International Data Corporation (IDC) today announced its top ten predictions for the worldwide information and telecommunications technology (ICT) industry in 2015. The driving force behind all of IDC’s predictions is the industry’s accelerating transition to the 3rd Platform for innovation and growth, built on the technology pillars of mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics, and social networking.
“To say that 2015 will be a pivotal year in the ICT industry is a gross understatement”
“IDC first identified the 3rd Platform in 2007 and predicted that it would eventually become the new core of ICT market growth. In 2015, the 3rd Platform will account for one third of global ICT spending and 100% of spending growth,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “The industry is now entering the most critical period yet in the 3rd Platform era: the ‘Innovation Stage.’ 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.”
1. Worldwide ICT spending will grow 3.8% in 2015 to more than $3.8 trillion. Nearly all of this spending growth will be focused on 3rd Platform technologies, with spending on the 2nd Platform expected to slip into recession by the end of the year. On a geographic basis, ICT spending in emerging markets is forecast to grow 7.1% year over year while mature markets poke along at 1.4% growth.
2. Telecommunications services will see wireless data emerge as the largest ($536 billion) and fastest growing (13%) segment of telecom spending. To avoid being marginalized as little more than infrastructure providers, carriers will scramble to develop platform- and API-based services that add value and attract developers to their networks. They will also seek rapprochement with over-the-top (OTT) cloud services providers through innovative performance and revenue-sharing arrangements.
3. Mobile devices and apps will continue to charge ahead in 2015, but not at the frenzied pace seen in recent years. Sales of smartphones and tablets will reach $484 billion, accounting for 40% of all IT spending growth (excluding telecom services), while Chinese vendors capture a significant share of the worldwide market. Wearables will see an explosion of innovation, although unit sales will underwhelm. And mobile app downloads will start to slow in 2015, but enterprise mobile app development will double.
4. Cloud services will remain a hotbed of activity in 2015 with $118 billion in spending on the greater cloud ecosystem. Adoption of cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will grow briskly (36%) as market leader Amazon comes under attack from all directions as challengers attempt the “Amazoning of Amazon”. Similarly, look for heightened competition among Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers as competitors engage in death match battles to attract developers and their apps and Software as a Service (SaaS) players accelerate their adoption of PaaS and cloud marketplaces. “Cloud is also where we expect to see new partnerships forming among ‘strange bedfellows’, such as Facebook with Microsoft and/or IBM or Amazon partnering with HP, to expand market opportunities,” added Gens.
5. Big data and analytics will see important developments in 2015 as worldwide spending on big data-related software, hardware, and services grows to $125 billion. Rich media analytics (video, audio, and image) will emerge as an important driver of big data projects. And big data supply chains (i.e. Data as a Service) will grow in importance as cloud platform and analytics vendors offer clients value-added information from commercial and open data sets. Elsewhere, IDC expects to see important new developments in cognitive/machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) analytics.
6. The Internet of Things is one of the most important Innovation Accelerators for growth and expansion of IT-based value in the 3rd Platform era. The invention of more and more intelligent and connected “things” will drive the development of thousands of new 3rd Platform solutions. One third of IoT spending in 2015 will be focused on intelligent embedded devices outside the IT and telecom industries helped by partnerships among leading IT companies seeking to kickstart the market for industry solutions. Predictive maintenance will emerge as an important IoT solutions category.
7. Datacenters are undergoing a fundamental transformation in the 3rd Platform era as the majority of raw compute capacity and raw storage capacity moves to cloud-, mobile-, and big data-optimized hyperscale datacenters operated by cloud service providers. This shift will spark a burst of “cloud first” hardware innovations and drive greater consolidation among server, storage, software, and networking vendors. IDC expects to see two or three major mergers, acquisitions, or restructurings among the top-tier IT vendors in 2015.
8. The 3rd Platform is transforming not just the technology industry; but every industry on the planet. IDC believes a number of industry disruptions, driven by 3rd Platform developments, will emerge in 2015. 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. The number of industry platforms – industry-specialized cloud-based data and services platforms, usually created by leaders within the industry – will expand rapidly, easily doubling in 2015.
9. In addition to the Internet of Things and cognitive/machine learning systems, two other Innovation Accelerators will become important growth drivers in 2015. “3rd Platform-optimized” security solutions will help to secure the edge of the cloud (i.e. biometric security on mobile devices) and the core (i.e., encryption in the cloud will become the default practice). And threat intelligence will emerge as a killer Data as a Service category with a rapidly growing number of enterprises receiving tailored threat intelligence information. Elsewhere, 3D printing will see significant activity among conventional document printing companies as they lay the groundwork for a looming battle for commercial and industrial markets in 2016.
10. China will experience skyrocketing influence on the global ICT market in 2015 with spending that will account for 43% of all industry growth, one third of all smartphone purchases, and about one third of all online shoppers. With a huge domestic market, China’s cloud and ecommerce leaders (Alibaba in ecommerce, Tencent in social, and Baidu in search) will rise to prominence in the global marketplace. Similarly, Chinese branded smartphone makers will 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,” said Gens. “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.”
IDC’s predictions for the worldwide ICT market are presented in full detail in the report, IDC Predictions 2015: Accelerating Innovation – and Growth – on the 3 Platform (IDC #252700). Copies of this report are available to qualified members of the media. To schedule a one-on-one interview with Frank Gens, please contact Sarah Murray at 781-378-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A schedule of IDC’s Predictions 2015 and FutureScape 2015 Web conferences is available at http://www.idc.com/Predictions2015.
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. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.