to package and use code, but this typically requires data to be moved from protected environments, which increases data privacy and security risk.  

Snowflake announced the release of Snowpark Container Services and its integration with Snowflake Native Apps. Snowpark Container Services is designed to simplify the deployment, management, and scaling of containerized services and functions. By combining the capabilities of Snowflake Native Apps and Snowpark Container Services, users can build sophisticated apps and deploy them to a customer’s account. Because the data already resides in the customer’s account, there is no need to remove data from its protected environment. This integration harnesses the full potential of the Snowflake Native App Framework, offering features such as provider IP protection, security and governance, seamless data sharing, and monetization capabilities.

Concord & Snowflake

Snowflake Summit demonstrated a clear vision for the future of data management and AI integration. The advancements listed not only reduce complexity and costs associated with data operations but also pave the way for developing precise and effective AI-powered applications. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can utilize Snowflake to drive business value, contact Concord. Our experts will assist you in understanding how to integrate these new capabilities into your business to make data-driven decisions and enhance your offerings.

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