Over 90 percent of all enterprises will use cloud platforms to innovate and improve agility by 2021. Companies are spending "aggressively" on new technologies as they compete to grow their digital presence and improve customer experiences.
Data as a service
Enterprises will spend over $530 billion on cloud services and infrastructure by 2021, according to a new set of industry predictions by analyst IDC. Businesses across every industry will move to the cloud as the importance of digital transformation becomes apparent.
Companies are restructuring themselves around data and their digital assets. Over 90 percent of enterprises will offer "data-as-a-service" products to generate revenue and extract value from their data lakes.
One way this can be achieved is packaging up data and selling it to developers, consumers and other businesses. This motion will favor firms that are already making investments in APIs and open platforms.
According to IDC, embracing the cloud is no longer an optional step for innovative companies. Looking into the next decade, industrial technological breakthroughs will be made in the cloud. Companies that make the most from their data will become leaders in their field, if they have the resources to effectively maintain their infrastructure.
"Adopting the cloud is no longer primarily about economics and agility – it is becoming enterprises' most critical and dependable source of sustained technology innovations," said IDC. "Cloud resource management and integration of resources across multiple cloud platforms will become critical capabilities for IT organizations on their DX [digital transformation] journey."
Embracing new technologies
Besides agility and customer experience improvements, enterprises are also using cloud platforms to unlock new technologies. Emerging technological fields such as AI, blockchain and digital assistance all demand a robust supporting infrastructure capable of running at scale. Existing on-premises legacy networks often lack the resources necessary to make investment in new tech worthwhile.
Moving to the cloud will give enterprises an opportunity to explore new frontiers of the digital economy. IDC predicted that an "AI war" is on the horizon as more businesses and developers become familiar with the technology.
By 2021, 75 percent of commercial enterprise apps will include AI capabilities, leaving the remaining quarter of businesses technically behind their rivals. In the same period, 25 percent of firms will launch a blockchain-based service to increase trust and security on their cloud platform.
Companies that don't start investing now could be left behind. Organizations may have just three years to make "significant" progress in their digital transformation strategies. Enterprises which fall behind the curve may find themselves locked out of new opportunities and constrained by legacy tech, limiting their innovative capabilities.