"Such as Facebook with Microsoft and/or IBM or Amazon partnering with HP, to expand market opportunities," he said.
IDC's fifth prediction is that Big data and analytics will see important developments in 2015 as worldwide spending on big data-related software, hardware, and services grows to US$125 billion.
Rich media analytics (video, audio, and image) will emerge as an important driver of big data projects. And big data supply chains (i.e. Data as a Service) will grow in importance as cloud platform and analytics vendors offer clients value-added information from commercial and open data sets.
Elsewhere, IDC expects to see important new developments in cognitive/machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) analytics.
One third of IoT spending in 2015 will be focused on intelligent embedded devices outside the IT and telecom industries helped by partnerships among leading IT companies seeking to kickstart the market for industry solutions.
Datacentres are undergoing a fundamental transformation in the 3rd Platform era as the majority of raw compute capacity and raw storage capacity moves to cloud-, mobile-, and big data-optimised hyperscale datacentres operated by cloud service providers. This shift will spark a burst of "cloud first" hardware innovations and drive greater consolidation among server, storage, software, and networking vendors.
IDC expects to see two or three major mergers, acquisitions, or restructurings among the top-tier IT vendors in 2015.
In addition to the Internet of Things and cognitive/machine learning systems, two other innovation accelerators will become important growth drivers in 2015.
Biometric security on mobile devices and the core and encryption in the cloud will become the default practice.
And threat intelligence will emerge as a killer Data as a Service category with a rapidly growing number of enterprises receiving tailored threat intelligence information.
Elsewhere, 3D printing will see significant activity among conventional document printing companies as they lay the groundwork for a looming battle for commercial and industrial markets in 2016.
China rounds out the top ten. IDC predicts it will experience skyrocketing influence on the global ICT market in 2015 with spending that will account for 43 per cent of all industry growth, one third of all smartphone purchases, and about one third of all online shoppers.
With a huge domestic market, China's cloud and e-commerce leaders (Alibaba in ecommerce, Tencent in social, and Baidu in search) will rise to prominence in the global marketplace. Similarly, Chinese branded smartphone makers will capture more than a third of the worldwide smartphone market.
"To say that 2015 will be a pivotal year in the ICT industry is a gross understatement," Gens said.
"We'll see the 3rd Platform finally reach massive scale, along with lots of vendor consolidation and drop outs, 'strange bedfellow' partnerships, death match battles for developers (and their apps), expanding cognitive/machine learning and IoT offerings, a growing focus on data supply chains, and skyrocketing influence for China."
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