Gartner’s Berntz Tells CIOs And CTOs: Get Ready To Ride The Wave Of Digital Disruption.

Adobe’s Executive Track at Summit 2017 brought together some of the top C-level marketers and heads of technology from across Europe to discuss the challenges facing their organisations and gave them the opportunity to share with their peers the strategies on how to prepare for the experience revolution.

Ivar Berntz, the research director at information technology firm Gartner, shared a number of strategic predictions that will allow both CIOs and CTOs to ride the wave of digital disruption.

He started out by highlighting that the risk of digital disruption was not on the wane but actually increasing, which meant that, to survive, technology leaders need to continually scan the horizon for not only emerging threats, but also opportunities. He also emphasised the importance of building the capabilities required for digital in order for businesses to succeed.

According to Gartner, there are, overall, three sources of disruption:

1. Digital experience and engagement will draw people into nonstop virtual interactions.

The firm believes that, by 2020, 100 million consumers will shop via augmented reality (AR). Games are only the beginning for AR, with shopping already a big opportunity for brands. Audi’s new showroom in London’s Piccadilly provides a unique augmented reality experience, with technology walls where you can build your own Audi in realistic 1:1 scale. Iconic U.K. fashion brand Burberry is also using AR in its Beauty Box store in Covent Garden, where customers can try out different nail polishes virtually. Berntz said that, by the end of 2017, one in five leading global retail brands would have deployed AR in store.

With the rise of bots such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Home, Gartner predicts that, by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their wife or husband—quite a worrying development! This is only one example of voice-first interactions that are set to become increasingly common. By 2020, the firm predicts, 30% of web-browsing sessions will be done without a screen, and many of these interactions will be things we haven’t done before. For example, we will soon see bots talking to bots—with Alexa potentially talking to an airlines bot to book a flight—and the interaction and transaction done machine to machine. In response, brands need to be developing open APIs that allow them to work with other companies. Voice interaction is set to impact on us in 2017, with 5% of consumer-facing websites forecast to feature some form of audio interface by the end of this year.

Although the demand for mobile applications in the enterprise sector continues to grow, Berntz said that 20% of brands would abandon their mobile apps as a poor investment by 2019, with the money moving towards progressive web apps (PWAs) and instant apps, which will evaporate or expire once you’ve used them.

By 2020, algorithms are set to alter the behaviour of over 1 billion global workers. Algorithms, which can use behavioral, psychological, social, and cognitive science, will be used to positively alter employee behaviour and even help HR people employ the right person, more effectively than humans can.

2. Business innovation will create extraordinary change from mundane concepts.

Gartner believes that, by 2021, 20% of all activities we engage in will involve at least one of the top seven digital giants—Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Baidu, Facebook, Google, and Tencent. Berntz emphasised that brands had a tough decision to make—do you join in and work with these digital giants’ platforms and ecosystems, or try and compete? As these brands become even more pervasive, we are set to see at least two of the giant brands represented in our kitchens by 2018.

3. Secondary effects will be more disruptive than the initial impact of the digital revolution.

Through 2019, according to Gartner, every $1 that enterprises invest in innovation will require an additional $7 in core execution. This will have a huge impact on businesses, especially those will legacy technology systems. CTOs and CIOs need to address modernisation now, to allow for innovation and, ultimately, the transformation of their businesses.

Although the Internet of Things (IoT) is already impacting on consumers’ lives, most IoT-generated data will not be stored or retained. However, by 2022, IoT will save consumers and businesses $1 trillion a year in maintenance costs, services, and consumables. For example, your printer will not only be able to order its own ink when it’s starting to get low, but also allow businesses to fix expensive assets before they break down.