icdIDC announced its top technology predictions for Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) at the IDC FutureScape event held at the Singapore Marriott Plaza Hotel and highlighted that digital transformation (DX) will attain macroeconomic scale over the next three to four years, changing the way enterprises operate and reshaping the global economy.

“As digital transformation reaches macroeconomic levels, a DX economy will emerge and will become the core of what industry leaders do and operate”, says Sandra Ng, Group Vice President, Practice, IDC Asia/Pacific. “Essentially, to succeed, every growing enterprise must become a “digital native” in the way its executives think and act when the DX economy makes its first appearance in 2017.”

Ng also revealed the strategic top predictions that will unfold in 2017 and beyond and which ones will make the biggest impact to organizations in the Asia Pacific region:

#1: DX economy. By 2020, half of the top 2000 public companies will see the majority of their business depend on their ability to create digitally-enhanced products, services and experiences. For industry leaders, the fastest revenue growth will come from information-based products and services. To facilitate the development of these products and services, worldwide investment in DX initiatives will reach $2.2 trillion in 2019, almost 60% more than in 2016.

#2: Tech savvy CEO.  By 2020, one quarter of the C-level business executives in Global 2000 companies will have spent at least 3 years of their career in a technology leadership role.

#3: Leading in 3D. By 2019, 70% of CIOs will recognize the limitations of traditional IT and embrace a leadership approach that embodies a virtuous cycle of innovation (Leading in 3D).

#4:  Cognitive/AI.  By 2020, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by cognitive/AI capabilities, providing critical on-time insights for new operating and monetization models. This is because the flood of data that comes from IoT devices and DX initiatives have limited value without AI technologies that are capable of finding valuable insights in the data. As developer adoption accelerates (by 2018, 75% of developer teams will include cognitive/AI functionality in one or more applications), the stage will be set for a "Battle of AI Platforms" as the competing cloud megaplatforms – including Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft – battle for developers in the cognitive/AI space.

#5: Info-based products. By the end of 2019, revenue growth from information-based products will be double that of the rest of the product/service portfolio for one third of the Global 2000 companies.

#6: Immersive interfaces.  In 2017, 30% of consumer-facing Global 2000 companies will experiment with AR/VR as part of their marketing efforts. Interfaces are the essential gateway to customer engagement and they are evolving much faster than many have anticipated. IDC expects AR/VR to reach mass adoption levels by 2021, when more than a billion people worldwide will regularly access apps, content, and data through an AR/VR platform.

#7: Business services.  By 2019, 65% of IT organizations will create new customer-facing and ecosystem-facing services to meet the business DX needs.

#8: Industry collaborative clouds.  By 2018, the number of industry collaborative cloud will triple to more than 150; by 2020, over 50% of the Global 500 will be digital services suppliers through ICCs. ICCs are cloud-based platforms through which multiple companies in an industry collaborate in some fashion toward a common goal, such as improving industry insight and/or capability. IDC expects these "industry crossroads" to take off over the next several years with ICCs focused on information and data tripling from 50 in 2016 to more than 150 by the end of 2018.

#9: Self-healing process.  By 2020, nearly 20% of operational processes will be self-healing and self-learning - minimizing the need for human intervention or adjustments.

#10: Risk Management. By 2019, 60% of CIOs will help drive risk portfolios that enable adaptive responses to security, compliance, business, or catastrophic threats.

“In the DX economy, the inter-dependence of digital transformation, 3rd platform1 and IT leadership becomes the essential trinity for success. DX will drive the customer-centric business strategy, the 3rd platform will be the technology enabler, while IT leadership will be the differentiating factor for digital transformers and disruptors", ends Ng.

In closing, IDC predicts that the 4th platform is already on the horizon. In fact, by 2020, one-third of health/life science and consumer product companies will begin to develop the first wave of products and services tightly integrating 3rd platform with the human body.  Moreover, “Augmented Humanity” offerings are expected to mainstream in the mid-2020s.

These top 10 strategic predictions for the Asia Pacific market are presented in full in the following reports: IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2017 Predictions — Dawn of the DX Economy — APeJ Implications; IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation (DX) 2017 Predictions; IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2017 Predictions.