IDC Updates Its Future Digital Infrastructure Framework to Illustrate the Complexity and Interdependence of Today’s On-Premises, Edge, and Public Cloud Infrastructures

NEEDHAM, Mass., July 25, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Business agility and operational efficiency largely depend on the responsiveness, scalability and resilience of the digital infrastructure used to enable mission-critical applications, data operations and connectivity demanded by customers, partners and employees. During times of uncertainty – disrupted supply chains, rising inflation, geopolitical instability, soaring energy prices, the global COVID-19 pandemic and climate change – agility and resilience are especially critical. Recognizing these new business imperatives and the need for enterprises to adopt distributed approaches by design, International Data Corporation (IDC) has updated its Future of Digital Infrastructure framework.

Originally introduced in 2020, the updated framework captures all the complexity and interconnectedness of today’s on-premises, edge, and public cloud infrastructure resources. Built on three main pillars, the framework helps technology buyers and providers understand how successful digital-first strategies rely on critical digital infrastructure investments in dedicated on-premises data centers, edge locations and resources of public cloud.

  • Cloud technologies serve as the foundation for the platforms and systems used to create and deliver cloud services and enable delivery using a variety of shared public cloud services, managed services, dedicated infrastructure and software models in as a service. Cloud technologies include modern computing, storage, and networking, as well as software for infrastructure automation and observability; data management and mobility; Security; and are designed for on-demand scalability, software-defined control, API-enabled integration, and metering based on usage or consumption.

  • Autonomous operations emphasizes the value of software-defined automation based on infrastructure control plane design and informed by AI/ML-powered analytics and policy-based governance. Autonomous operations enable access, configuration, deployment, and day-2 operations of self-healing, self-piloting, and self-service infrastructure, as well as scaling on-demand workload and end-to-end infrastructure resiliency.

  • Ubiquitous consumption enables digital-centric enterprises to take a holistic approach to evaluating and leveraging all available deployment options in digital infrastructure ecosystems. Pervasive consumption delivers seamless experiences to end users and business units and provides IT with the ability to adopt consumption and support-as-a-service models as part of the digital infrastructure IT strategy that aligns expenses on business results and modifies routine activities such as capacity planning. , lifecycle support, infrastructure monitoring and cost optimization for hardware and software vendors.

Move to distributed architectures by design

As enterprises migrate more workloads to public clouds, on-premises infrastructure providers are responding by investing in automation and subscription models to deliver an equivalent, cost-effective on-demand experience. However, under a thin veneer of service request systems and performance monitoring tools, most of these public and private cloud deployments operate as silos with limited workflow or data integration. IDC’s framework highlights the need for distributed-by-design architectures that support more flexibility and business agility than can be provided by siled hybrid or multi-cloud strategies.

“Future successful enterprises will be highly dependent on digital infrastructure architectures and management strategies optimized for a new generation of highly distributed workers and data-intensive applications and services,” said Mary Johnston Turner, vice president Fellow, Future of Digital Infrastructure Agenda program at IDC. “The future of digital infrastructure demands environments that are ‘distributed by design’ with the expectation that they will be highly automated, agile, and workload aware. IT and line managers will need to collaborate proactively and align investments with digital business priorities and KPIs.”

To learn more about IDC’s Future of Digital Infrastructure framework update, read Mary Johnston Turner’s blog, Distributed by Design Architectures Needed for Data-Driven Digital Infrastructure Strategies.

IDC will also host an interactive session on August 23 to discuss how IT leaders are adapting hybrid cloud, data center, and edge strategies in the face of inflation, supply chain, and geopolitical disruptions. As part of the session, IDC will share data from its 2022 Global Digital Infrastructure Sentiment Survey.

About IDC’s Future of Digital Infrastructure Research Practice
IDC’s Digital Infrastructure Future recognizes the strategic role that interconnected data centers, public cloud, and edge platforms play in enabling enterprise digitalization. The Voice of the customer study shows how enterprises are modernizing their architectures, pivoting their operating models, and reinventing how they connect with vendor and cloud ecosystems.

To learn more about IDC’s Future of X research practices, visit

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the world’s leading provider of business information, consulting services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,300 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on IT technology, benchmarking, and procurement, as well as industry opportunities and trends in more than 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based technology decisions and achieve their key business goals. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world leader in technology media, data and marketing services. To learn more about IDC, visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC blog for industry news and insights.

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Michel Chirer
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Sharon D. Cole