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AI Revolution: From Buzzword to Business Reality – Here’s How It’s Happening Now

TECHNOLOGYAI Revolution: From Buzzword to Business Reality - Here's How It's Happening Now

It’s confirmed. Global spending on digital technologies by the end of this year will surpass the pace of economic growth by sevenfold. Specifically, within organizations from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, nearly 75% of them will be utilizing artificial intelligence within the next two years. As indicated by the international advisory firm IDC, a new chapter “AI Everywhere” is beginning, where artificial intelligence is making its way into every sector of enterprise operations.

Is AI just a trendy buzzword or a real change happening here and now? IDC asked managers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa about their approach to artificial intelligence and investments in technology. The main conclusion? The boom around GenAI, particularly observed over the last year, has changed enterprises’ perspective on the capabilities offered by tools utilizing this technology, translating into concrete decisions.

$150 billion on GenAI

In 2023, a total of $19.4 billion was spent on GenAI solutions. It’s a significant amount, but not much compared to what awaits us in the coming years. According to IDC forecasts, investments will globally reach a value of $150 billion over the next three years. Up to 30% of AI investments by 2027 will be expenditures on its generative variant.

“We’re witnessing a huge change. Despite the unstable geopolitical situation, investments in digital technologies will grow seven times faster than the entire economy in 2024. Artificial intelligence, of course, will play a key role, being implemented in almost every area of enterprise activity. If the budget for AI in the EMEA region alone increases by 40% next year, this means an additional $30 billion in technology spending. This best demonstrates the scale and pace of change,” observes Ewa Zborowska, Research Director at IDC Poland.

Products to market twice as fast

Of course, companies are not increasing investments in technology just because AI is fashionable, but because its implementation is expected to bring concrete benefits to the business: lowering costs, increasing efficiency, and gaining new sources of revenue, say IDC analysts. “In other words, AI technology will open new possibilities that do not exist today,” adds the expert.

IDC estimates that by 2026, 70% of large companies in the EMEA region will start using artificial intelligence for real-time business decision-making. Half of the organizations in the region will use GenAI to support the design of new products and services, which will halve their time to market.

“Enterprises are participating in a technological race not just because being first gives them a market advantage. Those companies that do not do so may start losing their market shares within 5 years,” explains Ewa Zborowska from IDC Poland.

AI Everywhere – artificial intelligence is now almost ubiquitous

However, this technological revolution involves not only companies but also consumers and employees, IDC experts convince.

“We are starting a new chapter. We currently live in the era of AI Everywhere – a world where artificial intelligence is not only easily accessible but above all becomes an integral part of business strategies and activities. This also translates to societal life. In the EMEA region by 2026, 75% of organizations will consider using AI or will already be using this technology. This impacts ordinary citizens. Generative forms of AI, in particular, enjoy great popularity among users. In two years, as much as 85% of residents of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be using GenAI,” explains Ewa Zborowska, Research Director at IDC Poland.

Twice as much, half as fast

IDC experts emphasize that by 2025, 45% of large companies in the EMEA region will be using GenAI to accelerate the automation of processes. This will double the efficiency of office workers, freeing their time for other important company projects. In practice, this means that employees will be able to use their potential where it is most needed, significantly reducing their involvement in monotonous and boring tasks that can be automated.

“This could involve, for example, data processing – sorting and categorizing documents as well as automatically generating reports and analyses or responding to standard customer inquiries,” adds Ewa Zborowska, Research Director, IDC Poland.

We must learn AI

However, there is also another side to the coin. IDC highlights many challenges facing companies (and not only) in connection with the implementation of artificial intelligence. The most important of these are related to the integration of new technologies with those already existing, the costs of implementing AI, and the lack of specialists.

“Artificial intelligence requires significant investments not only financially but also in people who can design, implement, and maintain these systems. This means that companies must be ready not only for the initial investments but also for continuous training of their teams,” notes Ewa Zborowska from IDC.

Of course, the rapid and widespread adoption of artificial intelligence poses challenges for workers. To mitigate the negative impact of this process and accelerate the technology adaptation process, employees will need to be retrained to work with GenAI.

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