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In spite of uncertainty on many geo-political fronts, global IT spending is predicted to grow yet again in 2019, with digital business technology platforms (and digitalisation) playing an increasingly large part.

Leading research and advisory firm Gartner recently forecast that global IT spending is predicted to grow to $3.8 trillion in 2019, an increase of 3.2% from last year and a perhaps surprising prediction in the wake of economic uncertainty characterized by Brexit and the current China-US trade war.

Interestingly, John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner has indicated that spending is moving from saturated segments like mobile phones, PCs and on-premises data center infrastructure to cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT).

The Shift to the Cloud

A key driver of IT spending is the shift to cloud, a fact which will surprise no-one. With enterprise software and SaaS predicted to continue their strong growth, Gartner has previously stated that 28% of spending in key IT segments will shift to the cloud by 2022, forming part of a greater shift by business towards digitalization.

Companies are jumping aboard, reflected by the fact that digital transformation was predicted to be one of the top two business priorities for CIOs of midsize enterprises (MSEs) in 2018.

“Digitalisation has the benefit of expanding midsize enterprises (MSEs’) market horizons — a critical success factor for this size of the organization,” said Luis Anavitarte, research vice president at Gartner. “As part of an overarching digital business technology platform, MSEs should build an ecosystem platform to strengthen their competitiveness and enable sustainable business growth.

Digital Platform Benefits

“A digital platform helps employees to share best practices across business units, leverage competencies including operational and strategic innovation, achieve rapid prototyping, bring new business capabilities to market more quickly, and coordinate the business ecosystem.

It also forms an ideal data collection and aggregation mechanism, laying the groundwork for better-informed strategic business decisions, can address vendor-reseller pain points such as increasing visibility and transparency in channel operations, and is strong on efficiency and simplicity, two oft-overlooked factors in running a channel business.

Digital platforms are also starting to become vendor requirements through which to conduct channel business operations. In a move which perhaps foreshadows greater industry adoption, Microsoft made it necessary for its partners to demonstrate a billing and provisioning infrastructure as part of its new CSP direct bill requirements.

Adopting New Technologies

The unrelenting march of digitalization however has begun to cause problems on a human resource and skills level.

“In addition to buying behavior changes, we are also seeing skills of internal staff beginning to lag as organizations adopt new technologies, such as IoT devices, to drive digital business” said Gartner’s Lovelock.

“Nearly half of the IT workforce is in urgent need of developing skills or competencies to support their digital business initiatives. Skill requirements to keep up, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, API and services platform design and data science, are changing faster than we’ve ever seen before.”

What’s becoming clear is that despite global uncertainty in the realms of politics and economics, technology marches inexorably onwards, as seen by increasing digitalization. It behoves businesses to investigate and adopt new technologies, and board the train to a promising digital future.