- Spending on knowledge management software will grow by 31.5% next year, making it the fastest growing category across AI software, according to Gartner projections. Revenue for the category will surpass $7.2 billion in 2022, up from $5.5 billion in 2021.
- Digital workplace tools, a broad category that includes productivity suite providers, such as Microsoft and Google, are another top driver of AI software spending in the year ahead. In 2022, revenue for this subset of AI software products will reach $4.3 billion, up 20% year over year.
- AI software spending "is going to grow rapidly," said Alys Woodward, senior research director at Gartner. "Ideally, CIOs should take that as reassurance that their experiments with AI are taking them in the right direction, and will ultimately be worth it."
Executives will enter the New Year looking at AI for ways to upgrade operations, turbocharge the existing workforce. In categories such as knowledge management, the urgency lies in potential added revenue and efficiency.
Based on existing digital platforms, such as spreadsheets or internal social networks, AI-based knowledge management tools allow companies to "search better with text, or search relationships between documents, understanding how different things play together," said Woodward.
Workers are already doing this manually, and it is to the detriment of their work days. Most employees say they waste up to eight hours per week looking through documents to find data that they need for customers, according to an ABBYY study.
Knowledge management's projected growth rate is high because it's an embedded component in content collaboration platforms, said Woodward. With empowered workers who can manage company knowledge, an organization can then find information about past projects, for example, and leverage it for new projects.
In 2022, most workers will interact with AI in the workplace thanks to a "work graph" approach, in which software lets workers navigate work processes more efficiently, said Brian Jackson, research director at Info-Tech Research.
"What software is getting better at, thanks to AI, is understanding when to nudge us about pushing things along in that workflow, so that our colleagues can get notified that we've done our job and it's their time to do their job, and they're actually getting the context," Jackson said.
Despite enthusiasm for AI adoption, companies often struggle to make the technology a part of their standard operations, Gartner found.
"There's a lot of learning to do," Woodward said. "IT has to learn about the tools and techniques but also the business has to learn how to consume the AI and how to use it."