Perhaps you've noticed, cognitive computing and robotics have become a hot topic. While much of the underlying technology originates from North American vendors, growing adoption across all industries is now a global phenomena.
International Data Corporation (IDC) has identified robotics as one of six Innovation Accelerators that will drive digital transformation, by enabling new business model development and changing the way work is performed.
The growth in robotic application adoption is being driven mainly by increasing labor costs, shortage of skilled job candidates, declining prices of robotic systems, and by strategic national economic development initiatives -- such as the current Industry 4.0 revolutionary trends.
Robotic Technology Market Development
IDC forecasts the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) region spending on robotics and related services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent from nearly $14.6 billion in 2015 to $23.8 billion in 2019.
Moreover, IDC believes that manufacturing (65.7 percent share in 2015) and resource industries (8.7 percent share in 2015) will remain the two biggest vertical sectors for robotics spending over the forecast period.
"Robotics is one of the core technologies that is reshaping manufacturing operations and supply chains," said Martin Kuban, senior research analyst at IDC.
Due to improvements in the capabilities of robots, more practical applications, and more robust connectivity platforms, we're now seeing robotic technologies dynamically expanding outside manufacturing into other sectors such as resource industries, healthcare, transportation and government.
This recent robotics spending forecast highlights important information for the EMEA region. On the one side, Western Europe represents the second largest market worldwide. On the other side, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) will grow faster than Western Europe, and will continue to close the productivity gap.
In particular, Western Europe will see an increase in the healthcare sector, which will replace the resource industries sector by 2019 as the second largest market after manufacturing, growing at the fastest rate among the major industries.
According to the IDC analysts assessment, the CEE trends will see resource industries keeping the pace, remaining the second largest market within the region.
Shift in Market Demand Creates New Opportunities
From a global perspective, the Asia-Pacific region (including Japan) accounts for more than 65 percent of the total robotics spending throughout the forecast. EMEA is the second largest region with expenditures of $14.6 billion in 2015, followed by the Americas with 2015 spending totals of $9.7 billion.
The current IDC market outlook shows that robotics spending will nearly double in the Asia-Pacific region over the 2015-2019 forecast period, making it the fastest growing market.
The robotics systems, which include consumer, industrial, and service robots, is the biggest component of the robotics spending and it is forecast to grow to nearly $6.5 billion in EMEA in 2019.
"I believe the service robots have applicability in nearly all industries. They will offer many new opportunities on the market. Also, seeing the interest in consumer robots is heating up, these two segments will get the highest attention and will likely develop very dynamically in coming years," says Kuban.