Boost Digital Business With The Internet Of Things

Charlie Dai

The rise of mobile networks, improved wireless tech, and rapid sensor innovation over the past 10 years has enabled companies to use internet-connected sensors and actuators to improve business operations and transform products. The ever-increasing number of connected devices is opening up new business models and new opportunities for both tech vendors and end users; as a result, IoT is becoming an essential cornerstone of the business technology agenda. Enterprise architecture professionals must define a holistic IoT software architecture to navigate through the complex technology landscape.

I’ve recently published two reports focusing on how to architect the IoT software stack. These reports analyze the heat maps and trends around IoT adoption in China and introduce Forrester’s IoT technology stack reference architecture. They also show EA pros how to achieve strategic business outcomes and unleash the power of digital business by analyzing the IoT practices of visionary Chinese firms. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Successful IoT initiatives yield substantial business value. Outstanding IoT initiatives achieves strategic outcomes, such as competitive differentiation, customer experience enhancement, and asset performance optimization. Chinese companies have successfully launched IoT initiatives to establish their digital business in various industries, including energy, automotive, logistics, and manufacturing.
Read more

Forrester Predictions: Ten Key Developments In Cloud Computing Shape The Industry In 2017

Charlie Dai

I’m pleased to announce that Forrester’s cloud computing predictions for 2017 published this morning!

Check out Predictions 2017: Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Launch Cloud’s Second Decade. Our cloud team has gathered 10 key developments in cloud computing that will shape this industry in 2017 — and what you should do about them today.

Cloud computing has been the most exciting and disruptive force in the tech market in the last decade, and it will continue to disrupt traditional computing models at least through 2020. Starting in 2017, large enterprises will move to cloud in a big way, and that will supercharge the market. We predict that the influx of enterprise dollars will push the global public cloud market to $236 billion in 2020, up from $146 billion in 2017.

Cloud platforms from the global megacloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, CenturyLink, and SAP will set the pace, accelerating adoption of private cloud and hosted private cloud as well. In 2017, you need to:

  • Get your private cloud and SaaS strategy in shape in 2017 — start now!
  • Educate yourself about exciting developments in hyperconverged infrastructure, security, networking, and containers.
  • Take a fresh look at your regional and industry-specific cloud providers — specialization is afoot.
Read more

Now Accepting Entries For The 2016 Digital Marketing Awards China

Xiaofeng Wang

2016 is the second year that Forrester is co-sponsoring the Digital Marketing Awards China with the China chapter of the CMO Club. The goal: Inspire Chinese marketers by highlighting innovative approaches to and best practices for digital marketing.

We’re now accepting entries online. This is our chance to recognize the very best digital marketing programs in the country, and we’d love to give an award to you for your best work. Our deadline for entries is November 18, 2016.

We are looking for digital marketing programs that clearly deliver against business goals. To determine the winners of the annual Forrester/China CMO Club Digital Marketing Awards China, we focus on how marketers use digital marketing at each stage of the customer life cycle. We create awards in three categories corresponding to different aspects of what Forrester calls the marketing RaDaR:

  • Reach: programs that generate brand visibility. Reach efforts drive discovery and awareness. These include word-of-mouth marketing, paid social advertising, and thought leadership.
  • Depth: programs that close sales. Depth programs pave the path for exploration and buying. These include ratings, reviews, and brand communities for information that helps to close existing prospects or leads.
  • Relationship: programs that build loyalty. Relationship tactics increase the loyalty and lifetime value of existing customers. These include a consistent presence on a WeChat public account and loyalty programs designed to create repeat business.
Read more

India Inc.: Here's What Indian Customers Think Of Their Experiences With You (The India Customer Experience Index 2016, Part 1)

Amit Bhatia

When it comes to their customers, Indian organizations are an ambitous lot. In a Forrester survey of Indian business and technology decision-makers, 70% of respondents said CX was going to be high or critical priority for their companies. But that is just one part of the story. CX is about what customers perceive, not what companies claim. What do Indian customers think about the experiences they have with companies in India?

To find out, in 2016, Forrester used its Customer Experience Index (CX IndexTM) methodology to measure and benchmark the CX of 72 India brands across eight industries. 

Forrester’s CX Index score measures how successfully a company delivers customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty. CX Index scores were based on an online survey (fielded in May through July 2016) of 18,033 individuals ages 18 and older in nine metropolitan areas in India.

The India CX Index 2016 report containing the highlights of the 2016 survey results is out.  Here’s a sneak peek into the report.

Compared with 2015, we saw few interesting improvements. For example,

  • Most industry average scores went up. Each year, we rank industries by the mean scores of their brands. This year, some industry averages increased as much as six points over last year. But last year’s leaders — banks and mobile manufacturers — found it tougher to do, and made only modest gains overall.
Read more

Artificial Intelligence: Fact, Fiction. How Enterprises Can Crush It

Mike Gualtieri

Forrester surveyed business and technology professionals and found that 58% of them are researching AI, but only 12% are using AI systems. This gap reflects growing interest in AI, but little actual use at this time. We expect enterprise interest in, and use of, AI to increase as software vendors roll out AI platforms and build AI capabilities into applications. Enterprises that plan to invest in AI expect to improve customer experiences, improve products and services, and disrupt their industry with new business models.

