26 Oct 2021

IDC FutureScape Highlights the Critical Transformations Enterprises Must Pursue to Compete in a Digital-First World

NEEDHAM, Mass., October 26, 2021 – International Data Corporation (IDC) today announced its worldwide information technology (IT) industry predictions for 2022 and beyond. The predictions were published in a new IDC FutureScape report and presented in a live webinar hosted by IDC Group Vice President for Worldwide Research, Rick Villars. Both the report and an on-demand replay of the webinar can be found at https://www.idc.com/events/futurescape.

While the disruptive forces unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to shape the global business ecosystem, one important trend remains unchanged: the steady march toward a digital-first world. By 2022, IDC expects more than half the global economy will be based on or influenced by digital as most products and services utilize a digital delivery model or require digital augmentation to remain competitive. To compete in a digital-first world, organizations will need to prioritize their investments in digital tools to augment physical spaces and assets. As a result, more than half of all information and communications technology (ICT) investment will be linked to digital transformation by 2024.

"Digital is now a permanent, yet dynamic fixture in our world, and the IT and Communications industries themselves will be among the most transformed in the next few years. CIOs must establish procurement, development, and operations teams that align with as-a-service and outcomes-centric technology delivery models while ICT providers primary task is to help enterprises share, use, govern and increase the value of data," said Villars.

IDC's FutureScape 2022 research focuses on the social, economic, and technology crosswinds that organizations will need to navigate as they pursue their digital transformation goals over the next three to five years. The ability to adapt to these crosswinds and accelerate digital transformation will ultimately determine an organization's fate in the digital-first economy.

A closer look at IDC's top ten worldwide IT industry predictions reveals the following:

1. Bringing Digital-First to Customers and Operations: By 2024, digital-first enterprises will enable empathetic customer experiences and resilient operating models by shifting 70% of all tech and services spending to as-a-service and outcomes-centric models. These investments will be needed to support diverse customer engagement and data-driven operations models.

2. New Fundamentals of the Cloud: By 2023, 40% of the G2000 will reset cloud selection processes to focus on business outcomes rather than IT requirements, valuing access to service providers' portfolios from device to edge and from data to ecosystem. Managing, optimizing, and securing diverse cloud resources and data sets will pose the most critical IT operational challenges for IT organizations.

3. Governance Becomes a Primary Task for IT Teams: By 2023, 80% of enterprises will use AI-assisted, cloud-linked governance services to manage, optimize, and secure dispersed resources and data, but 70% don't achieve full value due to IT skills mismatches. Virtually all IT organizations see major barriers to their ability to effectively employ governance-focused automation across their enterprise.

4. as-a-Service Delivery Becomes Pervasive: By 2022, 40% of large enterprises' IT budgets will be redistributed due to adoption of integrated as-a-Service bundles in areas of security, cloud platforms, virtual workspace, and connectivity. While the benefits of agility, rapid enhancement, and alignment with actual business use are well recognized, IT teams will need to constantly monitor for portfolio inflation.

5. Systemic Technology Transitions Are Coming: By 2026, industry leaders facing systemic or mandated transitions in the coming decade triple IT spend for new environments but struggle to achieve the needed 6x gains in IT operational efficiency. IT organizations across many industries are advised to start thinking now about how several systemic changes (i.e., 5G, electric vehicles, blockchain) will influence their organization's technology plans and priorities.

6. Automate and Augment: By 2024, 70% of G2000 will gain twice as much, in terms of meaningful returns, on technology investments that augment employee and customer activities compared to ones that automate individual processes. The greatest gains will come from comprehensive efforts that emphasize augmenting the experiences and decision-making activities of customers, patients, students, and workers.

7. Data Stewardship Presents Challenges and Opportunities: By 2025, regional divergences in data privacy, security, and placement/use/disclosure mandates will force 80% of enterprises to restructure their data governance processes built on an autonomic foundation. Successful organizations will use digital sovereignty as a critical spur for new investments in resource/data control planes and target IT automation efforts that reduce trust risks in areas like cybersecurity while also providing a foundation for new customer experiences, employee experiences, and remote operations efforts.

8. Rethinking the Digital Experience: By 2023, 50% of the G2000 will shift half of their new technology hardware/connectivity spending to modernize and reconceptualize in-person experiences for customers and employees in their own locations. Organizations that deliver digitally optimized experiences to work, play, and health spaces will establish a long-term advantage in capturing and retaining customer loyalty.

9. Sustainability Gets Real: By 2025, 60% of the G2000 will have Digital Sustainability teams, tasked with assessing, certifying, and coordinating use of business and IT sustainability data and analytic platforms offered by ICT providers. Over the next few years, new tools, data, analysis will make it easier to establish meaningful sustainability goals, but how to meet these business and regulatory objectives will remain a challenge.

10. Data Controls Will Be Scrutinized: By 2025, public enterprises' valuations will be based as much on confidence in data controls for proper/effective use of data as in financial controls, focusing increased spend on data-centric solutions. IT leaders should prioritize selection of technology and services partners based on their ability to address the most important challenges.

IDC's worldwide IT industry predictions are presented in full detail in the report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2022 Predictions (IDC #US48312921). Copies of this report are available to qualified members of the media. To request a copy of the report, or to schedule a one-on-one interview with Rick Villars, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or sarah@attunecommunications.com.

An on-demand replay of IDC's Worldwide IT Industry 2022 Predictions webinar will be available as part of more than 40 FutureScape events that will address the CIO Agenda, Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, IT/OT Convergence, Sustainable Strategies and Technologies, and range of industry-specific and of Future of X topics. To register for any of these webinars, please go to http://www.idc.com/events/futurescape.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.



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