Research company IDC has issued new guidance on IT spending in 2020. IDC suggests that global spending will be around 3% down on 2019, however, there are several areas of interest such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data that will see an increase.
In general, the approach is that companies need to think strategically about how they will emerge from this challenging year. Digital Transformation and other major projects that might usually take several years to plan and implement are being approved and this is creating opportunities for companies with expertise in these areas.
I believe that we are going to see a wave of transformation this year that positions AI, machine learning, and Big Data analytics at the heart of how many companies are structured. Microsoft is a good example. They rebranded Office 365 to Microsoft 365 and added many new AI capabilities. It’s clear that technology companies see the future as an intelligent cloud.
Some companies realised the developing importance of Big Data and the tools required to analyze it some time ago. Alibaba in China is a good example. Originally a retailer the company first started using Big Data analysis to better understand their customers – after all if you get to the point where you can almost predict what a customer needs then you can dramatically improve the customer experience and also drive more sales.
Today, Alibaba offers a much wider range of services and this has largely been driven by their experience and expertise using Big Data. As the wave of transformation projects grows large in 2020 it will be the ability of brands to gather and analyze data that makes all the difference.
Conversely, gathering all this data requires planning and permission. Tools such as facial recognition have faced problems because of concerns over customer privacy, but these tools have found many new applications. A good example is the Brazilian car sharing company, Turbi. They allows customers to unlock a car based on facial recognition – it beats the usual tedious procedures required when renting a car.
Where these tools improve the life of end customers, they will be accepted and popular. Now brands must explore how they can use AI and Big Data to transform the service they are offering. These tools allow behavioral insight in real time.
It’s easy to imagine how important this could be for a wide variety of companies. Retailers can predict when customers will shop and what they will want. Telcos can flexibly offer different service packages to customers based on data use. Banks can reduce the need for collections by intervening early with customers who may be about to default.
Although IDC suggests that IT spending will be reduced this year, it will increase in these specific areas. Companies are looking to evolve into 2021 with a new approach and, for some, this will be a dramatic change. 2020 is the year of Big Data.