At the end of 2018, Forrester predicted that 2019 would be the year that strategic vision converted to pragmatism. Too many companies were grappling with digital transformations that did not deliver the expected returns and operations that could not back up customer-centric marketing rhetoric. Saddled with technical and data debt and siloed and stagnant operational norms, customer experience performance plateaued and digital sameness took hold. 2019 had to be the year to course-correct — to finally create the stronger, more adaptive foundation required to enable change.
Were we right? Yes. Spending on new back-office technology projects is rising as firms realize its criticality to seamless customer experiences. Cloud spending growth tops the charts at 20% as firms are now starting to use cloud to modernize core business apps and processes — to date, they’ve been using cloud primarily to build new apps and rehost infrastructure. And while organizational silos remain entrenched in most firms, 2019 brought a surge in newly created positions for chief customer officers (and equivalent titles) charged with breaking down internal barriers and driving innovation to generate customer value.
As we look forward to 2020, we do so with a healthy dose of built-up potential energy — consumer energy as consumers become more values-based, constructing personal ecosystems and forcing firms to take sides on social issues; security energy as industrial and nation-state cyber risks surge and, in some cases, merge; technology energy as automation, AI, and robotics move deeper into the organization, closer to the customer, and more profoundly into the very makeup and operations of the company. You get the point.
Here is just a sampling of what’s in store for 2020:
Our predictions for 2020 will move leaders’ attention to adaptability: the ability to understand and anticipate market dynamics — and adapt and rapidly exploit opportunities, both big and small. Whether dynamics enable breakout growth, protection of existing markets, or eking out small gains in market share, leaders will see and capitalize on possibilities by best predicting how 2020 will unfold.
Sharyn Leaver, senior vice president for Research at Forrester, wrote this article, which can also be found here.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of HR&DigitalTrends.