It’s that “Top 10 Predictions” time of year again. You know the time when the leading analyst firms such as Gartner, Forrester, and IDC, as well as the media, and even the vendors promote their foremost technology predictions for the coming year.
Always great reads, these do an excellent job synthesizing what is happening today and projecting what may be ahead in the upcoming calendar year. And they can be quite useful guideposts as your organization plans for the coming year.
But Will These Predictions Really Happen?
Look up the word ‘prediction’ in your thesaurus. Do you find synonyms such as calculation, expectation, extrapolation, and forecast? To me, those words all connote something with a high likelihood of occurrence. And if you also consider the quality of the firms behind them, these projections certainly merit thoughtful consideration.
But you might also find synonyms such as projection, estimate, and even prognostication, all connoting these predictions are less than sure things. And they don’t consider your organization’s unique situation and challenges. For instance, your organization might:
- Still be focused on implementing last year’s predictions and thus lack the bandwidth to take on new initiatives.
- Already be ahead or behind the curve on several of them, in effect not on the same timeline as the author’s synthesized market view.
- Be reaching a practical limit on the volume of technology innovation the business can successfully digest and thus be unable or unwilling to take on the risk of further disruption at this time.
Said another way, no matter how good the odds might seem, not everyone who travels to Las Vegas comes home a winner.
Instead, as you plan your 2020 plans, wouldn’t you rather be placing your organization’s bets on sure things rather than predictions? If your answer is yes, read on.
What Defines a Sure Technology Bet
First, what defines a sure bet in today’s complex technology environment? The surest bet in technology is that a major technology trend will continue. Geoffrey Moore fully described this process nearly 30 years ago in his book Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers.
In the Technology Adoption Life Cycle model he delineated, once adoption moves past the innovators and reaches the early and late majority adopters, it is a sure bet to continue, typically for many years to come.
The second thing that defines a sure bet in Las Vegas is the house advantage. This is where the house sets up the game so that it always wins in the long run. When it comes to technology, your house advantage comes from your organization’s ability to set up the game so that regardless of the technology you always adopt it successfully. This requires:
- A coherent strategy that invests for business impact.
- Smart engaged people with skills, common purpose, and the grit required to persevere when inevitable challenges arise.
- Modern technology that delivers new capabilities in the context of your existing architecture and tools.
The third thing that defines a sure bet is data. In Las Vegas, data informs the odds, guides betting strategies, and keeps score for winners, losers, and the house. At your organization your data fuels your ongoing digital transformations, including:
- Business reinvention where your data can open the door to new channels, customers, and revenue streams.
- Operational excellence where data-driven insights can optimize your decision making and operational execution.
- Customer intimacy where data about engagement, interests, behaviors, and more can place customers at the center of your business strategies, processes, and systems.
Said another way, every technology bet is a data bet at its core. So bet wisely to maximize your payouts.
10 Sure Technology Bets for 2020
Now that you know that it is smarter to make sure bets rather than rely on predictions, you will certainly want to know the 10 sure technology bets for 2020. In my next TIBCO blog, I’ll provide my list of 10 trends that you can count on to continue. In the blog that follows, I will address how to create a house advantage that will make their adoption certain. And I will close this four-part series with a blog about how you can tap the power of data to deliver the transformations you need to thrive in 2020 and beyond.