Cost reduction and the search for new revenue among enterprises are expected to be the next big artificial intelligence (AI) technology market opportunities after customer experience, according to industry analyst firm, Gartner.
While customer experience has long been a core area of application for AI in the enterprise space, this is set to change and evolve over time, with AI itself becoming one of the most important technology segments over the next decade.
"AI promises to be the most disruptive class of technologies during the next 10 years due to advances in computational power, volume, velocity and variety of data, as well as advances in deep neural networks (DNNs)," Gartner research vice president John-David Lovelock said.
"One of the biggest aggregate sources for AI-enhanced products and services acquired by enterprises between 2017 and 2022 will be niche solutions that address one need very well.
“Business executives will drive investment in these products, sourced from thousands of narrowly focused, specialist suppliers with specific AI-enhanced applications,” he said.
According to Gartner, the global business value set to be derived from AI technology is projected to come to $1.2 billion this year, representing an increase of 70 per cent.
However, AI business value growth comes with what Gartner says is the typical S-shaped curve pattern associated with an emerging technology.
Indeed, the 70 per cent growth rate expected to be seen this year is likely to slow down through 2022. After 2020, the curve should flatten, resulting in low growth through the next few years.
Regardless, the global business value set to be derived from AI is expected to reach $3.9 trillion in 2022, according to the analyst firm.
As the business value derived from AI grows, the areas it will come from within the enterprise are likely to change as new business cases for the technology emerge.
For example, decision support and augmentation, such as deep neural networks, will represent 36 per cent of the global AI-derived business value this year, according to Gartner.
By 2022, however, decision support and augmentation will have surpassed all other types of AI initiatives to account for 44 per cent of global AI-derived business value.
"In the early years of AI, customer experience (CX) is the primary source of derived business value, as organisations see value in using AI techniques to improve every customer interaction, with the goal of increasing customer growth and retention,” Lovelock said.
“CX is followed closely by cost reduction, as organisations look for ways to use AI to increase process efficiency to improve decision making and automate more tasks.
"However, in 2021, new revenue will become the dominant source, as companies uncover business value in using AI to increase sales of existing products and services, as well as to discover opportunities for new products and services. Thus, in the long run, the business value of AI will be about new revenue possibilities,” he said.