In an effort to determine how fast the world’s leading technology companies are adapting to new innovations, global management consulting firm Strategy&, a member of the PwC network of companies, released its third annual ranking of the world’s top 50 information and communications technology (ICT) companies in the field of digitization.

IBM topped the rankings, as it did last year, followed by Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and Cisco. These five companies have held the top five spots for two years in a row, according to Strategy&.

The list of companies making the ICT 50 this year is substantially different from last year’s ranking. The growing presence of data analytics, digital fabrication, the Internet of Things and cloud computing is having a huge impact on companies that provide IT and telecommunications hardware, software and services.

At the same time, the study says, the transition to an almost fully digital business environment is strengthening the position of companies in the marketplace.

In addition to assessing financial performance, portfolio strength, go-to-market footprint and innovation and branding, the rankings also looked at how the top five companies among all 50 are creating value for their customers in their efforts to put together cloud services portfolios and take them to market. The analysis shows that all five companies at the top of the list are investing heavily to build comprehensive cloud-based businesses.

“A major change we saw in this year’s ICT 50 study compared to previous years is the increasing importance of the cloud,” Germar Schroder, a principal with Strategy&, said in a statement. “While cloud computing has continued to become ubiquitous with virtually every large organization using it in some form or another to gather, store, analyze and use the mountains of data so critical to success today, the ‘hype’ about the cloud has shifted from how do we build one, to what can we do now that we have one.”

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