7. Cloud services will become the new data center: IDC said that data centers are undergoing a fundamental transformation in the 3rd Platform era, with compute and storage capacity moving to cloud, mobile and Big Data-optimized hyperscaled data centers operated by cloud service providers. The report forecasted that this shift will spark a burst of “cloud-first” hardware innovations that consolidate server, storage, software and networking, leading to two or three major mergers or acquisitions.

8. The 3rd Platform will become industry-specialized: IDC predicted that 3rd platform technologies will specialize into industry-specific enterprise platforms, doubling their number in 2015. The company mentioned examples such as alternative payment networks in financial services; expansion of IoT technologies into city safety, public works and transportation systems; and the expansion of location-based services in the retail industry.

9. Security and 3D printing: IDC sees “3rd Platform-optimized” security solutions for the cloud, mobile and Big Data as a growth sector to secure these technologies, with mechanisms including biometrics on mobile devices and encryption in the cloud, as well as threat intelligence emerging as an essential Data-as-a-Service category of enterprise-specific threat information. IDC also projected that 3D printing will gain traction in conventional document printing companies, which will come to fruition market-wise in 2016.

10. Massive growth in China: China will experience skyrocketing influence on the global ICT market in 2015, according to IDC, with spending accounting for 43% of all industry growth, a third of all smartphone purchases on the worldwide smartphone market, and about one third of all online shoppers. IDC predicted China’s cloud and e-commerce leaders such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu will become global market powers.

The full “IDC Worldwide Predictions 2015: Accelerating Innovation on the 3rd Platform” report can be found here, and more information is available in IDC chief analyst Gens’ webcast.