Forrester's top 10 technology trends 2018-2020

By Prajeet Nair Oct 26th 2017

Here are the technology trends released by Forrester which will help you maximize the value of business technology during 2018-2020.

  • The Forrester Study

    Image credit: Forrester report

    The Forrester Study

    A study recently released by Forrester says that these interesting trends are vital clues to your firm’s future success and, possibly, even survival. The study explains how the trends are progressing in three phases of maturity. The three phases: Dawning, Awareness, Acceptance. These are setting the pace of technology-driven business change. These trends are sure to change the nature of your business. It will determine whether you will lead, or follow, or just hope to not be left behind in your journey toward customer-obsessed operations.

  • Trend no.1: IoT shifts computing toward the edge

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.1: IoT shifts computing toward the edge

    Increase in growth of IoT aspirations and technologies, has led to a host of technology innovations in edge devices. Due to these trends, firms will engage customers quickly and squeeze new efficiencies out of processes. CIOs must understand the extension of compute-to-the-edge to find opportunities for competitive advantage (see next slide).

  • Trend no.1: IoT shifts computing toward the edge

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.1: IoT shifts computing toward the edge

    Since the IoT is evolving day by day, the computing at the edge evolves with it. IoT will extinguish centralized, linear technology delivery models and shift CIOs into the role of service orchestrators and data brokers.

  • Trend no.2: Distributed trust systems challenge centralized authorities

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.2: Distributed trust systems challenge centralized authorities

    Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and distributed ledgers have been disrupting businesses in finance, logistics, and transaction settlement. These are “distributed trust systems”—a system of methods, technologies, and tools that support a distributed, tamper-evident, and reliable way to ensure transaction integrity.

  • Trend no.2: Distributed trust systems challenge centralized authorities

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.2: Distributed trust systems challenge centralized authorities

    The rampant enthusiasm of the press has created a lot of hype; so has venture capital investment in blockchain startups. Despite all this hype and confusion, Forrester's study believes that distributed trust systems are still in the dawning phase with a slow, 10-year development cycle (see next slide).

  • Trend no.3: Automated security intelligence and breach response unshackle S&R

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.3: Automated security intelligence and breach response unshackle S&R

    The era of manual risk identification and security management is ending. Having long shied away from automation, security and risk (S&R) pros are just starting to embrace it for speed detection and response. Automated remediation is likely to follow. Security automation and orchestration (SAO) promises to transform the S&R role, unshackling the chief information security officer’s team from repetitive, manual tasks and giving analysts more time for higher-value work (see next slide).

  • Trend no.3: Automated security intelligence and breach response unshackle S&R

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.3: Automated security intelligence and breach response unshackle S&R

    This involves breaking down silos between security, and infrastructure and operations (I&O) to set a strategy, upgrade tools, and work with business leaders to establish policy.

  • Trend no.4: Employee experience redefines apps

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.4: Employee experience redefines apps

    Firms that focus on improving employee experience (EX) yield better customer experience (CX) outcomes and outperform their competition over time. Effective EX delivers a personalized set of interactions, processes, and content that enables employees to succeed while enjoying their work experience. In the digital age, the workforce expects a technology-driven employee experience that reflects the level of innovation found in their consumer experiences (see next slide).

  • Trend no.4: Employee experience redefines apps

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.4: Employee experience redefines apps

    CIOs must design employee systems of engagement using CX practices. Mobile, social collaboration, AI, machine learning, and other technologies will transform EX to consumer-grade standards.

  • Trend no.5: Software learns to learn

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.5: Software learns to learn

    AI technologies like speech analytics, deep-learning platforms, and natural language generation have exploded onto the scene in the past 12 months after being nascent for many years. With improvements in AI, firms will be able to automate and scale in a more efficient way because software will ultimately be able to learn and adapt rather than require programming (see next slide).

