A new forecast from International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide shows that worldwide spending on artificial intelligence (AI), including software, hardware and services for AI-centric systems*, will reach close to 118 billion dollars in 2022 and will exceed 300 billion dollars in 2026.
The continued incorporation of AI into a wide range of products will drive a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.5% over the forecast period 2022-2026. This rate is more than four times higher than the 6.3% CAGR of global IT spending over the same period.
The past two tough years in business have accelerated the use of AI in systems, and organizations are now more willing to take advantage of the efficiency benefits and enhanced capabilities that AI systems offer. AI systems can support people-centric tasks and enhance their capabilities through technologies such as conversational AI and image processing, used to interact with customers and potential customers in a way that those people are ready to accept.
The high and steady growth observed in the use of AI across all industries demonstrates its importance for future business. “AI is not the future, it is nowsaid Mike Glennon, senior market research analyst on IDC’s Customer Insights & Analysis team.Most IT vendors have adopted AI solutions to complement their products and are enhancing their products to make AI a critical part of their success. Vendors who are only considering AI now are at a significant disadvantage compared to IT vendors who have AI-based products already in production, and AI is becoming critical to the capabilities of many products.”
Banking and retail are the two sectors that will make the biggest investments in AI during the forecast period. Together, these two sectors will account for around a quarter of all AI spending globally. Professional services will be the second largest sector, with over 10% of spend, followed by discrete manufacturing and processing. Professional services will also be one of the fastest growing sectors in AI spending (28.7% CAGR), just behind the media sector (29.8 CAGR). %).
Of the 30 AI use cases identified by IDC, augmented customer service agents will be the biggest spender throughout the forecast period, reaching $35.9 billion in 2026. Although the most important use case in just two industries (retail and telecommunications), augmented customer service agents are an area of investment for all industries.
Other major use cases for AI include recommending and improving sales processes, analyzing and investigating fraud, and program advisors and recommender systems. By 2026, these four use cases will account for more than 38% of all AI spending globally.
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European spending on AI systems is expected to grow from $25.4 billion in 2022, (up 27.8% from 2021), to over $72.9 billion in 2026, according to IDC