24 Mar 2021

European AI Spending Will Reach $12B in 2021 as the Technology Remains Resilient Throughout the Pandemic, says IDC

LONDON, March 24, 2021 — The International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide estimates that spending on artificial intelligence (AI) will reach $12 billion in 2021 in Europe and will continue to experience solid double-digit growth through 2024. Automation needs, digital transformation, and customer experience continue to support spending on AI, even in times when COVID-19 has impacted negatively on revenues for many companies.

"COVID-19 was a trigger for AI investments for some verticals, such as healthcare. Hospitals across Europe have deployed AI for a variety of use cases, from AI-based software tool for automated diagnosis of COVID-19 to machine learning-based hospital capacity planning systems," said Andrea Minonne, senior research analyst at IDC Customer Insights & Analysis. "On the other hand, other verticals such as retail, transport, and personal and consumer services had to contain their AI investments, especially when AI was used to package personalized customer experiences to be delivered in-store."

The COVID-19 pandemic did not end in 2020 and will have effects throughout 2021 and the years to come. COVID-19 has revolutionized the way many industries operate, changing their business processes but also the products, services, and experiences they deliver. Many non-essential retailers are still closed today due to strict lockdowns, meaning that retailers were forced to shift their focus from in-store AI toward AI-driven online experiences and services. Customers also had to adapt to a new reality, and that triggered their behavior to change. Shopping online is the new normal. For that reason, retailers are looking closely at use cases such as chatbots, pricing optimization, and digital product recommendations to guarantee customer engagement but also secure revenues from digital channels.

The same is the case for transportation, an industry that has been heavily affected by COVID-19. With travel being restricted to essential reasons only and quarantine measures widely in place, many travelers have stalled or cancelled their plans, which has a strong impact on transportation companies' revenues. In 2020, transportation's focus has shifted from AI-driven innovation to cost-containment, at least until the industry recovers. For that reason, AI investments across transportation companies will grow below average this year.

IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide provides guidance on the expected technology opportunity around the AI market across nine regions. Segmented by 32 countries, 19 industries, 28 use cases, and 6 technologies, the guide provides IT vendors with insight into this rapidly growing market and how the market will develop over the coming years.

If you would like to know more about the IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, please contact Andrea Minonne at aminonne@idc.com



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