IDC Directions 2018: Key Takeaways

IDC’s 53rd Annual Directions Conference was nothing short of enlightening and engaging, covering the latest trends and innovations in the information technology landscape. This year’s event centered on “Innovating in the DX Economy: From Experimentation to Automation,” and topics spanned from the second chapter of the 3rd Platform, to improving the customer experience through digital transformation. Members of the IDG Marketing team attended the Boston conference in March and below are our top takeaways.

Key Takeaways:

  • 3rd Platform: Overall, IDC’s 3rd Platform has remained consistent – organizations are incorporating 3rd Platform technologies into their business model to achieve digital transformation. However, the 3rd Platform is making its way into the second Chapter – Multiplied Innovation. This new chapter is highlighted by AI, hyper-agile applications and blockchain-based solutions; the competition is platform and ecosystem based rather than company-based. Because of this, the innovation multiplies and the use of products/services is expanding more than ever before. Looking deeper into the potential of blockchain, IDC predicts that by 2020, 25% of top global banks, close to 30% of manufacturers and retailers, and 20% of healthcare organizations will use blockchain networks in production. – Frank Gens @fgens
  • Developers: Developers are bringing digital transformation to life. Every day, we are using conveniences that developers have made possible, from kiosks and highway fast pass programs, to the Dominos ordering app and the new Amazon Go store. To continue this momentum, developers and organizations need to look at code differently. Developers must package code in a more modular way and shift to microservices in order for code to be reusable and ultimately mashed together to create new apps. Organizations will need to consider embracing open source code from competitors and vice versa to create the best customer experience. – Al Gillen @algillen
  • Blockchain: Blockchain-based solutions are top of mind for tech and marketing decision-makers. At its core, blockchain serves as a digital public ledger in which new records are added and verified cryptographically. Blockchain’s ability to provide a secure network and create transparency across the supply chain is what makes it so appealing to organizations. While blockchain was first embraced by financial services, it is now gaining significant interest across multiple industries. For example, Alibaba uses blockchain-based solutions to improve the tracking and verification of food quality/product quality, while DeBeers uses the technology to track diamonds through the supply chain to monitor quality and authenticity. Though the technology is still relatively new and there is much to learn, blockchain could potentially revolutionize business as we know it. – Bill Fearnley @billfearnleyjr
  • Cloud Computing: As cloud computing continues to progress and IT executives find themselves leading digital transformation initiatives, a “multicloud” environment has become the new norm. This means that organizations are running more than one type of cloud deployment and working with more than one major cloud provider. According to IDC’s 2017 CloudView survey, 40% of respondents from cloud-using organizations describe their organization as “cloud-first” when it comes to using private or public cloud for net new or existing IT services. This increases to 53.5% for C-level executives. – Stephen Elliot and Mark Thomason
  • Customer Experience: There is a customer experience disconnect. In retail, for example, 92% of organizations believe they are providing a great or outstanding customer experience. However, NPS reports that only 60/100 are considered “ok or better.” Technology is transforming the customer experience through omni channel strategies and data. Data allows organizations to anticipate the next need and ultimately be prepared for the customer. – Alan Webber @alanwebber
  • Automation in the Workforce: Automation alone does not eliminate jobs – rather, it creates new opportunities for the workforce. As technology advances, it augments and demands more of workers’ expertise, creativity and judgements. For instance, as more ATMs were installed across the country, the number of bank tellers increased because the role evolved requiring new skills and knowledge. Employment has risen in all but two decades in the last 125 years, which is a testament to humans’ ability to innovate. Technology enables individuals with special skillsets to expand on ideas and innovate beyond the status quo, creating new lines of business. The work of the present shapes the work of the future – and yes, there will be work in the future, even if it means our jobs will be evolving. – David Autor @davidautor

To gain more insight on how organizations are incorporating new technology strategies into their business model to improve processes and achieve revenue growth, view IDG’s 2018 Digital Business research.



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