The evolution of cloud computing, IoT, AI, and augmented reality are some of the technologies that will pave the way and shape 2017.
In its 2017 Predictions: Dynamics That Will Shape The Future In The Age Of The Customer report, Forrester identified the top 15 trends that will shape 2017.
It indicated that the next wave of technologies is poised to remake industries and customer experiences, and that these technologies will come in three forms:
- Engagement technologies that will create different virtual, physical, and digital experiences.
- Insights technologies that aim to convert personalisation and predictive analytics into reality.
- Supporting technologies that will drive new levels of speed and efficiency in the next technology revolution.
Forrester Asia-Pacific vice-president, research director and region manager, Dane Anderson, said customers are the fundamental driver of these changes, which will lead to a customer-led market-shift across the board.
“CEOs must consider structural and leadership changes to compete in a market where companies win or lose based on singular customer experience, and new technologies are emerging to change the market landscape.
"The consequences of a customer-led, digital-centric market are becoming clearer, and will spur many organisations into action in 2017," he said.
In particular, Forrester identified that augmented reality and virtual reality will become even more important methods to deliver customer experiences and products in the next five years. It explained that computing power and economics will continue to improve, making it more accessible and effective in 2017.
As for the IoT, it said it holds the promise to enhance customer relationships and drive business growth. However, it expects 2017 to see more complexity in this space — complexity that will overwhelm enterprises that don’t get ahead of the problem.
“IoT represents a two-pronged threat in 2017 — potentially exposing businesses to security breaches and IoT devices themselves being turned into DDoS weapons,” it mentioned.
According to Forrester, 2017 will also be the year the big data floodgates open, driven by a voracious appetite for deeper contextual insights that drive customer engagement via mobile, wearables, and IoT. As such, investment in artificial intelligence is said to triple as firms look to tap into complex systems, advanced analytics, and machine learning technology.
“Vendors that are already embedding components of cognitive computing capabilities into their solutions — such as Adobe, Google, IBM, Persado, Salesforce, and Squirro — will prosper,” Forrester stated in the report.
It also identified changes in the cloud computing space, stating that the cloud market will increase its acceleration in 2017, as CIOs step up to orchestrate cloud ecosystems that connect employees, customers, partners, vendors, and devices to serve rising customer expectations.
Forrester expects some enterprises to push further, shifting from being cloud adopters to becoming cloud companies themselves.
“Following early examples like GE or Bosch, these companies will become stewards of their own client and product ecosystems.
“Cloud expansion will exacerbate the cloud management challenge, pushing CIOs to also aggressively tap new and maturing enterprise-grade security, networking, and container solutions,” it stated.
As a result of the technology spurt, Anderson suggested that businesses look at their structure, talent, culture, processes, technology, and business metrics to understand how deep the changes need to be to compete and win in the age of the customer.
"Empowered customers are forcing the hand of virtually every industry, and business leaders must respond to these changes head-on. Especially in Asia-Pacific where many markets no longer have the easy growth of years past, inaction presents immediate revenue risk – or much worse – a threat to a company’s existence," he added.