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Digital transformation is becoming the norm worldwide and technology spending is picking up as a result.
In 2018, spending on the software, hardware and services that enable digital transformation will nearly reach $1.3 trillion, predicts analyst firm IDC. That figure represents a 16.8 percent jump compared to the $1.1 trillion spent this year.
Still, those numbers pale to what the future has in store. By 2021, IDC expects that digital transformation spending will reach nearly $2.1 trillion.
Suggesting that enterprises are growing comfortable with the basics of digital transformation, many organizations are setting their sights on even more cutting-edge technologies.
"While some industries are more focused on the core technologies underlying the 3rd Platform, particularly cloud, big data and analytics, and mobility, many have shifted their investment focus toward the Innovation Accelerators, such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, and robotics," said IDC program director said Eileen Smith in a statement.
"While the investment strategies may differ from company to company, the objective remains the same: to reimagine and reconstruct the business to compete in the increasingly digital economy that's platform-powered and ecosystem-enabled," continued Smith.
Discrete manufacturers are aggressively pursuing digital transformation solutions and are expected to generate $214 billion in sales for vendors that cater to their needs in 2018. Other big spenders include professional services firms ($133 billion), process manufacturers ($132 billion) and transportation companies ($127 billion).
In terms of technology, these organizations are expected to primarily invest in connectivity and IT services next year. They will also snap up enterprise hardware and applications, said the research group.
IDC's data also sheds light on the strategic priorities of organizations looking to get with the times.
Technologies that enable new and expanded operating models will the lion's share ($662 billion) of digital transformation spending in 2018. Businesses will also be investing in "omni-experience innovations" ($326 billion) that reshape how stakeholders and customers communicate with one another and deliver personalized products and services.
Finally, big data and business analytics firms have reason to cheer on their customers as they embark on digital transformation projects.
"Information will also be an important DX [digital transformation] investment area ($240 billion in 2018) as organizations strive to obtain and leverage information for competitive advantage through better decisions, optimized operations, and new products and services," said IDC.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.