Global artificial intelligence (AI) spending rose 20.7 percent year on year to reach US$383.3 billion in 2021, according to IDC. And that growth is expected to continue with projected revenue of US$450 billion this year.
The growth of AI in 2021 was unhampered by the pandemic.
“Across all industries and functions, end-user organisations are discovering the benefits of AI technologies, as increasingly powerful AI solutions are enabling better decision-making and higher productivity,” said Rasmus Andsbjerg, Associate Vice President of Data and Analytics at IDC.
“The reality is, AI offers solutions to everything we are facing at the moment. AI can be a source for fast-tracking digital transformation journeys, enable cost savings in times of staggering inflation rates and support automation efforts in times of labour shortages,” he added.
Snaring the largest share in 2021 was AI software which consists of AI applications delivery and deployment, AI applications, AI system infrastructure software, and AI platforms. Together, the AI software segment accounted for more than US$340 billion of market value in 2021.
The AI services market rose 22.4 percent year on year to US$24 billion in 2021. Client demand for expertise in developing production-grade AI solutions helped the AI IT services category grow 21.9 percent. The AI business services category increased by 24.2 percent as organisations sought assistance on AI governance, business process and talent strategies.
AI hardware was the smallest (US$18.8 billion) in the AI market but was the fastest growing (38.9 percent) segment. The hardware growth was driven by efforts to build dedicated AI systems capable of meeting the increased compute and storage demands of AI models and data sets.