Worldwide, the growth of the traditional information and communications technology (ICT) markets have gradually declined as 3rd Platform technologies (such as cloud, big data/analytics, mobility and social business) have enabled the digital transformation of global businesses.
This transformation, not surprisingly, has forced organizations to consider important issues such as reshaping client experiences, restructuring operation models, making efficient use of information and attracting the right skill sets in employees.
Meanwhile, ICT manufacturers face many challenges including a softening macroeconomic environment, fierce market competition and more demanding user requirements for hardware, software and services.
During IDC’s 2016 ICT Market Trend Forum held in Shenzhen, analysts’ shared in-depth analyses on these and other technology industry trends. The forum themed “Large-Scale Digital Transformation: Innovation Process in the New Era”, focused on business opportunities for all parts of the technology ecosystem – vendor, channel and enterprise buyer – in this time of high disruption.
“The ICT market in China is still in a growth phase,” says Wu Lianfeng, associate vice-president: vertical industry research and consulting at IDC China. “With the 13th Five-Year Plan, there is significant development for the services industry and intelligent manufacturing.
“Opportunities exist for China companies to adapt to global business models, and to accelerate innovation processes within their existing revenue streams.”
The six key technologies relying on the 3rd Platform, or “innovation accelerators” are focal points for mastery of 3rd Platform technologies, including:
* Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things extends intelligence to enhance the user experience. According to Vernon Turner, IDC senior vice-president: enterprise systems: “The key for success in the field of IoT doesn’t lie in the scale of market opportunities, but in the matching degree between IT supplier solutions and the demands of the client. Can IT partners help clients transform into an information enterprise? Also, enterprises must face the impacts of the Internet of Things within the global market context.”
* Robotics. Robotics realizes super automation in flexible production, and accelerates the upgrade of manufacturing. Industrial robots have now entered the fast track. “Manufacturing in Asia/Pacific in 2015, 37% of China companies will consider or use robots in the next two years,” says Dr Zhang Jingbing, research director of IDC Manufacturing Insights Robotics. Dr Zhang introduced the latest trend in global robot development, key factors in promoting the increasingly high market demands on robotics equipment, impacts, opportunities and challenges brought by robot application.
* 3D printing technology. 3D printing realizes the large-scale customization of manufacturing. Satisfying the individualised requirements of the consumers and accelerating the innovation of manufacturing are key trends. More new 3D printing manufacturers have entered the market. However, if these new 3D printing market participants want to achieve success in this field, especially in the Europe and US markets, they must be ready to face major challenges. Many 3D printing market industry segments, such as manufacturing, medical care, and education, will usher in important development opportunities.
* Cognitive system technology. Cognitive computing applies complicated artificial intelligence into various industries to enhance user experience and improve business processes. Cognitive systems and intelligent assistants have started to change and restructure the business world. Systems based on artificial intelligence, deep learning, and cognitive calculation will change business processes, accelerate the R&D and creation of new products, provide enhanced intelligence, and further create and change the existing work types.
* Next-generation security technology. Next-generation security safeguards all digital companies. Real-time and dynamic data have shown explosive growth in the cloud environment. Security solutions and services suppliers should pay close attention to new security trends, and ensure data security of companies and users during business operations at the same time.
* Virtual/augmented reality (VAR). Virtual/augmented reality will make products or systems easier to use and more intelligent, enhance user experience in a holistic way, and could create new business models and services.
“Only when companies begin to understand key policies of the government, accumulate emerging technology capacities, integrate cross-disciplinary platform ecology, grasp users’ transformation requirements, deliver over-value product service, and redefine target industry and consumers with creative thinking, the long-range goal of capturing business opportunities in the large-scale digital transformation era will become reality,” says Lianfeng.