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IDC’s Worldwide IT/OT Convergence 2021 Predictions

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This blog lists the top 10 worldwide predictions for global IT/OT convergence. These technology predictions are meant to help the enterprise with strategic planning within a typical five-year business planning cycle.

Information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) convergence has been accelerating in recent years. The potential return on investment from advanced technology deployments in operations has crossed a critical threshold, and companies can no longer ignore the transformational opportunities they offer.

The 2020 pandemic forced industrial enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation and Industry 4.0 journeys. Remote operations quickly shifted from an aspirational goal to a legal and ethical requirement. In doing so, the strengths and weaknesses of digital operations technologies have been exposed. Foundational enabling capabilities like data governance, cybersecurity, compute infrastructure, and holistic and cohesive technology architectures — and the internal and external skills to support them — are all key focus areas for 2021 and beyond.

IDC’s worldwide IT/OT Convergence 2021 top 10 predictions are:

  • Prediction 1: By 2022, to support autonomous operations, organizations will increase their investments in data governance, digital engineering organizations, and digital operations technologies by 40%.
  • Prediction 2: By 2023, 20% of new industrial assets deployed will leverage preconfigured digital twins to commission assets 50% faster, enabling digital twins for entire operations settings and processes.
  • Prediction 3: By 2021, motivated by health and safety concerns, service and industrial robotics will be rapidly deployed in 10% of physical operations that previously considered robotics not commercially practical.
  • Prediction 4: By 2022, strategic partnerships will be formed between 40% of market-leading IT and OT vendors to deliver a holistic solution; this will reduce integration and deployment costs by 20%.
  • Prediction 5: By 2025, 60% of G2000 customers with OT infrastructure will partner with services vendors to leverage their global infrastructure and experience related to engineering and digital deployments.
  • Prediction 6: By 2024, 70% of G2000 organizations will have invested in a common IoT platform layer that provides access to data collected through various point solutions.
  • Prediction 7: By 2025, digital engineering will be responsible for collecting and reporting operational performance data for underwriter analysis and decision making related to health and sustainability performance.
  • Prediction 8: By 2024, 70% of industrial organizations will run software-defined compute and network infrastructure for supporting IT, OT, and CT functions at the operational edge.
  • Prediction 9: By 2024, 60% of industrial organizations will integrate data from edge OT systems with cloud-based reporting and analytics, moving from single-asset views to sitewide operational awareness.
  • Prediction 10: Industrial enterprises that fail to implement an enterprise data governance model enabling the foundation for resilient decision making by 2021 will underperform on profitability by 10%.

Want to dive deeper into IDC’s IT/OT Convergence predictions? Watch our on-demand webinar today:

Jonathan Lang

Research Manager, IT/OT Convergence