Transition to 3rd Platform dominates as ICT industry prepares for “pivotal” year

"To say that 2015 will be a pivotal year in the ICT industry is a gross understatement," Gens adds.

The driving force behind the ICT industry's evolution into the year 2015 is the market’s accelerating transition to the 3rd Platform for innovation and growth, built on the technology pillars of mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics, and social networking.

That’s according to International Data Corporation (IDC), when announcing its top ten predictions for the worldwide information and telecommunications technology (ICT) industry in 2015.

"IDC first identified the 3rd Platform in 2007 and predicted that it would eventually become the new core of ICT market growth,” says Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst, IDC.

“In 2015, the 3rd Platform will account for one third of global ICT spending and 100% of spending growth.”

As a result, Gens believes the industry is now entering the “most critical period yet” in the 3rd Platform era: the 'Innovation Stage.'

“Over the next several years, we expect to see an explosion of innovation and value creation on top of the 3rd Platform's foundation,” he explains.

“This stage will be driven by a new wave of core technologies – Innovation Accelerators – that radically extend the 3rd Platform's capabilities and applications across all industries."

IDC's predictions for 2015 include the following:

1. Worldwide ICT spending will grow 3.8% in 2015 to more than $3.8 trillion:

Gens believes nearly all of this spending growth will be focused on 3rd Platform technologies, with spending on the 2nd Platform expected to slip into recession by the end of the year.

On a geographic basis, ICT spending in emerging markets is forecast to grow 7.1% year over year while mature markets poke along at 1.4% growth.

2. Telecommunications services will see wireless data emerge as the largest ($536 billion) and fastest growing (13%) segment of telecom spending:

To avoid being marginalised as little more than infrastructure providers, Gens says carriers will scramble to develop platform- and API-based services that add value and attract developers to their networks.

They will also seek rapprochement with over-the-top (OTT) cloud services providers through innovative performance and revenue-sharing arrangements.

3. Mobile devices and apps will continue to charge ahead in 2015, but not at the frenzied pace seen in recent years:

IDC also predicts that sales of smartphones and tablets will reach $484 billion, accounting for 40% of all IT spending growth (excluding telecom services), while Chinese vendors capture a significant share of the worldwide market.

Wearables will see an explosion of innovation, although unit sales will underwhelm while mobile app downloads will start to slow in 2015, but enterprise mobile app development will double.

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