Machine learning, cognitive technology, artificial intelligence, whatever you want to call it, the channel is expected to sell more of it once it understands how to do it. Analyst IDC has just illustrated why the channel should make the effort with its latest market figures.
IDC says worldwide spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems is forecast to reach $57.6bn in 2021, and with many industries “aggressively investing” in cognitive and AI solutions, spending is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.1% over the 2016-2021 forecast period. IDC says worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems will total $12bn in 2017, an increase of 59.1% over 2016.
“Cognitive and artificial intelligence solutions continue to proliferate across all industries resulting in significant growth opportunities,” said IDC analyst Marianne Daquila. “Some of the use cases are very industry specific, such as diagnosis and treatment in healthcare, and in others they are common across multiple industries such as automated customer service agents. The variety, application and nature of cognitive/artificial intelligence use cases is resulting in ubiquitous spend over the forecast period,” Daquila said.
The retail and banking industries are forecast to spend the most on cognitive and AI systems in 2017 with investments of $1.74bn and $1.72bn respectively. The discrete manufacturing, healthcare and process manufacturing industries are also forecast to spend more than $1bn each this year. These five industries will continue to be the industries with the largest spending amounts throughout the five-year forecast and, by 2021, their combined investments will represent nearly 55% of all worldwide spending, IDC said.
In addition to spending the most on cognitive and AI systems, retail will also deliver the fastest spending growth with a 2016-2021 CAGR of 58.8%. Six other industries will see CAGRs greater than 50% over the forecast period. Overall, the cognitive and AI use cases that will see the largest amount of spending in 2017 will be automated customer service agents ($1.5bn) and diagnostic and treatment systems ($1.1bn). These will remain the largest use cases in terms of spending throughout the forecast. Meanwhile, the fifth largest use case in 2017 – intelligent processing automation – will see enough investment growth over the forecast period to become the third largest use case in 2021.
Similarly, the fourth largest use case in 2017 – automated threat intelligence and prevention systems – will also generate many more dollars by 2021, said the analyst. The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2016-2021 forecast are expert shopping advisers and product recommendations (96.6% CAGR), public safety and emergency response (96.2% CAGR), and intelligent processing automation (69.9% CAGR).