Analyst firm Forrester has predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming the biggest growth area across the software industry and will drive mainstream adoption of AI in business.
The main area of growth, according to Forrester, is in off-the-shelf and platform AI software, where it predicted spending would increase from $33bn in 2021 to $64bn in 2025. This represents a revision upward of nearly 75% relative to Forrester’s 2020 forecast, driven mainly by the acceleration in AI adoption during the pandemic and an increase in the number of companies offering AI software.
Looking at global market adoption of AI technologies, Forrester reported that the US dwarfs Europe in terms of AI spending. The analyst firm’s Global AI software forecast, 2022 report puts the value of the US market at almost $19bn, compared with just under $8bn for Europe. According to Forrester, the US not only leads AI enterprise adoption, but it is the leading destination for private AI investment, with $23.6bn of funding in 2020. Forrester reported that 47% of global AI spend would come from the US in 2022.
Meanwhile, the analyst firm reported that the UK leads European AI investment. According to Forrester, in 2020, UK firms that were adopting or creating AI-based technologies received more than three times the funding of French and German companies.
AI-infused software uses AI to increase its market attractiveness, but can also work without users activating its AI capabilities. Forrester believes such AI-infused software will see fast growth as AI influence becomes ubiquitous. Its forecast shows that 46% of technology company revenues in S&P Global are from companies tagged with an AI label. Forrester predicted that by 2025, 31% of AI software spend will be AI-infused, up from 27% in 2021.
The AI-infused software market is growing as established enterprise software providers embed AI capabilities. For instance, Forrester noted that Oracle’s $28bn acquisition of Cerner, the company’s largest acquisition to date, combines healthcare with AI to improve electronic healthcare records and insights. Another example is in customer relationship management, where Forrester said Salesforce’s Einstein Prediction Builder predicts business performance measures, such as churn, through historical data from a menu of exploratory variables. This platform made 116 billion predictions per day in January 2022.
The second growth area, according to Forrester’s forecast, is the AI tools market, which the analyst firm expects to grow by 18% annually. This category of artificial intelligence includes AI infrastructure, machine learning (ML) frameworks and platforms, and ML libraries.
Forrester predicted that cyber security would be one of the fastest growing AI software spend categories for the real-time monitoring of and response to attacks. As an example, it noted that SentinelOne’s autonomous AI cyber security platform saw one of the fastest revenue growths of 2021, reaching 120% year-over-year growth in January 2022.
In a blog discussing the report, Forrester analyst Michael O’Grady said: “AI has great potential across knowledge and data intelligence, security and cyber security, process optimisation and automation, AI tools and database, health and drug discovery, customer and human capital management, and other categories.
“With AI’s success, new challenges emerge. As AI becomes mainstream, enterprises will need to manage its complexity across the tech infrastructure, AI practices and processes, business models, and across talent management, which includes the democratisation of tools for the citizen data scientist.”