Forrester's top predictions serve as a waking call for enterprises

2018 calls for definitive actions from leaders and their organizations

Forrester's top predictions serve as a waking call for enterprises - CIO&Leader
It is the time of the year again when new predictions that will surpass top trends of 2017. Indian CIOs touted Digital transformation and customer experience (CX) as some of the major trends that transformed organizations and their cultures. According to Forrester's 2018 predictions, next year will force decisive action for organizations looking to:
1. Take control of their destiny as platforms like Amazon and Google drive up disintermediation risk and make some companies unintentional utilities.
2. Shift spend away from acquisition to confront escalating churn
3. Revitalize customer experience in a market where rewards and punishments are doled out experience by experience.
4. Transition to digital companies while maintaining their corporate identity and soul
The top Forrester predictions for 2018 include:
I. Declining CX quality
In 2018, 30% of companies will see further declines in CX performance, and those declines will translate into a net loss of a point of growth. Smart executives will intervene to make CX an internal disruptive force, one that is underpinned by the fundamentals of CX management with customer trust at the core; too many executives will continue to ignore evidence of market disruption and procrastinate until the evidence is overwhelming, putting their firms at risk as we enter 2019.
II. Digital transformation as a risk
In 2018, CEOs must show the political will and, with the CIO and CMO, orchestrate digital transformation across the enterprise. Some CEOs will use their balance sheet to acquire digital assets and buy time. But 20% of CEOs will fail to act: As a result, those firms will be acquired or begin to perish.
III. Talent gap and the digital divide
In 2018, talent issues will widen the divide between digital predator and prey; laggards will need to more aggressively set up digital incubation centers in talent hotspots and pay up to 20% above the market rate to change the game.
IV. Welcome to the machine
In 2018, 10% of purchase decisions will be guided by a platform’s agent and start the real economic impact of empowered machines. Lines of businesses will also need to source talent to interpret AI-driven platforms.Twenty-five percent of CMOs will fail, resulting in their brand becoming undifferentiated and silenced in the market, according to Forrester's predictions. Additionally, Intelligent agents will continue to strengthen their influence on consumers and pressure brands to engage through the subtle power of conversation. However, lack of skills, quasi-differentiated brands, and aged operations will become hurdles for traditional retailers — but the role of intelligent agents will be the thorniest issue in 2018. Only 33% of retailers understand the disruptive nature of intelligent agents; 67% do not.
V. GDPR compliance
We predict that 80% of firms affected by GDPR will not comply with the regulation by May 2018. Of those noncompliant firms, 50% will intentionally not comply — meaning they have weighed the cost and risk and are taking a path that presents the best position for their firms. The other 50% are trying to comply but will fail.
VI. Onslaught of fintech will positively impact banking sector
Amazon and Google,well-positioned fintech providers, and challenger banks will exploit access to data, disintermediating or supplanting incumbent banks. In 2018, Forrester predicts that more than 50% of banks will fail to exploit open banking, starting down the slow, painful path to becoming an unintentional utility.
VII. The operation issue of implementing AI
In 2018, 75% of AI projects will underwhelm because they fail to model operational considerations, causing business leaders to reset the scope of AI investments — and place their firms on a path to realizing the expected benefits
VIII. Creating a foundation for Blockchain
In 2018, the combination of rhetoric and enthusiasm will continue to limit blockchain gains. However, 30% of proofs of concept will accelerate blockchain for those companies able to consider its operational impact. 
IX. The security ROI
In 2018, we will start to see security for profit measures driven by security, risk, and privacy teams with the support of their marketing and product peers. Central to this is identity management. In the coming year, 10% of firms will crack this code and gain new and powerful investment leverage.

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