by Brenon Daly
Companies that have signed off on the certainly-trite-but-possibly-true adage that ‘data is the new oil’ have discovered that the analogy extends far beyond the original meaning of both of the raw materials powering vast and varied industries. Most users of both resources have inevitably found that data and oil become valuable only after they are refined. In the Information Economy, most of that refinement gets done through the application of machine learning (ML) technology.
In a recent Advisory Report, my colleague Nick Patience, who heads up 451 Research’s software practice, notes that ML is a broad collection of technologies that serve a broad collection of uses. Yet, even with the near-universal relevance of ML (who doesn’t want smarter software?), the technology is only starting to find its way into companies. In Nick’s inaugural survey of 550 IT decision-makers, just 17% said they have deployed ML technology, with most of those use cases rather narrowly defined.
At the same time, however, his survey of these tech buyers and users shows they are planning to be much more expansive and aggressive with ML. Looking ahead, roughly half of all of the respondents expect to have ML technology up and running by mid-2019, up from just one in six right now. The soaring forecast for ML implementations is unprecedented in the relatively mature software industry.
That demand has sparked a record rise in the number of ML acquisitions, as suppliers look to pick up technology that helps them get a sense of the ever-increasing piles of information that companies accumulate about their own operations, as well as their ever-expanding relationships with clients, suppliers and partners.
Already this year, buyers have announced more ML deals than any year in history, according to 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase At the current rate, the M&A KnowledgeBase will record roughly 140 ML-related prints for the full-year 2018, twice the number from just two years ago.
To get smart on ML and get even smarter on doing ML deals, 451 Research will be hosting a pair of special ML-themed M&A Summits next week, with morning events held on Tuesday, October 16 in New York City and Wednesday, October 17 in Boston. To reserve your spot for the M&A Summit in New York City, simply click here, and the M&A Summit in Boston, simply click here.
For more real-time information on tech M&A, follow us on Twitter @451TechMnA.