Artificial intelligence (AI) systems spending in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is anticipated to reach $374.2 million next year, according to the latest report by global technology research and consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC). This has grown from $261.8 million last year, and an expected $310.3 million this year.
For the 2018-2023 period, the IDC forecasts the region’s spending to increase by 19% (CAGR).
"AI software applications and AI platforms markets continue to show steady growth in the MEA region, and we expect this momentum to continue over the forecast period," says Manish Ranjan, IDC's program manager for software and cloud in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "The use of AI and machine learning (ML) is on the rise in a wide variety of business applications from ERP and CRM to analytics, content management, and collaboration solutions. Many global vendors have started embedding AI, ML, and cognitive applications to provide ultimate business benefits to their users."
Spending is expected to predominantly come from the banking and retail sectors, accounting for up to 33% of spending in 2020. They are followed by federal/central governments and the telecommunications industry.
AI investment across MEA will continue to be driven by a variety of use cases, with IT automation, automated customer service agents, and automated threat intelligence and prevention systems to comprise 30% of AI spending next year,
"With the growing adoption of various use cases across all industries, organizations are continuing to invest significantly in optimizing their business processes, automating their operations and enhancing their products and service offerings in order to maximize the overall customer experience," adds Ranjan.
South Africa will account for 20.5% of AI spending, followed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia with 19.7% and 15.7% respectively in MEA during 2020. Fourth place goes to Turkey, totalling to 11.1% of regional AI spending.