At last! Technology predictions that are about customers

Image credit | Aleksandr Kichigin

With all the talk about 5G, AI and Quantum computing you would have thought that any and possibly all of the above would appear in Forrester Research’s technology predictions for next year.

It turns out the predictions are much more interesting than that and involve very little in the way of hyped technology at all.

It almost seems that – finally – 2020 might be the year of Common Sense. In fact, now that 2020 is lurching into view, some of the big tech companies are backtracking on their own predictions. Ericsson for one is now saying that consumer 5G is not going to be here in any meaningful way until 2021.

It seems, according to Forrester, that next year will be about adaptability and the ability to react fast to short term opportunities as political uncertainty remains the norm.

The main consumer concern in 2020 will be the search for authenticity and they will do business with brands they trust. In turn, companies – driven by both CMOs and CIOs – will be investing in marketing that creates an ecosystem of trust, and includes employees, partners and customers in the strategy. Efforts at overworked personalisation offerings will be reined in.

While this makes sense and should have been a central and constant plank of a company’s strategy, technology is still a massive part of the mix.

To support this increased focus on adaptability and fast reactions, technology will become more immersive and embedded in the matrix of the new ‘shape shifting’ organisations.

All is not rosy, though, according to the company’s predictions.

Companies that are not succeeding with their CX programmes will give up and cut the budget, while those that are seeing success will ‘double down’ on their efforts.

Money will have to be spent on managing data and making it secure as the real cost of companies being responsible for customer data becomes all too apparent. At the same time – and largely as a result of the value of data in the wrong hands – attacks will continue to increase in sophistication and number as AI is used as a weapon.

While the hype seems to be dialling back slightly, 2020 will still see a lot of it. But it does seem to be the case that the hype around agility and adaptability will be replaced by real effort as customers force the digital world to become more real.

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