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Digital-first organizations will be able to rapidly adapt to the interconnected economic, political and social volatility the next several years are sure to bring, according to a new report from IDC listing the firm’s 10 worldwide IT industry predictions.

Leading organizations will weather these disruptive storms “by transforming into resilient digital businesses where value creation is based on the effective use of fast-evolving and innovative technologies,’’ the report stated.

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While many organizations are implementing tech initiatives, to be successful, they need to transition to a mindset of digital-first, according to Rick Villars, group vice president of worldwide research at IDC.

IDC’s FutureScape 2023 research focuses on the external drivers that will alter the global business ecosystem over the next 12 to 24 months and the issues IT teams worldwide will face. Here are the firm’s tech predictions.

1. As-a-service processes and smart products will flourish.

The number of tech-centric organizations in the Fortune Global 500 list will double in the next five years. There will be an expanded emphasis on adding as-a-service elements such as enhanced customer experience and intelligent process automation to digitally enhanced physical and virtual products will come to dominate future IT budgets.

2. Growth of tech-by-wire will drive as-a-service business models.

One of the most visible developments in the IT industry over the next several years will be the expanded delivery of technology via tech-by-wire, which IDC defines as “an attempt to link the ideas of software-defined compute, storage, network, devices, plus the idea of a cloud-based control plane to a very well-known system design idea in aeronautics: fly by wire,” Villars told TechRepublic. “It’s used in most modern passenger aircraft and all high-performance military aircraft.”

There will be self-contained systems, software-defined functions, AI-assisted cloud-based control systems and data-driven decision-making, the IDC report said. While cost will be a primary driver of tech-by-wire adoption, additional benefits include improved digital resiliency, faster access at scale to innovative technologies, systems simplification, and the reduction of technical debt.

3. Benefits from IT investments will be hampered by shortages in critical skills.

Most companies will struggle to keep and find employees with the right skills, effectively putting more pressure on the remaining employees to meet expanding digital business requirements. Businesses and IT providers will need to invest in the development of the right technical, collaboration and critical thinking skills.

4. Digital sovereignty will pack a punch.

Cloud and as-a-service offerings will be at the core of digital sovereignty developments, but staff, budgets and operating processes will be impacted by residency constraints. This will drive some IaaS/PaaS workloads to local cloud providers along with mandates for sustainable operations.

5. Increased spending on as-a-service will bring greater scrutiny.

Even though cost is a major concern for most enterprises, it hides the most important benefit of the effective use of as-a-service: significant and sustained reductions in operational burdens and much faster access to innovation. To contain spending, leaders should evaluate which services are delivering on the promised operational and innovation values.

6. Service providers will be more equipped to provide expertise.

With the shift to more standardized aaS offerings and greater use of AI and automation, security, data and critical industry-specific knowledge providers will be able to create economies of scale, spreading the cost of high-value experts across more customers.

The “level of willingness and even demand that providers offering as-a-service versions of products include access to ‘expertise’ as an integrated part of their offerings” came as a surprise, Villars said.

7. Tech supply chains will still cause headaches for the digital business C-suite.

In 2025, IDC expects a number of highly visible digital product launches will face major delays due to global or regional silicon and code supply chain issues. Decision makers will push for quantifiable outcomes from their cloud providers, invest in supply chain intelligence and adopt multi-sourcing strategies to avoid these delays.

8. IT teams will struggle with the transition to control plane-based systems.

Navigating the maturation of control plane design (i.e., the part of a network that transports information needed to establish and control the network) and the gradual consolidation of basic control systems onto a few standard platforms will be among the most challenging tasks IT teams face in the next several years. IDC anticipates more than half of enterprises will try to use tech-by-wire offerings but will struggle with too many siloed control systems.

9. Automation needs trust to succeed.

A greater focus on establishing trust in automation will be needed in the areas of human/organizational behavior. While there may not be any major risks if there is a lack of trust, it will have a significant impact on branding.

10. Machine vision will dramatically improve experiences in physical locations.

Organizations that take the lead in applying machine-augmented vision in digitally optimized work/play/health spaces will have a competitive edge over the long term in capturing and retaining customer loyalty. They will also reap benefits in better business outcomes by using intelligent data.

Villars said he was pleased that IDC developed and started sharing this prediction with clients’ corporate strategy teams a few months back—prior to announcements by Intel about Geti and Google previewing “vision acceleration service offerings” a couple of weeks before the firm’s report was released.

When your company is determining where to focus its tech investments, this budget planning tool from TechRepublic Premium can help.

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