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Smart Machines Will Enter Mainstream Adoption By 2021

Smart machines will enter mainstream adoption by 2021, with 30 percent adoption by large companies, according to Gartner, Inc. Technologies including cognitive computing, artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent automation, machine learning and deep learning fall under the umbrella term for smart machines.

"The use of smart machines by enterprises can be transformative and disruptive. Smart machines will profoundly change the way work is done and how value is created. From dynamic pricing models and fraud detection, to predictive policing and robotics, smart machines have broad applicability in all industries," said Susan Tan, research vice president at Gartner. "For service providers, smart machines represent opportunities to help enterprises assess, select, implement, change and adapt talent, and for IT and business processes, the opportunity to successfully adopt smart machines for business benefits."

The opportunity for consulting and system integration (C&SI) services will range from advising enterprises to help them sort through the hype to helping with strategic design, training of the smart machines, deployment and integration to expansion and ongoing refinement. These opportunities will help drive spending on smart machine C&SI services from $451 million in 2016 to nearly $29 billion in 2021 (see Table 1).

Table 1
Worldwide Consulting and System Integration (Implementation) for Smart Machines (Millions of Dollars)
Device Type
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
Consulting
360
1,648
3,616
5,726
7,712
8,688
Implementation
90
706
2,411
5,726
11,568
20,273
Total
451
2,354
6,027
11,453
19,280
28,961
Source: Gartner (December 2016)

The spectrum of sub technologies within smart machines will be adopted at different speeds and timings, with the majority of smart technologies being mainstream adopted in the 2020 through 2025 time frame. Enterprises' investments into smart machines will span more than a decade, implying that the smart machine C&SI service market will be a long-term one.

"Over time, the increased C&SI opportunity created by the growing number of companies implementing more complex smart machine programs is expected to be counter-balanced by the a reduction in costs of adoption, as every subsequent adoption of the same smart machine solution will be less expensive and faster," said Ms. Tan. "In the long term (about 10 years), smart machines will be an integral set of tools in the toolkit of C&SI service providers and infused into all next-generation services offerings."

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