International Data Corporation (IDC) on Tuesday released its worldwide information technology (IT) industry predictions for 2022 and beyond.

While the disruptive forces unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to shape the global business ecosystem, it said, one important trend remains unchanged: the steady march toward a digital-first world.

By 2022, IDC expects more than half the global economy will be based on or influenced by digital as most products and services utilize a digital delivery model or require digital augmentation to remain competitive.

To compete in a digital-first world, organizations will need to prioritize their investments in digital tools to augment physical spaces and assets, it said. As a result, more than half of all information and communications technology  investment will be linked to digital transformation by 2024.

"Digital is now a permanent, yet dynamic fixture in our world, and the IT and communications industries themselves will be among the most transformed in the next few years,” said Rick Villars, IDC group vice president for worldwide research.

“CIOs must establish procurement, development, and operations teams that align with as-a-service and outcomes-centric technology delivery models while ICT providers primary task is to help enterprises share, use, govern and increase the value of data.”

IDC says its FutureScape 2022 research focuses on the “social, economic, and technology crosswinds that organizations will need to navigate as they pursue their digital transformation goals over the next three to five years.

“The ability to adapt to these crosswinds and accelerate digital transformation will ultimately determine an organization's fate in the digital-first economy.”

IDC's top five worldwide IT industry predictions are:

  1. Bringing Digital-First to Customers and Operations: “By 2024, digital-first enterprises will enable empathetic customer experiences and resilient operating models by shifting 70% of all tech and services spending to as-a-service and outcomes-centric models. These investments will be needed to support diverse customer engagement and data-driven operations models.”
  2. New Fundamentals of the Cloud: “By 2023, 40% of the G2000 will reset cloud selection processes to focus on business outcomes rather than IT requirements, valuing access to service providers' portfolios from device to edge and from data to ecosystem. Managing, optimizing, and securing diverse cloud resources and data sets will pose the most critical IT operational challenges for IT organizations.”
  3. Governance Becomes a Primary Task for IT Teams: “By 2023, 80% of enterprises will use AI-assisted, cloud-linked governance services to manage, optimize, and secure dispersed resources and data, but 70% don't achieve full value due to IT skills mismatches. Virtually all IT organizations see major barriers to their ability to effectively employ governance-focused automation across their enterprise.”
  4. As-a-Service Delivery Becomes Pervasive: “By 2022, 40% of large enterprises' IT budgets will be redistributed due to adoption of integrated as-a-Service bundles in areas of security, cloud platforms, virtual workspace, and connectivity. While the benefits of agility, rapid enhancement, and alignment with actual business use are well recognized, IT teams will need to constantly monitor for portfolio inflation.”
  5. Systemic Technology Transitions Are Coming: “By 2026, industry leaders facing systemic or mandated transitions in the coming decade triple IT spend for new environments but struggle to achieve the needed 6x gains in IT operational efficiency. IT organizations across many industries are advised to start thinking now about how several systemic changes (i.e., 5G, electric vehicles, blockchain) will influence their organization's technology plans and priorities.”

Both the report and an on-demand replay of webinar outlining the findings can be found at