IDC predicts digital transformation spending will reach $1.2 Trillion

Over the next four years, digital transformation spending will continue to increase with early adopters already reaping rewards

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The International Data Corporation (IDC) recently updated their Worldwide Semi-annual Digital Transformation Spending Guide, to forecast that global digital transformation spending will reach $1.18 trillion in 2019, an increase of 17.9% over the last year. The Guide analyses spending for 210 digital transformation use cases, across 12 technology categories, 19 industries and nine geographies.

Eileen Smith, program VP at IDC’s Customer Insights & Analysis group predicts that this investment will continue to rise, with “worldwide digital transformation technology investments expected to total more than $6 trillion over the next four years”.

Smart manufacturing is one of the leading priorities for digital transformation spending, with large investments expected in autonomous and robotic operations and manufacturing quality. Transportation and logistics were also flagged to be key spenders over the coming years, with strategic supply chain optimization taking focus.

There will be substantial spending growth on digital visualization

Two of the biggest areas which the IDC predict will experience a substantial spending growth over the next four years are virtualized labs and digital visualization. Connectivity was also highlighted to be an important area for investment for many companies.

Speaking to the results of this analysis, Craig Simpson, research manager at IDC said that the companies who have already invested heavily in digital transformation in recent years are “reaping the rewards in terms of faster revenue growth and stronger net profits”. He believes this is especially true when you compare their results to companies who are lagging behind in their digital transformation initiatives and investments.

For pharmaceutical logistics, the benefits of digital transformation are clear; with increased data and connectivity you can address and resolve issues in real time. These detailed insights can highlight persistent issues, which can then be addressed with a clear plan or an automated process. Transparency can also help to integrate processes and break down operational silos in the supply chain. Advanced analysis and visualization of data will also help supply chain leaders to understand where they can drive improvements in demand planning, inventory management, vendor management and temperature deviations.

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However, Camelot Management Consultants recently found that many pharmaceutical logistics providers are not sufficiently prepared for digital transformation. They believe that “the number of companies embracing new technologies is small [with] most companies not even pushing for their advancement”.

Of those who are looking into transformative opportunities, their investment focus has mainly been on track and trace technology and centralized cloud platforms.

Thomas Net makes the salient point though that as the pharmaceutical sector continues to evolve, “companies can no longer afford to resist implementing digital technologies and tools”. They believe that those who trial and test digital initiatives now “stand a better chance of staying competitive and agile in this constantly evolving landscape”.