Disruptive Technology Trends

What is your challenge this year? According to market analysts, this will be a year of technological innovation – from the GDPR to personal customer experiences and blockchain. But while progress offers opportunities, companies face a number of challenges this year as well. In this blog post, I’ll take a closer look at the five technology trends that have the biggest impact this calendar year and explain what they mean to your business.

Winner or loser? In 2018, CX makes the difference

As the economy grows and so does the competition. New entrants are flooding various markets and aggressively seeking to increase their market share. In terms of flexibility and maneuverability, they have an advantage over existing market participants.

The latter will, therefore, have to do their utmost to keep their existing customers. A good customer experience (CX) is crucial. After all, it takes much less energy to retain existing customers on the basis of a good experience than to win new customers.

According to market researchers, this will mean that 30% of companies will offer a worse customer experience this year.

What will 2019 bring to your company? Up or down? Smart winners will differ from losers this year by investing in CX. One could think of the intelligent use of CRM, data and marketing technologies. Not only to analyze customer needs but also to predict and anticipate them. In this way, a Sales and Marketing Funnel can be established that offers customers a good experience and increases customer loyalty, cross-selling and upselling.

Digital transformation becomes a matter for the entire executive level

What about the digital ambitions of your company? Not unlikely that you are not yet as far as you want them to be – at least if we can trust the numbers of the various market analysts.

According to IDC, 59 percent of respondents are currently in a digital stalemate. This puts IDC close to the position of industry colleague Forrester. The analyst notes that six in ten digital transformation companies are lagging behind. According to Forrester, the digital backlog at 20% even endangers the existence of the company.

After all, digital transformation is no longer a superfluous luxury, but essential in order to provide the aforementioned personal customer experience. This means that the topic is no longer the sole responsibility of the CIO. On the contrary, it is important that the CMO and even the CEO place digital transformation at the top of their own list of priorities.

Compliance with the GDPR or not?

The end of the implementation deadline for the strict requirements of the GDPR is fast approaching. Organizations processing personal data must comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation. Researchers say about 80 percent of the economy will be unable to do so.

More remarkably, in half of the cases where they cannot comply with the rules, this is a deliberate risk that balances the cost of compliance with the risk of a large fine.

What seems to be overlooked here is the snowball effect that arises when the first companies get into trouble. For example, because they are unable to comply with the “right to be forgotten” right. Clearly, if the extent to which companies are not sufficiently prepared for the GDPR, there is a risk that consumer groups would consider this an encouragement to further claims.

Does your company, intentionally or not, still not meet the requirements of the GDPR? Fortunately, it is not too late to change this.

Blockchain unstoppable on the rise

There has already been a lot of talk about Blockchain. But in many cases it was not about the true potential of this technology. In 2017, many of the opportunities offered by Blockchain were either overlooked because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were too much in the foreground, or were overrated by some too enthusiastic marketers.

According to researchers, around 80 percent of blockchain projects in 2017 were disappointing. But the fact that many people misconstrued over the past year does not mean, of course, that you should underestimate the potential opportunities of Blockchain.

This technology makes it possible to store a list of transactions and information in a digital ledger that is hard to hack and controllable over the users’ network.

In essence, Blockchain has the potential to make businesses do smart transactions without the need for banks, lawyers or notaries. Therefore, it is also expected that Blockchain will gradually mature.

Although many companies will still have too high expectations, the number of successful projects is expected to increase by half, according to Forrester. And Forrester is not the only one who cautiously expresses positive expectations for Blockchain.

AI Clarity

In an effort to improve the aforementioned user experience, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play an important role in data analysis. However, it can take another two to five years for the use of AI to bear fruit on a large scale.

In many cases, investing in artificial intelligence is a long-term investment, and that’s why many companies failed again in 2017, according to Forrester.

They focused too much on a direct ROI, which led to disappointing results. And although researchers estimate that 75 percent of AI investment will return less than expected. Managers review their investments in AI and ultimately help their companies achieve the right results.

All in all, companies this year can not afford to sit still. Ignoring innovation is not an option, and the right investments can drive long-term success. At the same time, it’s just as important to stay critical and invest in what can be beneficial to businesses.

A challenge?

Undoubtedly. But a challenge that is associated with opportunities. Moreover, it is precisely the challenges that make our work so appealing. That’s why I would say: challenge accepted!