IDC: Every Company on Earth Will Be a “Software Company”

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Soon, the most precious resource of any business will not be physical, but informational. Today, only 1% of developers are focused on implementing cognitive systems to provide assistance in dealing with data. By 2018, that number will rise to 50%. In a few more years, every organization will essentially be a software company, IDC predicts.

This forecast from the fine gents at International Data Corporation (IDC) comes with the addendum that business is becoming more and more about arming yourself to the teeth with technical prowess, or else. Here are the most important predictions from IDC’s November 4 market intelligence briefing:

The DX economy

If you think the world is scooping up tech faster than it can chew it, you’ve seen nothing yet, according to Frank Gens, Chief Analyst at IDC. This phase is accelerating as enterprises commit to digital transformation (DX) on a massive scale. In three-to-five years, DX will be an economical metric essential to profitability strategies.


The new mantra for enterprise IT, the scale-up of digital business strategies will drive more than half of enterprise IT spending within the next two years, rising to 60 percent in another two years (2020). By then, enterprise spending on cloud services (including the hardware, the software and the infrastructure support) will be north of $500 billion – 3x what it is today. Mastery of the Cloud will be essential for successfully executing DX as “none of the other 3rd Platform technologies or major DX initiatives is possible in scaled-up implementations without the Cloud as the foundation,” reads the briefing.

By 2018, more than half of large enterprises – and more than 80% of enterprises with advanced DX strategies – will adopt cloud platforms (either by creating one or buying cloud time as-a-service) to scale up their digital supply and distribution networks.


The DX economy will be heavily dependent on code and coding skills. The size and talent of the software division will largely determine the enterprise’s ability to grow and compete. “In this regard, every company will increasingly be a software company,” says IDC (emphasis ours). By 2018, enterprises will double their developer resources in the pursuit for DX. In fact, developer time will be mostly geared towards these initiatives. This bodes well with news that several U.S states are considering making code a perquisite in school. Not because software engineering is one of the highest-paid jobs worldwide, but because of the reason behind the lofty paycheck – demand.


A major DX driver, the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2018 will balloon to reach double the amount of devices it commands today (from 11 billion to 22 billion), spurring 200,000 new apps in the process. Virtually every industry stands to gain a competitive advantage through IoT, analysts predict, while the greatest beneficiaries will be in manufacturing, transportation, retail, and healthcare.

Full predictions available in the new IDC FutureScape report, along with a live Web conference hosted by Chief Analyst Frank Gens (both found here).

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  • I do imagine going at McDonald’s McCafe, that will probably be named McJava and asking for some Happy Meal and they give you Happy or some McSharp.

    Dan 8 years ago Reply

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