Digital transformation (DX) is essential for companies looking to cut costs and to serve customers in the most efficient manner possible, leading organizations across the globe to invest an expected $1.18 trillion this year, according to digital transformation spending research from International Data Corporation (IDC). The spending total represents a 17.9% increase over 2018.
Discrete manufacturing ($221.6 billion) and process manufacturing ($124.5 billion) are the industries expected to spend the most on DX as they rely increasingly on smart manufacturing and autonomic operations as well as upgrades to manufacturing operations and quality.
Digital Transformation Spending
IDC expects retail to be the next largest industry in terms of DX spending this year, followed closely by transportation and professional services. Each of these industries will be emphasizing different strategic priorities, from omni-channel commerce for the retail industry to digital supply chain optimization in the transportation industry and “facility management – transforming workspace” in professional services.
Breaking down the DX spending in more detail, IDC expects $52 billion to be spent on autonomic operations, $45 billion on robotic manufacturing and $41 billion on freight management. Other investments of more than $20 billion will include self-healing assets and augmented maintenance, intelligent and predictive grid management for electricity, and quality and compliance.
“Digital transformation is quickly becoming the largest driver of new technology investments and projects among businesses,” said Craig Simpson, research manager with IDC’s customer insights and analysis group, in a prepared statement. “It is already clear from our research that the businesses which have invested heavily in DX over the last 2-3 years are already reaping the rewards in terms of faster revenue growth and stronger net profits compared to businesses lagging in DX initiatives and investments.”