But the burning question is: how can your enterprise use AI today to crush it? To answer this question we first must bring clarity to the nebulous definition of AI.Let’s break it down further:

■        “Artificial” is the opposite of organic. Artificial simply means person-made versus occurring naturally in the universe. Computer scientists, engineers, and developers research, design, and create a combination of software, computers, and machine to manifest AI technology.

■        “Intelligence” is in the eye of the beholder.  Philosophers will have job security for a very long time trying to define intelligence precisely. That’s because, intelligence is much tougher to define because we humans routinely assign intelligence to all matter of things including well-trained dachshunds, self-driving cars, and “intelligent” assistants such as Amazon Echo. Intelligence is relative. For AI purists, intelligence is more akin to human abilities. It means the ability to perceive its environment, take actions that satisfy a set of goals, and learn from both successes and failures. Intelligence among humans varies greatly and so too does it vary among AI systems.

Temper Your Expectations, But Don’t Give Up On AI

Read more

Blockchain And IoT: Not Ready For Primetime, But Now’s The Time To Start

Martha Bennett

Few would disagree that for IoT to live up to its promises, devices will sooner or later need to communicate directly, autonomously and securely with each other. Well-architected blockchain-based systems can help deliver those requirements, but they’re not available or even feasible today. In many ways, that’s a good thing, because it opens up great opportunities to get things right.

So let's start by looking at the challenges that IoT and blockchain ecosystems participants must address. They fall into three broad categories:

  • Technology.  IoT solutions need technology that scales, is secure, and behaves predictably (at least to the degree required by the individual use case). All of these characteristics comprise many different elements. On the security front, for example, there’s the security of the device itself, the security of the actual blockchain, and the security of any interfaces between the devices and the chain, the chain and any other systems, etc. One only needs to look at the incidents such as The DAO debacle of early summer 2016, the Bitfinex hack in August, and the DDoS attacks mounted by IoT devices in October to realize that this remains work in progress. And that’s just security; there are plenty of other issues, including, but not limited to, exception handling, ensuring confidentiality, or dealing with devices that may not be connected all the time, and likely have little on-board compute power or storage.  
Read more

Fighting FOMO: Join The Customer Analytics Party

Brandon Purcell

The first U.S. presidential debate was the most watched in history, with 84 million people tuning in.  Sure, many of us wanted to educate ourselves before practicing our solemn duty as democratic citizens in November.  However, many of us also didn’t want to miss out on what (hopefully) promised to be a once in a lifetime political event .  We were motivated by FOMO.

Read more

Categories:

Forrester Predictions: Ten Key Developments In Cloud Computing Shape The Industry In 2017

Dave Bartoletti

I'm pleased to announce that Forrester’s cloud computing predictions for 2017 published this morning!

Check out Predictions 2017: Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Launch Cloud’s Second Decade. Our cloud team has gathered ten key developments in cloud computing that will shape this industry in 2017 — and what you should do about them today.

Cloud computing has been the most exciting and disruptive force in the tech market in the last decade, and it will continue to disrupt traditional computing models at least through 2020. Starting in 2017, large enterprises will move to cloud in a big way, and that will super-charge the market. We predict the influx of enterprise dollars will push the global public cloud market to $236B in 2020, up from $146B in 2017.

Cloud platforms from the global megacloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, Centurylink and SAP will set the pace, accelerating adoption of private cloud and hosted private cloud as well. In 2017, you need to:

  • Get your private cloud and SaaS strategy in shape in 2017 — start now!
  • Educate yourself about exciting developments in hyperconverged infrastructure, security, networking, and containers.
  • Take a fresh look at your regional and industry-specific cloud providers — specialization is afoot.
Read more

Assess Your Digital Store Functionality

Michelle Beeson

The role of the store is changing. Consumers are increasingly able to research products and services they are interesting in buying, via their own digital devices, anywhere they choose - whether it’s browsing on their tablet while watching TV or their smartphone during the morning commute.

Customers often arrive in store armed with a wealth of information, which can put sales associates on the back foot. Retailers are currently exploring how to bring digital capabilities in store to improve customer service and engagement – both via their sales associates and directly to customers. But retailers must not get side tracked by shiny new “star wars” style technology. For digital store experience technologies to be successful, they must integrate with enterprise wide systems and have a tangible impact on in-store customer experience and/or operations.

To help digital business executives assess their digital store capabilities, Forrester has developed the Digital Store Functionality Benchmark as part of the Digital Store Playbook 2016. In this new benchmark Forrester assesses 20 retailers across the US and the UK for their use of in-store digital technology to support customer engagement and service as well as store operations.

Key takeaways from the evaluation are:

It Is Early Days For The Digital Store. Retailers are just starting their digital store transformation projects, with 16 of the 20 retailers scoring less than 50 of a total of 100. Many are still developing supporting technology and in the process of piloting various applications for new technology in-store.

Read more

UK Brands Have Upped Their CX Game

Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha

We’re pleased to announce that this year’s UK Customer Experience Index report is now live! The report is based on Forrester's Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) methodology, which measures how well a brand's customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers.

 
Overall, it’s been a good year for UK brands, with the percentage of good and OK scores increasing thanks to a significant drop in poor scores. We found that:
 
  • Six of the eight industries surveyed improved their average score.
  • Twenty-four of the 56 brands surveyed made significant improvements in their experiences.
Read more