IDC’s 3rd Platform: Are We Ready for the Next Chapter?

Dec 13, 2017
6 Min Read
IDC’s 3rd Platform: Are We Ready for the Next Chapter?

IDC’s 3rd Platform: Are We Ready for the Next Chapter?


Analyst firm IDC has spent the past 10 years chronicling the emergence and evolution of the 3rd Platform, built on cloud, mobile, Big Data, and social technologies. What’s next?

As we approach 2018, IDC’s 3rd platform has become entrenched in most modern organizations. In addition to established cloud, mobile, analytics, and social implementations, companies are propelled forward by newer developments such as the Internet of Things and virtual reality. Total digital transformation and the user adoption that must precede it are top priorities for global leaders.

In a new research brief, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2018 Predictions, IDC described the next generation of the 3rd platform as unleashing multiplied innovation through platforms, open innovation ecosystems, massive data sharing and modernization, hyper-agile application deployment technologies, richer artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and services, deeper human/digital interfaces, and a much more diverse cloud services world.

According to Frank Gens, IDC SVP and chief analyst: "In 2018, the key pieces of the 3rd platform's second chapter will come together with even greater force, driving enterprises to multiply their innovation pace. The rising digital economy means all enterprises must operate like digital native enterprises, rearchitecting their operations around large-scale digital innovation networks and becoming, in effect, a new corporate species.”

Gens and his IDC colleagues explored the following predictions for how the 3rd platform will continue to evolve next year and beyond.


Digital Transformation Overtakes Every Industry

By 2021, at least 50 percent of global GDP will be digitized, with growth in every industry driven by digitally-enhanced offerings, operations, and relationships. If a company is behind the curve with respect to digital transformation, it will continue to shed market share until it permanently loses the ability to compete.


Enterprise Architecture’s Core is Digital

Most organizations are now in the process of revolutionizing their legacy systems and traditional IT foundations. A new DX Platform “will enable the rapid creation of digital products, services, and experiences, while at the same time aggressively modernizing the internal intelligent core,” said IDC. “The DX Platform will be externally facing, API enabled, and data driven.”


It’s Still All About the Cloud

The cloud services and infrastructure market has exploded, with 90 percent of organizations implementing multiple cloud platforms. Not only has the cloud proven to be more cost-effective and convenient, but it’s also reliable and especially well-suited to innovation.

In 2018, companies will spend dollars on cloud resources management, integration, and expansion, and will use the cloud to facilitate hyper-agile application deployment technologies and approaches. IDC estimated that this move toward hyper-agility will result in 10X the number of applications and microservices. Furthermore, improvements in low- and no-code development tools will dramatically expand the number of non-tech developers over the next three years.


Artificial Intelligence Is Embedded Everywhere

IDC proposed that by 2019, 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services, and by 2021, 75 percent of commercial enterprise apps will use AI. Any digital-based product or service that does not take advantage of AI will fall behind, and human employees who can build, understand, and work with AI applications will be highly in demand.


New Human-Digital Interfaces Help Workers

The growth of augmented reality applications will make it easier than ever for on-the-go professionals to do their jobs efficiently. Those in the field, or in a situation that requires separation from colleagues, will benefit hugely from innovations like real-time image overlay, tech updates and support, and collaboration with remote supervisors and experts.


Enterprise Value is Derived from Data

The new market of “data-as-a-service” will gain momentum as organizations discover how to compile and package useful insights from their Big Data stores for internal and external consumption Data will also become a key currency in determining a company’s value.


Open APIs Promote Wider Distribution

In 2017, virtually no open API ecosystems existed. According to IDC, however, by 2021, half of global 2000 companies will see a third of their digital services interactions come from these ecosystems. “The creation of open APIs – and the developer ecosystems around them – will allow enterprises to massively scale distribution of their digital platforms and services through third-party digital innovators, accelerating adoption and revenue.”