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Taylor Havlisch

November 23rd, 2016

3min Read

What to Expect in 2017 (According to Forrester)

"The customer is the fundamental driver of changes."

Last year Forrester predicted 2016 would be the year of virtual reality, that cybersecurity would be a major issue in the presidential election and that an executive would step down due to a breach. They turned out to be right, on all three counts.

They’ve published their predictions for next year in 2017 Predictions: Dynamics That Will Shape the Future In The Age of The Customer, in which 15 trends were categorized, based on three overall groupings. We read through it and pulled the highlights...


1. Business Restructuring. More than one-third of businesses will restructure to shift to customer-obsessed operations, as CEOs and boards will understand they must compete aggressively in a customer-led, digitally-driven market.

2. The CMO Evolution. “Whole-brained” chief marketing operators who understand both the customer experience and technology/analytics, are in the minority, but also in high demand, leading to CEOs potentially exiting 30% of their CMOs.

3. The CIO and the Brass Ring. CIOs will take lead positions in shaping the digital strategy of firms to confront competitive and personal risk.

4. Changing Leadership. As leadership priorities change, we are likely to see a “doubling of business-head turnover,” as leaders with digital and customer competencies are appointed, in order to remain a successful customer-led, digital-centric business.

5. Transitioning Roles. CEOs will continue to strengthen and normalize their leadership teams, reintegrating transitional roles into traditional roles.

6. “Trust Is Now” Business Currency. The threat of cybersecurity is serious and will cause CEOs to grapple with how to defend their companies, while maintaining the trust of the customer.

7. Scarce Talent. Talent management will be challenged to fill the year’s most desired roles and competencies including software developers and cybersecurity professionals.

"CEOs will come to terms with the deep-rooted changes necessary to win a customer-led and digital-centric market.”


8. Customers Are Driving Up Revenue Risk. Firms will experience 25 to 50% increases in revenue risk as more customers operate as free agents.

9. Operationalizing Emotion. Companies will start to determine what drives customer decisions based on their emotions.

10. The Next Phase of CX. CX pros are going small with “microdesigns” for signature moments, such as when customers are either most anxious or when they appreciate value the most.


11. The Next Tech Revolution. A new wave of tech will come and reshape the customer experience in three forms: engagement, insights, and supporting technologies.

12. Augmented and Virtual Reality. More companies will experiment with augmented reality and virtual reality, setting the foundation for larger implementations in the following years.

13. The Internet of Things. Greater complexity is set to come that will overwhelm enterprises that don’t get ahead of the problem, while exposing businesses to security breaches and the threat of devices becoming weapons.

14. Artificial Intelligence. Investments in AI will triple next year as firms like Adobe and Google work to convert customer data into personalized experiences.

15. Cloud Computing. Customer-obsessed enterprises will accelerate their cloud use, pushing CIOs to tap new security, networking and container solutions.

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