A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to attend the IDC Directions 2017 conference. If you are not familiar with IDC, let me put it this way: there are 3 dominant analyst firms in technology: Gartner, Forrester and IDC. Every year, IDC has a one day conference in the Santa Clara, California, and then repeats the same conference in Boston, Massachusetts. It is always a great chance to check out analysts’ latest survey results, trends, predictions and to get a pulse on what's happening in different technologies that I don't follow closely.
The title of the conference this year was "Tech Industry Redefined: The Rise of the DX Economy”. No surprise there, digital transformation or DX was mentioned over and over again.
In my opinion, two sessions were the highlights of the day: the first keynote by Frank Gens, IDC Senior Vice president and Chief Analyst and the last keynote of the day by George Westerman, Research Scientist with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Let me tell you about them and a few other interesting and relevant facts that I learned during the day.
Frank Gens, talked about the DX economy, which is all about faster supply, faster consumption and faster lifespan, with examples like the incredible speed of innovation from Amazon Web Services (AWS), which launched over 1000 new products or cloud services just last year. Think about the amount of new products available for existing or new customers for a second. Faster consumptions thanks to mobile technologies in some cases, has allowed companies to build their whole business around a mobile app (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, etc.) and gain large numbers of consumers rapidly. A faster lifespan means that businesses can peak and decline faster than ever before.
As expected for an analyst summit, they provided very interesting statistics. For example, they estimate $2.1 trillion of spending in DX initiatives globally by 2019, and they have already studied 450 DX projects around the world that have changed the path and in many cases the fortunes of enterprises embracing digital technologies. Here, the focus turns to what we as technology providers can do to help companies in their DX journey. There is great potential for technology providers like Axway and the AMPLIFY platform. The key is to enable those use cases and focus to make them a reality for our customers.
Another statistic showed that cloud adoption keeps continues to grow —no surprise there— but the news is that 70% of CIOs had a cloud-first strategy in 2016. Here again, our vision of Axway's AMPLIFY rings a bell. It is very clear that today's innovation and the next wave of innovation are in the cloud, hand in hand with mobile devices, IoT and artificial intelligence (AI). They talked about building a "digital native model", a "digital innovation graph" or marketplace that connects all of the DX dots. That’s exactly our vision for AMPLIFY.
DX developers and the digital supply chain are close to my heart because they are something I have been very involved over the last few years. Mobile app developers and developer communities are key parts of Axway’s vision. The message from IDC was very clear: as technologies keep evolving faster than ever, enterprises have to tap into other people's innovation. It is about finding places to share, such as code sharing communities, open source communities, and even code.gov, the US government’s recent open source initiative. This approach increases the chances of building successful projects, which has worked well for Appcelerator and we are going to continue to do. There's no question that embracing collaboration and open source would work well for AMPLIFY.
Another way to see this is for IT organizations to have strategies for what they are not going to do. Organizations should focus on their core business, technological strengths and innovate on top of other people's shared innovation.
Technology companies and large enterprises with DX initiatives are promoting ecosystems. For example, companies like Walmart, General Motors, Master Card and others are building developer communities to share and also become suppliers of technology. Check developer.walmart.com developer.gm.com developer.mastercard.com or just replace "www" with "developer" on many company websites and you will get access to open source code and APIs that are ready to be used.
One final note that relates to what Axway is all about with AMPLIFY: analysts agree that Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) models for sharing and distribution as well as channel partners or brokers are a key component in enabling DX. They estimate that by 2020, over 70% of cloud services providers' revenues will be mediated by channel partners/brokers. Axway is well positioned to take a piece of that cake.
In summary, AMPLIFY, with its complete offering —from Mobile App Development and API Management to File Transfer and integration technologies over a modern and open cloud-based platform—connects the dots in the digital innovation graph. We are in the right path, this is about being competitive and helping our customers do the same, transform, innovate and grow the business.
An interesting formula was shared in a couple of sessions that makes a lot of sense: Innovation = Code + Data