The yearly ritual of big technology research shops gazing into the near future to identify trends that will have the most impact on corporate America and the tech industry over the next few years is always thought-provoking.

IDC predictions

In 2007 IDC has predicted the emergence of the IT industry’s 3rd Platform for innovation and growth and the very beginning of its impact on every industry through the digital transformation (DX) it enables. DX technology is creating value and competitive advantage through new offerings, new business models, and new relationships.

In it’s recent 2016 FutureScape IDC is predicting that we will witness this drama’s next stage, as enterprises “flip the switch,” committing to a massive new scale of DX to stake out leadership positions in the “DX economy.” The most strategic areas of “scale up” in 2016 will be:

  • DX-centered business strategy
  • Innovation capacity through increase in size of the software development teams
  • Expansion of the number of external “data pipelines”
  • Real-time insights everywhere

The companies must add intelligence to the ever increasing amounts of the externally generate data sets:

innovation = code + data

Gartner’s study

In ‘Top Strategic Predictions for 2016 and Beyond: The Future Is a Digital Thing,’ Gartner is predicting digital future as an algorithmic and smart machine-driven world where people and machines must define harmonious relationships:

  • by Y2018 20% of companies will deploy technologies that have the ability to proactively assemble and deliver information through automated composition engines
  •  by Y2020 autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in five percent of all economic transactions
  •  By 2018, 45 percent of the fastest-growing companies will have fewer employees than instances of smart machines
  • By 2020, smart agents will facilitate 40 percent of mobile interactions

 Forrester’s “the age of the customer”

Forrester is concentrating it’s predictions around the new industrial cycle created by the Internet empowered consumer and predicting that 2016 will be a consequential year. More and more disruptors will emerge — some succeeding and some failing — and create a market that operates at a speed not seen before:

  • Personalized experiences correlate to mindshare and share of wallet
  • Sadly, the majority of firms, however, will continue to think small
  • The shift to a customer-led market will force CEOs to restructure their leadership teams, favoring digitally savvy executives

Common Implications

Although each technology research house has a different area of focus the common theme is the ability to leverage data to gain competitive advantage.

Moving beyond testing and personalization

Testing and personalization solutions that are treating only narrow aspects of the overall customer experience are being replaced by whole customer experience optimization solutions that are simultaneously optimizing every aspect of the customer experience:

Beyond Testing and Personalization

Customer experience improvement as a strategic initiative

Unlike testing and site personalization that are typically pursued by line managers who are seeking to achieve tactical outcomes, customer experience optimization is a company wide initiative that must be lead by the top executive. Forrester has developed a playbook to help companies execute customer obsessed strategy:

Customer Experience Improvement Playbook

A need for the next generation of technologies

Customer obsessed strategy requires use of a solution that combines web analytics capabilities with the ability to adaptively optimize every aspect of customer experience in real time:

CX Technology Pyramid

Start your own customer experience optimization journey

An essential starting point is the development of ‘customer experience views’ through customer experience web analytics. Knowledge about customer experience friction points will help your brand intelligently allocate resources and help you commit to a customer experience optimization plan from a holistic point of view.

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