NEEDHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AI–The potential for cloud technologies to break down silos and enable more contextualized views of data is having a dramatic impact on enterprise investment priorities for operations. When asked to identify investment priorities for operations over the next five years, organizations ranked cloud highest, followed by wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), according to a recent Future of Operations survey from International Data Corporation (IDC). At the same time, however, many enterprises have yet to move their operational data from on-premises to the cloud. IDC survey data reveals that fewer than 20% of organizations have put more than 50% of their operational data in the cloud.

Actual investments and the results from current AI/ML projects tell a more complicated story. While many organizations cite AI and ML as an important future technology investment area, most survey respondents indicated that they have no plans to use AI to analyze operational data in the next several years. Other survey findings provide insights into why this is the case. These findings will be discussed further in an IDC webinar to be held on September 28th.

“A point of resistance just a few years ago, organizations are now prioritizing investments and building strategies for putting operational data into the cloud,” said Leif Eriksen, research vice president, Future of Operations. “And, while the momentum is irrefutable, organizations will need to develop a specific cloud data management strategy that addresses organizational needs and objectives.”

On September 28th, IDC will host a webinar, The Future of Operations Worldwide Survey Findings: AI, Cloud, and the Role of Data, to discuss how these investment priorities will impact continuous improvement and digital transformation strategies for operations. Details and registration for this complimentary webinar, featuring Leif Eriksen, are available at:

The IDC report, Future of Operations Worldwide Survey, 2021: Technology Priorities for Operations Are Evolving (IDC #US48221421), is a snapshot from the Future of Operations Worldwide Survey, 2021 that looks at the top technology investment priorities for operations. The IDC report, Future of Operations Survey Findings, Part 1: The Opportunities and Challenges of AI (IDC #US48204021), examines the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in operations. IDC describes operations as including any activity or physical process that is integral to executing an organization’s core business including producing goods or services, moving goods or services, and maintaining assets, infrastructure, or facilities.

About IDC’s Future of Operations Practice

IDC’s Future of Operations research practice helps organizations build resilient decision-making with the core goal of unifying operational data streams with data from the rest of the enterprise. New converged IT/OT organizations, which IDC refers to as Digital Engineering (DE), will facilitate the transformation to Industry 4.0 and ensure that data and systems are available to support resilient decision-making To learn more about IDC’s Future of Operations research practice, please visit

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology, IT benchmarking and sourcing, and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading tech media, data, and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights.


Michael Shirer