Kathy Gibson is at IDC CIO Summit in Chartwell – Disruptive forces are driving new technology directions – and organisations that don’t at least understand them run the risk of being left behind.
IDC has identified the key technology trends that are poised to make an impact on business and, necessarily, on IT.
The traditional IT spend is on what IDC calls the 3rd Platform applications of collaboration/social, mobility, cloud, security and analytics, says Jyoti Lalchandani, group vice-president and regional MD: Middle East and Africa at IDC.
Interestingly, he points out, IT growth is growing faster than GDP, with this year’s growth forecast at about 5%.
“All the growth spending in the industry is being driven by these platforms,” he says. Traditional IT spend is declining, with 3rd Platform technologies enjoying 4,9% growth
The really big growth however, is going to be in innovation accelerators built on the 3rd Platform. These include things like drones, blockchain, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.
“The second chapter of the 3rd Platform, where we are now, is the era of multiplied innovation,” Lalchandani says. “The third chapter, where we think the industry is going, is going to be the age of autonomy.”
The technologies that will characterise this chapter include robotics, advanced optics, ubiquitous artificial intelligence, device miniaturisation and hybrid/classical quantum computing.
“The impact and possibility of technology, and where we see it going in the next five years, is huge.”
Cloud 2.0, for instance, will be all about the data, Lalchandani says. Cloud 1.0, where we are now, is about defining the cloud infrastructure.
The spend around cloud-enabling hardware, software and services will more than double to more than $530-billion in the next few years.
“We also believe that five players will dominate the cloud space,” Lalchandani says. “These are Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM and Salesforce.
“So we are going to see a lot more consolidation in the cloud space. If you are looking after your company’s cloud strategy, these are the players we believe will dominate.”
The Internet of Things (IoT) is seeing massive proliferation: 80-billion connected devices are expected to be connected by 2025. They will general 180 zettabytes of data within 250 000 unique IoT apps.
“But the interesting part is that we believe about one quarter of IoT applications are packaged – but this will grow to 75% by 2025,” Lalchandani says.
In this area, too, IDC believes there will be major consolidation. “We think there will be six players dominating the horizontal application market: AWS, Google, Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Oracle.”
AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) is an exciting new technology that is set to take off massively in the next couple of years.
“We predict that, by 2021, more than 1-billion people will access content, applications and data through an AR/VR platform,” says Lalchandani.
IDC believes that one of the big changes in the AR/VR world will be the emergence of a new form factor, with most enterprises having adopted new devices for AR/VR access by 2022.
This technology has had a slow start, but should enjoy major growth in the future, with one-third of knowledge workers set to use AR/VR to collaborate and share information.
Meanwhile, most organisations will use AR/VR for training by 2027.
“Companies are already testing some of these concepts and there are pilot cases, especially in training,” Lalchandani says.
Robot shipments, meantime, are expected to increase five-fold by 2020, while the cost of robots will be about one-fifth what it is today.
This will reflect major price declines, technology changes, and the availability of new capabilities and use cases.
By 2021, IDC thinks about half of newly installed industrial robots will have at least one intelligent feature leveraging cognitive solutions or AI.
In this changing world, the developer’s role will inevitably change, Lalchandani says.
IDC predicts that, in the next four to five years, more than half of the standard developer tasks will be automated using AI and other enablers.
In the next eight to 10 years, developer skills set will move from coding to managing the application architecture.
“We also predict that, in the next 10 years, the population of business developers will double to almost 10-million across the globe.”
As security moves to a platform model, IDC believes that as many as 100 security companies will disappear.
IDC predicts that 100% of all security platforms will have AI capabilities, and companies will be able to determine what their automated response will be to threats.
“When we put all of these elements together, we believe digital transformation will come of age,” Lalchandani says.
“The change is happening very fast. As the head of IT, CIOs need to make some bets; they need to think about horizon strategy, with a long-term view of digital transformation.”