The long road to getting to AI value

AI spending projected to grow 16% in 2021, according to IDC

Chuck Martin

April 12, 2021

2 Min Read

AI spending projected to grow 16% in 2021, according to IDC

The deployment of artificial intelligence in the enterprise can be an uphill climb. Despite the challenges, AI spending is on the rise, with part of the reason being timing.

Business leaders saw AI coming some time ago and by now, most organizations have an AI strategy in place, according to a recent study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group.

But there still is the issue of proving results. While 70% of business leaders say they understand how AI will change how their organization generates business value, only 10% report significant financial benefits in 2020.

So while 59% of organizations have a strategy for AI, many of the promised benefits remain elusive.

Some of the most significant challenges slowing AI adoption in the enterprise are the lack of qualified personnel, complexity, lack of budget, and unclear ROI, according to a recent study by Omdia.

Even with the headwinds, companies are moving ahead with their ambitions, as evidenced by the continued spending on AI solutions.

Worldwide revenues for AI-based software, hardware, and services, are projected to grow 16% from a year ago to $328 billion in 2021, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

By 2024, the market is expected to pass $500 billion, growing about 18% a year until then.

The reality is that the global pandemic played a role, and that’s where timing was involved.

Businesses were forced to re-think and re-prioritize their entire roadmaps, face abandoned offices, their employees working from home, and a new drive for contactless customer interactions.

Many enterprises took the opportunity to advance their digital transformation plans, where AI is a perfect fit, especially in the automation of processes.

The issue now is business patience.

The road ahead is still long, but savvy business leaders can visualize the payoff ahead.

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