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"Artificial Intelligence is changing the world as we speak. In fact, Asia/Pacific is quickly driving the growth in adoption of artificial intelligence because of its fertile & nascent digital ecosystem. Countries are developing economically with the help of technological advancements, increasing talent pool of millennials and growing number of tech-savvy businesses, to stay in this competitive market,” said Swati Chaturvedi, Senior Market Analyst at IDC Asia/Pacific.
Regional spending on AI systems will be led by the retail industry where retailers will invest more than 70% of this industry spend on solutions such as merchandising, expert shopping advisory & recommendations, automated customer service agents and supply & logistics. Banking will be trailing behind retail when it comes to investments in AI-enabled solutions, wherein use cases such as fraud analysis & investigation, program advisors and recommendation as well as automated customer agents will be taking the major chunk of value spend. The industries that will experience the fastest growth in AI systems spending over the 2018-2022 forecast are healthcare providers (60.2% CAGR) and process manufacturing (60.1% CAGR).
The AI use cases that will see the most investment this year are automated customer service agents (almost $700 million), sales process recommendation and automation (more than $450 million), and intelligent process automation (more than $350 million). The fastest growth will be seen in pharmaceutical research and discovery and digital twin/advanced digital simulation.
As a developing region, Asia Pacific will invest in infrastructural aspects that can support AI development. Hardware will be the largest area of AI systems spending in 2019 with nearly USD 7 billion going towards server and storage. Software will be the fastest growing category for regional AI spending with a five-year CAGR of 80%. Companies will also invest in IT services to help with the development and implementation of their AI systems and business services such as consulting and horizontal business process outsourcing related to these systems. By the end of the forecast, AI-related services spending will be slightly less than software spending.
"From an application development and deployment perspective, AI still faces many challenges. Having great dependencies with multi-tiered technology stacks and many different skill sets, successful implementations require organizations to beef up their capabilities in different dimensions including data, people, process, and infrastructure. They are recommended to consider cloud-native infrastructure, review data readiness and practice data-driven decision making," said Jessie Cai, Senior Research Manager at Cognitive Computing/Artificial Intelligence.
Geographically, China will deliver nearly two thirds of the Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) regional spending on AI systems in all forecast years, led by the retail, professional services and government industries. However, Asia Pacific (excluding Japan & China) will show fastest growth in adoption of AI-enables solutions and deployment, led by banking, retail and manufacturing industries.
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