While cybersecurity was identified as the top investment area across all regions, it was not uniform.
Powered by the platform economy that emerged over the past five years, industry business models are transforming from linear-based value chains to integrated ecosystems by leveraging shared data and insights, applications, and operations and expertise. In the future of industry ecosystems, organizations must continue to recognize and react to disruptive trends by forming – or strengthening – partnerships that extend beyond their respective industries to generate value, build resiliency, foster innovation, and anticipate threats and opportunities. Businesses that invest in their ecosystems – treating them as value-enabling building blocks – will be better able to adjust to market changes and identify competitive opportunities.
Recent results from the Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending (FERS) Survey from International Data Corporation found that future of industry ecosystems technology investments are still early stage, with cybersecurity upgrades continuing to be the primary IT enabler, as organizations extend their ecosystems inside and outside their industries and move to shared data, applications, and operations business models. Investments in customer data management and systems integration followed closely behind.
While cybersecurity was identified as the top investment area across all regions, it was not uniform – 46 per cent of North America respondents identified cybersecurity as a priority, driven by high levels of investment in cloud applications and infrastructure. In contrast, only 28 per cent and 32 per cent of respondents in EMEA and Asia/Pacific identified cybersecurity as a top investment area.
Lagging far behind in the survey results were investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). In North America, only 13 per cent of respondents identified AI/ML as an investment priority; survey results in Asia/Pacific (15 per cent) and EMEA (19 per cent) were similar. Investments in blockchain and edge-based cloud technologies were also relatively low priorities across all regions.
“We are still in a version 1.0 phase of IT investment for the future of industry ecosystems,” said Jeffrey Hojlo, research vice president, Future of industry Ecosystems & Product Innovation Strategies. “As digital transformation initiatives mature to include a varied set of external partners and expertise, organizations will expand investment beyond cybersecurity to address requirements for innovation, data monetization, and sustainability through cloud-based applications, analytics, customer data management, and technologies.”