IoT & AI To Boost Global IT Investments In 2018: Gartner

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The Internet of Things and artificial intelligence segments will boost global IT investments over the course of this year, Gartner predicted as part of its latest outlook for the industry which it expects will see a 4.5 percent increase in financial commitments within the next 12 months. In total, the research expects global IT spending to surpass $3.6 trillion this year and amount to over $3.7 trillion in 2019, with the strongest investment growth being predicted to happen during the current calendar year.

AI will create approximately $2.9 trillion in new business opportunities in the next 36 months, offering enterprises various solutions to improve their productivity, minimize their costs, and generally become more effective and efficient in their respective segments, the research suggests. According to Gartner, the adoption of AI technologies will allow businesses to save around 6.2 billion hours of their employees’ times by 2021. The study doesn’t speculate how companies will (re)act once they accomplish such a feat, i.e. whether they’ll focus on creating new opportunities for their employees or resort to layoffs, being content with their newfound efficiency and without ambition to use it to fund immediate expansion. AI technologies won’t just handle menial tasks currently performed by people but are also expected to additionally improve big data and related analytics segments, hence benefitting a broad range of industries, Gartner predicts. Near-term investments in AI are believed to be largely spearheaded by businesses seeking immediate savings but everyone will eventually be committing significant financial resources to the sector, the study suggests.

AI and IoT solutions are also expected to play a major role in the wireless industry on a global level, being seen by most mobile service providers as the most promising avenues for diversification. Major investments in the field are also projected to drive up the prices of consumer electronics such as smart speakers and Internet-enabled security cameras, in part because the chipmaking industry is pushing for better hardware to drive its own revenues, and also due to the fact that ultra-premium IoT offerings of the future won’t be able to handle all of their processing needs in the cloud in an economical manner, according to some industry watchers. In the long term, IT investments focused on AI solutions are expected to lead to technologies ranging from autonomous vehicles to on-demand cities.