Artificial intelligence (AI) systems spending will reach $5.2 billion (£3.9b) in Europe this year – a 49 percent increase over 2018, according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide.
AI solution adoption and spending are both growing at a fast pace in Europe, where companies are moving beyond experimentation to the actual implementation of use cases. In fact, 34 percent of European companies have already adopted or will have adopted AI by the end of this year across a wide variety of use cases, according to IDC’s European Vertical Markets Survey 2018–2019. By 2022, European spending in AI will reach $13.5 billion, reflecting fast-growing interest in AI technologies.
Andrea Minonne, Senior Research Analyst at IDC Customer Insight & Analysis in Europe, said: “Many European retailers, such as Sephora, ASOS, and Zara, as well as banks such as NatWest and HSBC, are already experiencing the benefits of AI – including increased store visits, higher revenues, reduced costs, and more pleasant and personalised customer journeys. Industry-specific use cases related to automation of processes are becoming mainstream and the focus is set to shift toward next-generation use of AI for personalisation or predictive purposes.”
Matt Hooper, SVP at customer communications specialist IMImobile, added: “It’s encouraging to see automation and Customer Experience driving increased investment in AI. Automation is key to achieving significant operational efficiencies and delivering proactive, end-to-end customer communication – yet most companies are only touching the tip of the iceberg. Currently, very few companies are truly automating customer communications end-to-end, as a result of data being spread across different business systems and the complexities of integrating NLP and AI capabilities.
“In many cases, at some stage in their journey, customers are either required to change communications channels, interact with a different department, or simply wait days for a transaction or interaction to be completed. For companies to fully realise the benefits of automation and AI, they need to build and have visibility into the end-to-end customer journey. Only then can they drive proactive two-way customer communication.”