At a CIO roundtable that Forrester held recently in Sydney, I presented one of my favourite slides (originally seen in a deck from my colleague Ted Schadler) about what has happened r.e. technology since January 2007 (a little over five years ago). The slide goes like this: 

Source: Forrester Research, 2012

This makes me wonder: what the next five years will hold for us? Forecasts tend to be made assuming most things remain the same – and I bet in 2007 few people saw all of these changes coming… What unforeseen changes might we see?

  • Will the whole concept of the enterprise disappear as barriers to entry disappear across many market segments?
  • Will the next generation reject the “public persona” that is typical in the Facebook generation and perhaps return to “traditional values”?
  • How will markets respond to the aging consumer in nearly every economy?
  • How will environmental concerns play out in consumer and business technology purchases and deployments?
  • How will the changing face of cities change consumer behaviors and demands?
  • Will artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and capabilities completely redefine business?

At our upcoming CIO Summits in Singapore, Sydney and Delhi, we will be discussing the disruptive technologies that exist today and the ones we believe are around the corner. If you’d like to attend one of these events, please reach out to your account manager, or let me know and I will pass your details on to the event organisers.

So here's my guess about the future: Forrester has defined the current age as “the age of the customer” (see figure below). I believe the next age is “the age of the machine”. This will be the real era that will take technology to the core of everything and remove humans from all sorts of processes. What the world will look like in that era I would not hazard to guess.

Source: Forrester Research, 2012

So what are your thoughts? What are your big calls/guesses/predictions? There are no dumb answers here so please feel free to add your ideas below. This could be your chance to get a prediction published so that in ten years’ time, you can say “I told you so”…