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3rd platform drives IT spending to exceed $5 trillion in 2020

As business operations grow more complex, decision-makers will need to provide employees with technologies that support access to upcoming and existing services. These new computing systems have been dubbed the "3rd platform" by IDC and are expected to have a major impact on future IT spending programs.

The 3rd platform has cloud computing at its core that will add to mainframes - considered the 1st platform - and other distributed computing services - 2nd platform - that are already in existence. A recent report by IDC highlighted how the 3rd platform will be a major driver for IT spending in the next few years, accounting for roughly 75 percent of all new growth as enterprises increase investments from $3.7 trillion in 2013 to more than $5 trillion in 2020.

"The 3rd platform is not just a technology revolution; it's also a customer revolution. As a result, expect the rise of new software business models that align more closely with business outcomes and customers' experiences," said Amy Konary, research vice president at IDC. "Customers should expect to see models that enable access to and consumption of applications when and where they want."

The 3rd platform's impact
IDC noted that more than 80 percent of enterprise applications are currently being built for delivery through cloud servers. As a result, more than 20 percent of all money spent on every packaged software and application will be consumed by the Software as a Service cloud model in 2016.

By embracing the 3rd platform, organizations can implement the cloud and other tools to successfully develop strategies that enable the use of big data analytics and social solutions, analysts said. This will be increasingly important in the coming years, as these two projects are able to improve return on investment, boost operations and provide other critical values to companies.

The big data analytics market in particular is forecast to increase significantly in the coming years, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 55 percent between 2012 and 2017, eventually generating approximately $14 billion in revenue, according to MarketsandMarkets.

By planning ahead and developing an innovative strategy to approach the 3rd platform concept, enterprise decision-makers can gain a competitive advantage by embracing innovative strategies that rival firms are having trouble accepting through their use of outdated technology.

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