IoT, AI Lead All Business Tech Investments - By A Lot

Big companies are betting that the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will bring about the biggest changes in their businesses and they’re putting up money to back that up.

Spending on IoT and AI both today and in three years are the top tech areas where companies are making substantial investments, according to a new study by PwC.

The tenth annual Global Digital IQ Survey comprised a questionnaire answered by more than 2,200 business and technology executives in 53 countries. Large companies were well represented, with 62% of respondents in organizations with revenue of $1 billion or more and 38% with revenue between $500 million and $1 billion.

Spending is spread across areas including augmented reality and drones, but the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence spending dwarfs them all. Here’s where execs are making the most substantial investments today:

  • 73% -- Internet of Things
  • 54% -- Artificial intelligence
  • 15% -- Robotics
  • 12% -- 3-D printing
  • 10% -- Augmented reality
  • 7% -- Virtual reality
  • 5% -- Drones

Three years from now, the planned spending is a bit different, with large increases in augmented reality and robotics. However, IoT and AI still top the list. Here’s the rundown of planned substantial spending in three years:

  • 63% -- Internet of Things
  • 63% -- Artificial intelligence
  • 31% -- Robotics
  • 24% -- Augmented reality
  • 17% -- 3-D printing
  • 15% -- Virtual reality
  • 14% -- Drones

Where the money is being spent also matches where executives see as the largest areas of business disruption. In the next five years, here’s the view of executives on what will be the most disruptive technologies to their business models:

  • 42% -- Internet of Things
  • 22% -- Artificial intelligence
  • 13% -- Robotics
  • 6% -- Augmented reality
  • 5% -- 3-D printing
  • 4% -- Drones
  • 3% -- Virtual reality

The Internet of Things and artificial intelligence also lead the list of disruptive technologies.

The reality is that much of this IoT and AI spending ultimately will impact marketers and consumers.

For example, Pernod Ricard tapped the IoT to track its supply chain to make sure customers are pouring what they think they are. Bottles became sensors and then the company turned to use IoT with a consumer-facing device with features like online ordering, recipe suggestions based on spirits on hand and social calendaring, according to the report.

The Absolut Group also did an Internet-connected cup program for Malibu Rum, spearheaded by the IoT agency SharpEnd, as I wrote about here at the time (Internet-Connected Cup Tells Bartender When It’s Time For A Refill). Absolut is also part of Pernod Ricard, a company that is pushing the Internet of Things all the way from the supply chain to the end consumer.

Very large corporate investments by major brands is the true driving engine behind the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

Many of those efforts may start at one end of a company, but they will rapidly link all the way to the consumer.

Marketing will be in the middle of that.


Various forms of sensors, along with IoT spending, will be discussed at the MediaPost IoT Marketing Forum May 18 in New York. Here’s the agenda




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