Forrester: Automation, AI, data weaponization will make for a raucous 2020

In its predictions for 2020, Forrester cites the moving of AI and robotics deeper into the organization, Brexit, and consumer activism among the elements that will make 2020 a lively year for technology markets.


Forrester’s predictions for 2020, which the company develops to identify key market dynamics that will impact companies’ growth in the year ahead, cites geopolitical as well as economic and, of course, technology drivers that will combine to make next year a potentially herky-jerky one. “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,” Forrester said when announcing its predictions for the year.

“Factors include 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,” the firm continued.

Following are verbatim description of what Forrester sees for 2020.

  • 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.

You can find more detail on what Forrester predicts for 2020 in this guide.

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