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Spending on AI Systems Expected to Reach $374 Million In the Middle East and Africa in 2020

The forecast report shows the UAE and Saudi Arabia coming at second and third place respectively, in spending on AI-based systems.

According to the latest forecast from global tech research and consulting firm, International Data Corporation (IDC), the overall spending on artificial intelligence (AI) systems is expected to expand its growth trajectory and hit $374.2 million being invested in projects that leverage the capabilities of AI software and technology. The data shows an increase of $261.8 million in 2018 and an anticipated $310.3 million in the current year. For the long run, IDC expects spending in the region to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% for the 2018-2033 period.

“The AI software applications and 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 Programme Manager for Software and Cloud in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

Spending on AI systems in the region will be led by the banking and retail industries, where together, these industries will account for over 33% of spending in 2020, followed by federal or central governments and the telecommunications industry. Investments in AI systems across the region will continue to be fueled by a variety of use cases, the three largest being automated customer service agents, IT automation, and automated threat intelligence and prevention systems which will account for approximately 30% of total AI spending in 2020.

“With the growing adoption of various use cases across all industries, organisations are continuing to invest significantly in optimising their business processes, automating their operations and enhancing their products and services in order to maximise the overall customer experience,” says Ranjan.

When it comes to individual countries, the IDC forecase shows South Africa on the rise accounting for 20.5% of AI spending in MEA during 2020, followed by UAE with 19.7%, and Saudi Arabia with a 15.7% share.

The Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide details spending for technologies that analyse, organise, access, and provide advisory services based on a range of unstructured information by providing data for 26 use cases across 19 industries in 9 regions and 32 countries. Data is also available for the related hardware, software and services categories which places the unique research at a pedestal that aims to help suppliers targeting the market to identify further opportunities and execute an effective market strategy.


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