Future Enterprise

IDC’s Worldwide Future of Connectedness 2021 Predictions

Explore IDC's top 10 predictions for the Future of Connectedness and connectivity for 2021 and beyond, straight from the latest IDC FutureScape.
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This blog lists the top 10 worldwide predictions for the global future of connectedness. These technology predictions are meant to help the enterprise with strategic planning within a typical five-year business planning cycle.

Enterprises continue to pursue digital transformation initiatives to optimize operations, take advantage of advanced technologies, and delight users and customers to help improve business outcomes. As organizations solidify their plans in these critically important areas, they are increasingly realizing the importance of connectivity and connectedness in enabling digital transformation (DX).

Over the past decade, connectivity has emerged as a key foundational enabler of digital initiatives, from supporting ubiquitous mobility to enabling robust and secure connections to cloud platforms. Connectivity has never been more critical for organizations – there are more users, devices, and things than ever connected to the network; they need to access higher-bandwidth applications; and must demand lower-latency connections.

Connectedness and connectivity have become even more important in 2021, given that businesses have become more distributed than ever in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enterprises had to quickly pivot to support remote workers, causing an increased reliance on cloud platforms, and video collaboration tools turned into mission-critical applications. In 2020, “connectedness” has become the glue that enables the modern digital world.

IDC’s worldwide Future of Connectedness 2021 top 10 predictions are:

  • Prediction 1: Through 2022, 40% of enhanced digital customer experiences will continue to fail because of underinvestment in intelligent, dynamic network architectures and technologies required for modern applications.
  • Prediction 2: By 2022, 60% of all network resources will be deployed at remote edge or service provider locations, allowing business leaders to leverage the agility of their network resources, up from 20% in 2020.
  • Prediction 3: By 2022, 90% of G2000 will revisit their commercial real estate footprint post-COVID-19, as many plan augmented workspaces yet do not address the connectivity needs to support a hybrid work model.
  • Prediction 4: By 2022, 90% of enterprises will still be struggling to find the “killer” 5G application and meaningful ROI on the up-front investment because of continued limited integration with tangential technologies.
  • Prediction 5: By 2023, operational complexities due to enabling robust employee connectivity will shift 25% of connectivity budgets to CaaS solutions to bundle bandwidth, security, collaboration, and mobile services.
  • Prediction 6: By 2023, enterprises will get a 30% boost in productivity by re-architecting networks to include a “branch of one” operating model, enabling the same secure application experience as they get on premises.
  • Prediction 7: By 2023, 60% of enterprises will deploy AI-enabled tools and functions to manage network performance issues proactively to deliver improved performance of applications by as much as 35%.
  • Prediction 8: By 2025, 75% of enterprises in industrial verticals like manufacturing, logistics, and mining will adopt private 5G networks to achieve network reliability/coverage and maintain data control and security.
  • Prediction 9: In 2024, 85% of G2000 will see the network admin as strategic since it involves working with app developers, the CISO office, and line of business to ensure business continuity, compliance, and resiliency.
  • Prediction 10: By 2024, 45% of large venues such as stadiums, airports, and campuses will adopt elastic, scalable on-demand networks to consolidate access technologies to seamlessly blend traffic between things and people.

Ready to make connectedness a strategic priority? Learn how to support enterprise connectivity with our checklist, “7 Guidelines for Building the Future Network”:

Carrie MacGillivray

Group Vice President & General Manager, WW Telecom, Mobility & IoT Research