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The supply side of the digitization shift

Strategy + Business just published a survey on the supply side of “digitization’, a society shift based on ubiquitous handheld devices, pervasive sensing apparatus, “big data’ analytics, digital supply chains, search engines, social networks, satellite-based geographic tracking, interconnected real-time digital infrastructure, and massive server farms.

The shift of digitization is driven by a combination of consumer demand and the development of new information and communications technology (ICT). This process has been happening since the arrival of the computer 60 years ago, but in the past few years it has accelerated, altering everyday life in unprecedented ways.

The report evaluates a group of the 50 largest publicly traded global suppliers of information and communications technology products and services to enterprise: the “Global ICT 50.’ It assesses how well they are doing now and how prepared they are for the changes that lie ahead, in the present and the near future. Four main sectors in the ICT industry are analyzed:

1. Hardware and infrastructure companies, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Cisco Systems, and Xerox, has traditionally been the core of the technology industry.

2. Software and Internet companies, a group that includes Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and SAP, and it is positioned to do well in a highly digitized world. Some of these companies are very large, giving them the strength to compete successfully in digitization (and in many cases, as with Microsoft and Google, to branch out into hardware). Others are smaller, but focused and capitalized enough to lead the industry. The small players’ products tend to be specialized or sufficiently distinctive, giving them relatively protected platforms from which to expand.

3. IT service providers, which offer a variety of services: hosting computers and networks, managing computer applications such as databases, and integrating hardware and software. This category has three subgroups, each with its own business dynamic. The first is global companies, such as IBM, Accenture, and CSC. They have parlayed their scale into industry leadership positions. Regional service providers, such as Atos in France, Logica in the U.K., and Unisys in the U.S., face a more challenging future. The third subgroup consists of offshore IT service providers based in India, including HCL, Infosys, and Wipro.

4. Telecom Operators with hundreds of companies that bring telecommunications ‘” a combination of mobile, landline, Internet, and television ‘” to homes and offices around the world, including NTT, Telefónica/O2, and Verizon.

Source: Strategy + Business

Download the report (pdf 226 KB): The Global ICT 50: The Supply Side of Digitization