2015: the year of third platform accelerating innovation

Frank Gens – IDC
Frank Gens – IDC

With the 2015 predictions season behind us, let’s take a look at what the IT analysts from International Data Corporation (IDC) and Gartner are predicting for the global IT market this year, among others regarding the third platform.

In December 2014, IDC released their worldwide IT prediction with a webinar and a report, including market sizing, dynamics, vendors and geographies. For this review, I will focus on the technology angle of the predictions.

RIP second platform – third platform now 100% of IT spending growth

  • 2015 will be a year of accelerating disruption, based on broadening adoption of the third platform.
  • Third platform will account for 30% of the global IT spend in 2015 and capture nearly 100% of the growth, sending the second platform growth to a halt.
  • 2015 will mark the third platform’s shift to the “innovation stage”, with an explosion of innovation and value creation on top of the third platform’s foundation.

IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens said: “We are shifting into a new gear in the industry’s adoption of the 3rd Platform, as cloud, mobile, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) — and an exploding number of solutions built on them — will account for one-third of all IT spending and 100% of growth in 2015″.

Wow – 100% of new spend in the third platform! Quite significant as in 2014, the third platform captured about 90% of IT spending growth. As a refresher, IDC identified the 3rd platform back in 2007 as our current era of IT built around 1) cloud computing, 2) social applications, 3) big data analytics and 4) mobile computing.

More IT data is confirming this third platform shift:

  • On the cloud side, Gartner said in its January 13th 2015 IT Spending Forecast webinar that the enterprise application landscape is going through a major change over from licensed software to SaaS, in just 15 years. SaaS is going from 5% of the software spend in 2000 and is predicted to be about 80% in 2020.
  • On the device side, mobile is on a ran-away curve, continuing its whopping worldwide growth with about 1.25 billion smart phones sold in 2014, while, at the same time, the PC market is staying flat.

Cloud, mobile, social, analytics … and beyond

IDC – the third platform 2015 – via Forbes
IDC – the third platform 2015 – via Forbes

With the 4 pillars of Cloud, Mobile, Social and Analytics getting established, both Gartner and IDC are prediction a new digital era that Gartner calls the Digital Industrial Revolution. IDC refers to 6 innovations accelerators sitting on top of the 4 pillars and accelerating the transformation to Digital.

The 6 innovations accelerators are:

1. The Internet of Things (IoT)

As evidenced by the wave of new IoT devices and solutions at display at several tradeshows this year, the physical world is soon entering the digital era with future connected cars, houses, wallets, etc.

2. Cognitive systems

Analyzing the vast amount of IoT data created by the connected devices with the next wave of analytics tools (diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive), cognitive systems with observe, learn and offer suggestion thus reshaping the services industry.

3. Pervasive robotics

A new era of automation driven by knowledge gained from the digital world and set in action in the physical world with self-driving cars, drones, robots, etc.

4. 3-D printing of all kinds

Those printers will be creating physical things of all kind from a digital drawing: not only plastic parts (quite common now, my local library even has a 3D printer for plastic parts) and fine resolution metal parts but also food and clothing items, and, eventually, living tissues and organs!

5. Natural interfaces

Beyond mouse and keyboards, using touch and motion, speech (starting to be common on smartphones and cars nowadays) and also vision to connect people to their devices and 3rd Platform solutions.

6. Optimized security technologies and solutions

With the predicted massive amount of new connected IoT devices, a better way to secure access to systems and devices is required to avoid the security breaches we have experienced in 2014.

In conclusion, the 4 pillars of Cloud, Mobile, Social and Analytics created new services like Uber, changing the taxi industry, Netflix your TV viewing and even John Deer reinventing the crop planting industry with analytics and connected tractors/planters.

The combination of those 4 pillars with the burgeoning technologies listed above will spur another wave of innovation and start the “Digital Industrial Revolution”. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

The author, Roland Simonis has over 20 years of ECM Capture experience, is the author of multiple white papers and a regular speaker at ECM and SharePoint conferences.