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Economy on its way to Digital Destiny: IDC IT Predictions 2021

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IDC (International Data Corp.) has announced its worldwide information technology (IT) industry predictions for 2021 and beyond in the ‘2021 FutureScape Research’ Event. This year’s predictions are moulded by the disruptive forces of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will dramatically change the global business dynamics for years to come. Despite the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, IDC feels that the global economy remains on its way to its “digital destiny” as most products and services are based on a digital delivery model or require digital augmentation to remain competitive. With this shift, 65% of global GDP will be digitalized by 2022, driving $6.8 trillion of IT spending from 2020 to 2023.

To succeed in this period of change, CIOs need to focus on some key areas over the next five years. They need to remediate any shortcomings in existing IT environments that were introduced during the initial emergency response. They also need to identify where the crisis and their organization’s response has accelerated IT transformation trends and lock-in these advances. Most importantly, they must seek opportunities to leverage new technologies to take advantage of competitive/industry disruptions and extend capabilities for business acceleration in the next normal.


Also Read: Want to Maximize Returns from Smart Manufacturing Technologies? Here’s how you can do it.


Given the widening gap between needed and available skills, IDC sees the trend toward leveraging outside help to continue. Companies utilizing the services of outside firms should assess the degree to which these partners themselves have evolved to be able to address their needs now and in the future. Key assessment areas should be:

  • Greater use of analytics and intelligent automation, and platforms for service delivery
  • Greater understanding of the needs of the lines of business (LOBs) even in IT-centric engagements, as well as key functions such as HR
  • Ability to facilitate change management and address the impact of the new initiative on the company’s people
  • Ability to address the broadening scope of IT into operational technology
  • ———————————————————————————————————————————————Also Read: Industry 4.0: Driving Manufacturing the Digital Way


IDC’s worldwide services predictions for 2020 cover the broad landscape of services markets from strategy consulting services to managed services, including a variety of emerging technologies. It examines topics such as the impact of the IT skills gap, the need for IT process transformation, artificial intelligence (AI)-delivered services, and the impact of technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT). For each worldwide services prediction, IDC’s analysts provide an assessment of the key impact on IT and guidance on how to prepare for the coming changes.

A summary of the top predictions from the IDC FutureScape for Worldwide Services are:

  1. By 2022, the financial impact of the IT skills gap will grow to $775 billion worldwide, from $302 billion in 2019, as a result of delayed release of products/service, missed revenue, or increased cost.
  2. By 2022, 75% of IT organizations will have undergone process transformation to adopt DX-enabled processes, such as Agile development, impacting 80% of processes and affecting 90% of their IT employees.
  3. By 2023, 47% of the services that organizations receive will be delivered via a mix of non-AI and AI-enabled automation. At this time, AI-enabled automation will represent 20% of total automation spend.
  4. By 2023, a quarter of all organizations will begin implementing a strategy for enterprise-wide “innovation at scale”.
  5. By 2022, 78% of enterprises will partner with technology services vendors that can orchestrate various technology innovations into business use cases to drive transformation at scale.
  6. By 2024, 55% of organizations modernizing their legacy mainframe applications will have modernized the underlying application infrastructure, with 83% turning to cloud as their preferred medium.
  7. By 2021, 41% of all enterprises will invest in an (or upgrade an existing) employee on-boarding system to improve their employee engagement and retention by up to 80%.
  8. By 2025, 75% of software and hardware technology product companies will outsource some or all parts of their product life-cycle function as they grapple with talent shortage and shrinking R&D budgets.
  9. By 2023, 60% of organizations that have adopted 3rd Platform solutions will seek new services from third-party suppliers, requiring service businesses to reskill 20% of their workforces.
  10. By 2025, enterprise IT organizations will spend over $10 billion on the deployment and maintenance of non-IT devices in the Internet of Things, supporting everything that can be sensored and monitored.
Source: IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2021 Predictions

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