  • Trend no.5: Software learns to learn

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.5: Software learns to learn

    CIOs must make data and analytics services available. The amount of industry attention puts AI-driven software in the awareness phase. But it is still early days for many of the advanced techniques like multimodal machine learning and transfer learning.

  • Trend no.6: Digital employees enter the white-collar workforce

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.6: Digital employees enter the white-collar workforce

    Automation will transform the workforce. Robots will increasingly work side by side with humans. These robots don’t herald a gloomy future for jobs. As Forrester showed in their report The Future of Jobs, 2027: Working Side by Side with Robots[BJ1] , automation will replace some jobs and create others, with a net loss of 9.8 million US jobs by 2027 — while transforming at least 25% of the remaining jobs (see next slide).

  • Trend no.6: Digital employees enter the white-collar workforce

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.6: Digital employees enter the white-collar workforce

    CIOs must strategize accordingly. Training play as big a role as the technology. Best practices for white-collar automation look beyond replacing full-time equivalents (FTEs) to prioritizing opportunities based on risk, return on investment, and cognitive potential.

  • Trend no.7: Insights-driven firms outpace competitors

    Image credit: A screen grab from Forrester report

    Trend no.7: Insights-driven firms outpace competitors

    The quest to use big data as a competitive asset has sparked a $27 billion industry. Amid the data gold rush, a new style of operation is slowly emerging—the insights-driven business that approaches data analytics differently (see next slide). Instead of focusing on data, these firms emphasize implementing insights in software and continuously learning.

  • Trend no.7: Insights-driven firms outpace competitors

    Trend no.7: Insights-driven firms outpace competitors

    CIOs must understand how this difference lets insights-driven businesses win customers and grow eight times faster than global GDP. CIOs must help their firms build systems of insight. Your data strategy must show how you will implement software-based insights, both quantitative and qualitative.

  • Trend no.8: Customer experience becomes immersive

    Trend no.8: Customer experience becomes immersive

    The boundaries between the human, digital, physical, and virtual realms are blurring as Customer experience (CX) becomes more immersive. Customer-obsessed firms are integrating systems of insight and systems of engagement that interconnect people, places, and objects with data to improve CX and forge two-way, value-driven relationships. This CX fusion promises competitive advantage for firms that get it right (See next slide).

  • Trend no.8: Customer experience becomes immersive

    Trend no.8: Customer experience becomes immersive

    CIOs must forge new relationships with business users. Successfully delivering immersive customer experience (CX) requires companywide collaboration. Such CX investments can pay huge dividends; they even enable firms like ACE Hardware to compete effectively against much larger rivals.

  • Trend no.9: Contextual privacy boosts brand value

    Trend no.9: Contextual privacy boosts brand value

    To drive competitive differentiation and business growth, firms must proactively address customer data management and security technologies that enable contextual privacy. But contextual privacy goes well beyond technology capabilities; it is a business practice in which the collection and use of personal data is consensual, within a mutually agreed-upon context, for a mutually agreed-upon purpose. (See next slide).

  • Trend no.9: Contextual privacy boosts brand value

    Trend no.9: Contextual privacy boosts brand value

    CIOs must invest in security and privacy protection technologies and best practices. It requires business collaboration and support for processes like classifying data as well as understanding the value of the data to the business, the data’s useful life cycle, and the company’s obligations for data protection and handling.

  • Trend no.10: The public cloud accelerates business innovation

    Trend no.10: The public cloud accelerates business innovation

    The public cloud is a juggernaut that is reinventing computing and the high-tech industry itself. The relentless pace of technology and service innovation from mega cloud providers like AWS, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce means that business innovation is just an API call away (See next slide).

  • Trend no.10: The public cloud accelerates business innovation

    Trend no.10: The public cloud accelerates business innovation

    To accomplish goals and create a cloud-first technology environment that supports business innovation, CIOs must: determine a five-year infrastructure strategy, use business risk to tackle security and data residency concerns, and move packaged apps to the vendors’ clouds.

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