Eight key predictions to help organisations know what they must focus on as they navigate ongoing change.
As we get to the close of 2020, one thing that stands true is that it is a year that forced businesses to embrace new ways of working, new processes, new operating models. Overnight a digital strategy became the backbone for all organisations across the world. Success meant how agile businesses were and how fast they could harness technology to empower their workforce and connect with customers.
2021 will continue to see technology acceleration across organisations. It means not just investing in new technologies but also optimising the value of existing technology within an organisation. However, this time, a deep focus on technology-enabled operations and ecosystems will not be limited to the usual digital-savvy organisations.
LETS’S TAKE A LOOK AT FORRESTER’S KEY BUSINESS PREDICTIONS FOR 2021.
1 Weighing your client with a new lens. While brands should continue to show their support for the environment, gender equality, and local community initiatives, they must be more equipped to relook at their pricing strategy. The pandemic has created a crisis and consumers will look to that understanding from clients. Equally important will be for organisations to identify risk profiles of their clients and use those insights in their product strategy and forecasting, defining customer experience priorities, and creating marketing content.
Forrester predicts, “At least 10 companies will lose billions in brand equity by misunderstanding customers.”
Key take away: Brand must authentically combine price and values to remain relevant.
2 Speed and adaptiveness will be a key focus area for organisations. CIOs will look to embrace cloud-first platform strategies. Even organisations that are not doing well currently will look to outperform competition and gain market advantage through investments in cloud, security and risk, networks, and mobility. CIO will also focus on employee experience (EX).
Forrester predicts, “30% of firms will increase their spend on cloud, security and risk, networks, and mobility.”
Key take away: CIOs will adopt cloud-first strategies and will focus on social collaboration, and making information easier to find and use, to enhance employee experience. CIOs will thus help in attracting, developing, and retaining talent, and that will provide a competitive advantage to the organisation.
3 Reinvention will be a strong theme for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) as they look to integrate marketing with customer experience across the lifecycle. CMOs will strengthen focus on placing the customer at the centre of leadership, strategy and operations. There will be a shift from frequency-based rewards programmes to full-fledged loyalty programmes.
Forrester predicts, “Spend on loyalty and retention marketing will increase by 30%.”
Key take away: CMOS will look to integrate marketing and customer experiences and create new commercial and delivery models.
4 Talent acquisition will see a lot of changes. With the workforce now empowered to productively work remotely, the expectation to work-from-anywhere and a culture supporting this will be an attraction for potential hires. Most organisations will also look to have a hybrid model of working with more people working from home and fewer people full time in office. It will trigger changes for the talent acquisition team while also providing a large pool of talent to now choose from.
Forrester predicts, “Employees working from home will eventually settle at about 300% of pre-pandemic levels at the minimum.”
Key take away: Work from home has changed from a privilege to a mandate changing expectations for employees and employers. HR teams will need to redesign their employee engagement models and think of employee experience from leadership, change management, and career-growth perspectives as employees continue to work remotely.
5 Controlling claim costs will be a key focus area for insurers. According to Forrester, general insurance claim losses could reach $100 billion due to COVID-19 and hefty losses from global natural disasters. Insurers will look to enforce stringent measures and leverage technology to contain claim leakages.
Forrester predicts, “Insurers will prioritise efforts to contain dollars lost through claims management inefficiencies.”
Key take away: Insurers will look to deploy smart analytics to identify leakage potential at the first notice of loss.
6 Chatbot rises as a top 10 engagement channel. The pandemic has accelerated online purchase with more than one-third of B2B technology buyers stating that digital engagement channels (such as vendor websites) have become more important in their buying journeys.
Forrester predicts, “More than a third of B2B technology buyers will rate chatbots as a top 10 engagement channel in their buying journeys.”
Key take away: As technologies mature, chatbots and virtual assistants will leverage first- and third-party data along with AI and machine learning, allowing B2B marketers to offer more personalised and guided experiences to buyers.
7 Legal and regulatory discussions to determine what is a reasonable expectation of workplace privacy will increase. Countries such as Brazil, India, and Thailand are looking to enforce privacy rules to protect employee’s personal data.
Forrester predicts, “Regulatory and legal activity related to employee privacy infringements will double.”
Key take away: Corporate practices and policies that limit or deny employees a right to privacy will be examined more closely.
8 Zero Trust cybersecurity framework will gain traction in Asia pacific. As a strategic initiative, Zero Trust advocates the principles of ‘never trust, always verify’ and is designed to prevent data breaches by removing the concept of trust from an organisation’s IT infrastructure/architecture.
Forrester predicts, “Asia Pacific will begin to adopt the Zero Trust cybersecurity framework. At least one government in Asia Pacific will embrace a Zero Trust cybersecurity framework in 2021.”
Key take away: Acceleration of cloud adoption and an explosion in remote work, as well as changing regulations and consumer behaviours will favour the adoption of Zero Trust Cybersecurity framework.
Download Forrester’s 2021 Predictions guide here https://go.forrester.com/predictions-2021/?utm_source=forbes&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=predictions_2021&utm_content=sharynblog
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