Forrester says 2020 shaping up to be the year of adaptability

Paul Barker | Nov 06, 2019 | The News

Forrester’s recently released 2020 predictions identify key market dynamics that will impact companies’ growth in the coming year.

The research firm says that 2020 will be the year that moves leaders’ attention to adaptability: the ability to understand and anticipate market dynamics — and rapidly exploit opportunities, both big and small.

Factors including heightened values-based consumer activism; the lack of clarity around Brexit; automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics moving deeper into the organization; and recessionary fears due to sociopolitical uncertainty will make 2020 a raucous year, forcing leaders to embrace adaptability.

“In one scenario, 2020 becomes the year companies convert on the potential energy built up in 2019 to move from prudent investments to breakout growth,” Forrester said.

“In another scenario, recessionary fears become reality, the impact of Brexit goes well beyond the shores of England, and trade wars devolve into a breakdown of the global economy. And there are a number of scenarios in between. Our predictions for 2020 will move leaders’ attention to adaptability: the ability to understand and anticipate market dynamics — and adapt and rapidly exploit opportunities, both big and small.

“Whether dynamics enable breakout growth, protection of existing markets, or eking out small gains in market share, leaders will see and capitalize on possibilities by best predicting how 2020 will unfold.”

The research firm notes that “edge computing has been among the most important trends associated with cloud computing and has enabled a multitude of use cases, beyond IoT and embedded systems, for infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals. The components of edge computing have been steadily maturing, and so has the industry definition of it.”

In 2020, Forrester predicts that:

Consumers will search for deeper meaning. Companies will pay careful attention to authenticity, both in the values they choose to express and how they express them.

​CMOs will rally around customer value. To establish a successful ecosystem, CMOs will thread the needle between employee experience, customer experience, brand purpose, creative, and technology, imbuing all these crucial areas with customer obsession.

CIOs will focus on people. Smart CIOs will become a trusted advisor and partner to employee experience and HR teams to help with changing workforce dynamics, including working with new emerging technologies or interacting with robots.

Immersive, adaptive IT will take hold. IT will follow the broader organizational future of matrixed, shape-shifting organizations that form and morph to changing priorities.

CX will continue to bifurcate. Firms that have made the least headway will cut their programs in frustration. Meanwhile, companies that have started realizing the benefits of CX will double-down, simultaneously shoring up their fundamentals and innovating.

Advanced firms will double their data strategy budget. 2020 will be a wake-up year for many, as the total cost of getting data wrong will become apparent.

Data and AI will get weaponized. In 2020, ransomware incidents will grow as attackers learn that holding data hostage is a quick path to monetization.

Group-targeted experiences will supplant personalization. Marketers will move away from laborious and often-unwanted personalization efforts. Instead, they’ll seek to authentically connect with customers through group-targeted experiences.

Automation will reshape the workforce. Automation will change the composition of the job market and raise global economic issues of income distribution and wage stagnation.

Regulation will make and break markets. Regulatory bodies will gain steam — impacting and shaping markets, in a very real way, in 2020.

For VCs, profitability will become the new unicorn. In 2020, venture capitalists will increase their scrutiny of startups.