IDC predicts that digital spending in the EMEA region will record a significant surge – growing at four times the rate of GDP in 2024 – a trend indicative of the seminal transformation currently reshaping the regional economy. This evolution marks the dawn of what IDC defines as the “AI Everywhere” chapter in the digital business era, reflecting a new phase where artificial intelligence becomes a pervasive and integral part of business operations and strategies.

Propelled by the rapid ascent and sophisticated integration of generative AI (GenAI) technologies, this pivotal shift is seeing organisations reimagine how they leverage data for their product evolution, service delivery, and customer engagement initiatives unleashing new use cases and accelerating the journey to business results. According to the recent IDC EMEA Emerging Tech Survey, 72% of EMEA organisations are either using or planning to use AI in the next two years, underscoring the substantial impact of this technology and the activity it is generating in the region.

As companies chart their course through this new landscape, IDC highlights the strategic imperative for leaders across the IT industry to recalibrate their operational blueprints and remain at the vanguard of this AI-centric evolution.

“AI Everywhere acceleration is leading to a full reimagination of the way technology impacts organisations’ productivity, value creation, innovation, and responsibility,” says Giulia Carosella, IDC EMEA Digital Business Practice lead.

As AI Everywhere emerges, other external drivers are also set to have a significant influence in the next 12 to 24 months and beyond. IDC’s key predictions in the EMEA ICT market include:

AI Everywhere: By 2026, 85% of the connected population in EMEA will actively benefit from GenAI in their daily lives by experiencing improved quality of life in areas such as physical health and mental wellbeing.

AI Budget: By 2025, the digital budget share of AI in EMEA organisations will grow by 40%, leading to an additional $30-billion in net new spending.

C-Suite Reaction: In 2024, 40% of CIOs in EMEA organisations adopting AI will team up with line-of-business CxOs to ensure a clear ROI on prioritised use cases as part of a responsible AI strategy.

Reimagining Productivity: By 2025, 45% of large EMEA organisations will use GenAI to augment process automation, doubling desk worker productivity and freeing up time to focus on higher-value activities.

Reimagining Value Creation: By 2026, 70% of large EMEA businesses will achieve realtime decision-making by leveraging an AI-driven single view of the customer, increasing the customer lifetime value by 50%.

Reimagining Innovation: By 2026, 50% of EMEA organisations will use GenAI to augment human creativity in product and service co-design accelerating time to market for new product and service releases by 2X.

Reimagining Responsibility: By 2025, CIOs in at least 60% of large EMEA organisations will have components of their compensation package tied to environment, social, and governance (ESG) targets.

“For organisations to take advantage of these new opportunities, creating an intelligent architecture that is supported by a cost-effective digital infrastructure and relevant capabilities is a priority,” says Andrea Siviero, IDC EMEA research director. “At the same time, this journey raises ethical and trust-related questions that purpose-driven organisations need to prepare for.”