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New Tech To Drive ‘Explosion Of Innovation And Value Creation’

New Tech To Drive The IDC’s predictions for the worldwide information and telecommunications technology (ICT) industry next year are underpinned by an accelerating transition to the 3rd Platform, which it has forecast will account for one third of global ICT spending and 100 per cent of spending growth.

“The industry is now entering the most critical period yet in the 3rd Platform era: the ‘Innovation Stage’,” Frank Gens, IDC senior vice president and chief analyst, commented.

“Over the next several years, we expect to see an explosion of innovation and value creation on top of the 3rd Platform’s foundation.

“This stage will be driven by a new wave of core technologies – innovation accelerators – that radically extend the 3rd Platform’s capabilities and applications across all industries.”

The IDC’s predictions for 2015 include the following:

– Worldwide ICT spending will grow 3.8 per cent to more than US$3.8 trillion, with nearly all of this spending growth to be focused on 3rd Platform technologies. ICT spending in emerging markets is forecast to grow 7.1 per cent year-on-year, with mature markets to grow at 1.4 per cent.

– Telecommunications services will see wireless data emerge as the largest (US$536 billion) and fastest growing (13 per cent) segment of telecom spending, with carriers to develop platform and API-based services, that add value and attract developers to their networks, to avoid being marginalised as little more than infrastructure providers.

– The popularity of mobile devices and apps will continue, however not to the same extent as in recent years. Sales of smartphones and tablets will reach US$484 billion, accounting for 40 per cent of all IT spending growth (excluding telecom services), with Chinese vendors to capture a significant share of the worldwide market. Wearables will see an explosion of innovation, although unit sales will underwhelm. Mobile app downloads will start to slow, however enterprise mobile app development will double.

– Cloud services will remain a particular focus, with US$118 billion in spending on the greater cloud ecosystem. Adoption of cloud Infrastructure as a Service will grow notably, with a number of challengers to take on market leader Amazon. Gens noted it is expected cloud tech will lead to “new partnerships forming among ‘strange bedfellows’, such as Facebook with Microsoft and/or IBM or Amazon partnering with HP”, seeking to expand market opportunities.

– Big data and analytics will see “important developments” as worldwide spending grows to US$125 billion, with rich media analytics (video, audio, and image) to emerge as an important driver of big data projects. The IDC also expects to see important new developments in cognitive/machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) analytics.

– The IDC states the IoT is one of the most important innovation accelerators for growth and expansion of IT-based value in the 3rd Platform era, with the invention of more and more intelligent and connected “things” to drive development of thousands of new 3rd Platform solutions. One third of IoT spending next year will be focused on intelligent embedded devices outside the IT and telecom industries, aided by partnerships among leading IT companies looking to drive forward the market for industry solutions.

– Data centres are undergoing a fundamental transformation in the 3rd Platform era: the majority of raw compute capacity and raw storage capacity is moving to cloud, mobile, and big data-optimised hyperscale data centres operated by cloud service providers, with this shift to spark a burst of “cloud-first” hardware innovations and drive greater consolidation among server, storage, software and networking vendors.

– The 3rd Platform is transforming not just the technology industry, but every industry on the planet, with IDC forecasting a number of industry disruptions, driven by 3rd Platform developments, will emerge next year. Examples include alternative payment networks in financial services, expansion of IoT technologies into city safety, public works and transportation systems, and the expansion of location-based services in the retail industry.

– Two other innovation accelerators are set to become important growth drivers in 2015, according to the IDC: “3rd Platform-optimised”, helping secure the edge of the cloud, such as biometric security on mobile devices, and the core, encompassing encryption in the cloud, which will become the default practice. Threat intelligence will emerge as a “killer Data as a Service category”, with a rapidly growing number of enterprises receiving tailored threat intelligence information. 3D printing will see significant activity among conventional document printing companies, laying the groundwork for a looming battle for commercial and industrial markets in 2016.

– China will experience a “sky-rocketing influence” on the global ICT market in 2015, with spending that will account for 43 per cent of all industry growth, one third of all smartphone purchases, and about one third of all online shoppers. China’s cloud and ecommerce leaders will rise to prominence in the global marketplace, with Chinese-branded smartphone makers to capture more than a third of the worldwide smartphone market.

“To say that 2015 will be a pivotal year in the ICT industry is a gross understatement,” Gens commented.

“We’ll see the 3rd Platform finally reach massive scale, along with lots of vendor consolidation and drop outs, ‘strange bedfellow’ partnerships, death match battles for developers (and their apps), expanding cognitive/machine learning and IoT offerings, a growing focus on data supply chains, and skyrocketing influence for China.”