The end of 2017 is fast approaching. As predictably as mall Santas and Minnesota snow flurries, predictions for the new year are being shared far and wide. It’s a fun diversion for the end of the year, and one that plays out in all kinds of arenas, whether it’s films (which will get the Oscar nod?), politics (Brexit will derail!) or even the weather.

But are they reliable? Well, articles on “what to expect next year” are everywhere, but we seldom see articles on “how accurate our predictions were a year ago.” That probably tells us something.

Nonetheless, here are a couple of highly accurate predictions I’ll make. First, I predict this genre of article will be a December staple next year, and the one after and the one after… Second, I predict that when they’re about manufacturing, I’ll read them; I’ll keep in mind what the experts are anticipating; and I’ll take them with a grain of salt or two. And while I’d like to go over them at the end of the year to assess their accuracy, I won’t.

Here are the 2018 predictions of the International Data Corporation. They are a global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC proposes that these predictions could inform a company’s IT strategic planning.

Are Predictions Useful?

How do you react to predictions? How much do predictions inform your planning process?

Can you recall a time when a prediction turned out to completely off? Or spot on?

IDC’s top 10 predictions for 2018

Ecosystems and experiences

By 2020, 60% of G2000 manufacturers will rely on digital platforms that enhance their investments in ecosystems and experiences and support as much as 30% of their overall revenue.

Embedded intelligence

By 2021, 20% of G2000 manufacturers will depend on a secure backbone of embedded intelligence, using the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and cognitive, to automate large-scale processes and speed execution times by up to 25%.

Data capitalization

By 2020, 75% of all manufacturers will participate in industry clouds, although only one-third of those manufacturers will be monetizing their data contributions.

IT/OT organizations

By 2019, the need to integrate OT and information technology as a result of IoT will have led to more than 30% of all IT and OT technical staff having direct project experience in both fields.

Customer-driven design

By 2019, 50% of manufacturers will be collaborating directly with customers and consumers regarding new and improved product designs through cloud-based crowdsourcing, virtual reality, and product virtualization, realizing up to a 25% improvement in product success rates.

The service gig economy

In 2020, augmented reality and mobile devices will drive the transition to the gig economy in the service industry, with “experts for hire” replacing 20% of dedicated customer and field service workers, starting with consumer durables and electronics.

The thinking supply chain 

By the end of 2020, one-third of all manufacturing supply chains will be using analytics-driven cognitive capabilities, thus increasing cost efficiency by 10% and service performance by 5%.

Supply chain commerce networks 

By 2020, 80% of supply chain interactions will happen across cloud-based commerce networks, dramatically improving participants’ resiliency and reducing the impact of supply disruptions by up to one-third.

Market-driven assets

By 2020, 25% of manufacturers in select subsectors will have balanced production with demand cadence and achieved greater customization through intelligent and flexible assets.

Intelligent assets 

By 2019, 15% of manufacturers that manage data-intensive production and supply chain processes will be leveraging cloud-based execution models that depend on edge analytics to enable real-time visibility and augment operational flexibility.