What CIOs learn from IT industry predictions for 2018 from IDC

IDC tech predictions for 2018IDC today announced its worldwide information technology (IT) industry predictions for 2018 and beyond.

Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC, said: “While some of our predictions for 2018 and beyond lay out a strategic blueprint for enterprises on their digital transformation journey, others introduce critical new building blocks for becoming digital native enterprises.”

By 2021, at least 50 percent of global GDP will be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships. Organizations that are slow to digitize their offerings and operations will find themselves competing for a progressively shrinking share of their market segment’s opportunities.

By 2020, 60 percent of all enterprises will be in the process of implementing a new IT foundation as part of a fully articulated organization-wide DX platform strategy. IDC defines this new “DX Platform” as the future enterprise IT architecture that will enable the rapid creation of digital products, services, and experiences, while at the same time aggressively modernizing the internal “intelligent core.”

By 2021, enterprise spending on cloud services and infrastructure will be more than $530 billion and over 90 percent of enterprises will use multiple cloud services and platforms. Adopting the cloud is no longer primarily about economics and agility – it is becoming enterprises’ most critical and dependable source of sustained technology innovations.

By 2019, 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services; by 2021, 75 percent of commercial enterprise apps will use AI. An “AI war” is looming as the major public cloud service providers offer an ever-expanding variety of AI-powered services.

Digital services and apps without “AI inside” will quickly fall behind competitors’ pace of innovation. Developers will be the critical population to watch as IT organizations must acquire AI engineers and data scientists to support the large number of DX initiatives that are AI dependent.

By 2021, enterprise apps will shift toward hyper-agile architectures, with 90 percent of application on cloud platforms (PaaS) using microservices and cloud functions and over 95 percent of new microservices deployed in containers.

By 2020, human-digital interfaces will diversify, with 25 percent of field-service technicians and information workers using augmented reality and nearly 50 percent of new mobile apps using voice as the primary interface.

Augmented reality (AR) will revolutionize the role of field service worker by offering a rich set of options including image overlay, access to technical updates, and visual communication with supervisors and subject matter experts.

Similarly, AR will fundamentally change the way information workers collaborate and interact with digital information. And voice is already well on its way to becoming the default interface for a wide range of enterprise smartphone apps.

By 2021, at least 25 percent of the Global 2000 will use blockchain services as a foundation for digital trust at scale. At the core of blockchain is distributed ledger technology (DLT) that offers the potential to support digital trust at scale by providing one version of the truth (secure information), transfer of value (secure ownership records), faster settlements, and smart contracts (automated buying and selling).

Blockchain ledgers and interconnections will evolve at a slow and steady pace over the next 36 months. Early adopters will have the opportunity to establish very strong positions in the ecosystem, while slower adopters will not be entirely boxed out but should be exploring use cases.

By 2020, 90 percent of large enterprises will generate revenue from data-as-a-service. Enterprises’ ability to create, derive, and manage high-value data for their own use – and gain financial leverage by packaging some of that data for the marketplace – will quickly become an important metric in enterprise valuations.

Improvements in simple (low-code/no-code) development tools will expand the number of non-tech developers over the next 36 months. Low-code/no-code software accelerates the development process and gives business stakeholders an enriched toolbox for using technology to solve business problems.

By 2021, more than half of the Global 2000 will see an average of one third of their digital services interactions come through their open API ecosystems, up from virtually 0 percent in 2017. The creation of open APIs – and developer ecosystems around them – will allow enterprises to massively scale distribution of their digital platforms and services through third-party digital innovators, accelerating adoption and revenue.

Over the next 36 months, DX leaders will start to put much greater strategic focus and investment into their open API-based external developer ecosystems and distribution networks. Companies that fail to take this step will be on a fast track to marginalization in the DX economy.