Transformation will become pragmatic: Forrester

Forrester has come out with its 2019 predictions

Transformation will become pragmatic: Forrester - CIO&Leader

In 2018, the theme for CIO&Leader’s annual Summit was Practical CIO. The Forrester 2019 forecasts validate that. Multiple predictions point to a shift towards organizations moving from generic to specific; from concepts to practical interventions.

Here are the 12 forecasts:

  1. CX remains under fire

20% of brands will give up on strategic CX initiatives and resort to price reduction for short-term gains.

Forrester says customer experience performance is flat for the third year in a row and 89% of surveyed CX professionals say ROI of CX is not well established in their companies.

“There is a strategic and structural mismatch between what CX needs to do and what CX is allowed to do or is capable of doing. 2019 will see that mismatch continue to play out,” says Forrester.

  1. Digital goes surgical

25% of firms will decelerate digital efforts altogether and lose market share.

Indians are just too familiar with the term. Forrester says in 2019, digital transformation in enterprises will move from grand organization-wide plans to more pragmatic, specific initiatives aimed at “making incremental and necessary changes to operations.

“Tangible efforts, such as shifting customers to lower-cost digital channels, launching digital products, monetizing data assets, and automating processes to improve margins, will come to the fore,” observes Forrester.

  1. Purpose regains meaning

20% of brands will refine and revitalize purpose.

Another aspect of the move to tangible is refocusing on purpose.

“2019 will be a year in which transformational ideals translate to pragmatic actions. Leaders will make hard choices as to what is truly strategic and what is the basis for bolder strategies in 2020 — while preparing for a possible economic downturn. Purpose will be the essential ingredient, acting as the strategic compass or the rudder in the storm,” says Forrester.

  1. CMOs rebrand

More than 50% of CMOs will bring brand back as their top priority.

“In 2019, CMOs will move more budget and attention to remaking or revitalizing the brand. Some will take the added step of reaffirming and honing purpose as an internal engine to re-establish (or, in some cases, merely establish) the connection among their firm’s purpose, brand, and experience,” says Forrester.

However, CMOs returning to basics, warns the research firm, “could be a double-edged sword, as some CMOs could be perceived as retreating to their comfort zone of brand building and avoiding the hard task of driving and orchestrating strategic and operational change. “

  1. CIOs take the reins

25% of CIOs will expand their remit. The rest will be relegated to a trusted operator.

“In 2019, more CEOs and CIOs will come to terms with the scope and interdependence of this mandate — and the criticality of its success to the very destiny of their companies. They will agree that one executive — the CIO — will lead and orchestrate this vital effort; CIOs will spend the time to build their leadership teams, empowering trusted operators to handle much of the day-to-day. Arguably the most important outcome of 2019 is that leading CIOs will build a model that translates tech-led innovation into customer value,” it says.

  1. AI builds a foundation

RPA and AI will join forces to create digital workers for more than 40% of enterprises.

In 2018, says Forrester, three items held AI back.

  • AI had insufficient information architecture.
  • AI was too horizontal.
  • AI was too confusing.

In 2019, firms will put more potent building blocks in place to accelerate their ability to meet AI’s extraordinary promise, it says.

  1. The world goes to Zero (Trust)

One major brand will lose valuation of more than 25% due to a cyberattack.

“In 2019 and into 2020, Zero Trust will become the ad hoc standard in the US, adopted by the US government as both its preferred strategy and as inferred guidance to industries. US government adoption will trickle down to industries by following a similar path to the Cybersecurity Framework. It will be more like a healthy waterfall as CISOs and CIOs amp up their ability to play defense in a hostile world,” says Forrester.

  1. Consumer brands enter the outrage

75% of B2C CMOs will be tempted to jump into the social fray; 50% of those efforts will fail.

Like individuals, brands will take sides in the Social media debates.

In 2018, some brands jumped into the fray; Nike is the best example — a company that understands the overriding sentiments of its customer base.

In 2019, more brands will be tempted to jump into market-baiting — taking sides to score points. But most don’t have the analytics or instincts to get the timing and tone right. Those firms will misjudge the moment and mechanics to do this well and to make an impact, says Forrester.

  1. B2B in a squeeze

33% of B2B CMOs will shift away from blunt outbound methods and reorient around customer outcomes.

“In 2018, we saw CMOs and B2B marketers mostly make do with what they had — choosing to optimize for lead flow versus marrying CX with marketing to take on the broader mandate of growth. Some made inroads by advancing early- and late-stage engagements — but most stayed true to supply-side marketing. Something has got to give, as old-school tools and approaches are unable to support the growth mandate.

In 2019, 33% of progressive B2B CMOs will drive change, shifting away from blunt outbound methods to reorienting around customer outcomes. They will take a portfolio approach to microsegments as a first big step to individualization.

  1.  EX takes center stage

85% of employee experience measurement efforts will fail.

  1.  Robots reimagine talent management

25% of leaders will use automation to address the talent scarcity squeeze.

“In 2019, talent leaders will start to execute two interrelated strategies centered on a robotics quotient (RQ) and a good-to-great hiring and development strategy,” says Forrester.

  1.  VC funding recalibrates

VC funding for martech and adtech will drop by 75%.

  1.  Blockchain exposes advertising

By the end of 2019, more than 50% of the top 100 advertisers will use blockchain for supply chain transparency.

“In 2019, blockchain — better described as distributed ledger technology — will chip away at digital advertising’s opacity problem. Large brands are in blockchain pilot programs now; by the end of 2019, they will have a better understanding of where waste and abuse lie and how their money is spent,” says Forrester.

  1.  IoT gets down to business

85% of firms will implement or plan to implement IoT solutions.

“B2B applications of the technology are set to take off in 2019,” says Forrester.

“B2B IoT will focus on driving efficiencies, connecting the enterprise, expanding the edge, and, in some cases, providing personalized customer experiences,” predicts Forrester.


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