Rapidly evolving customer expectations continue to drive changes across all facets of business. Consumers and business customers increasingly expect real-time access to status, service, and product information. Rapidly changing consumer expectations ripple throughout the supply chain, shortening product cycles and requiring more agile manufacturing capabilities.
Forrester believes that 2015 will serve as an inflection point where companies that successfully harness digital technology to advantageously serve customers will create clear competitive separation from those that do not. CEOs will shift more investment funds to creating digitally connected products and solutions. Products like connected cars, connected running shoes, or connected aircraft turbines are creating new value propositions that tie these products closer to the customer engagement life cycle and help create new business models. Data as a product or service will create new revenue and customer value streams. For example, sensor-embedded tractors already generate data that power John Deere’s FarmSight service. And as industrial players like General Electric, Philips, Robert Bosch, and ABB learn to act more like software companies by creating value through software, their underlying business models will change rapidly. 
As businesses pursue digital transformation, their CIOs will reset their priorities accordingly. Together with my colleagues Bobby Cameron, Nigel Fenwick, and Jennifer Belissent, we brought together the top predictions for CIOs in 2015. In particular, we predict that CIOs will:  
  • Accelerate the business technology agenda. In 2015, CIOs will focus more investment on their firm’s BT agenda — the technology, systems, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers. The BT agenda will capture the majority of new project spending by 2017, with overall BT spending rising by 10% or more per year. CIOs need to change how parts of their tech management organizations work — governing and measuring them based on business outcomes instead of on project execution. Plus they need to evolve a culture that embraces responsiveness and rapid, continuous improvement to changing customer needs — something more and more CIOs will derive from the best practices of commercial software firms.
  • Get in front of the digital change — or be usurped. As CEOs understand the impact of the age of the customer, they will expect their CIOs to work side-by-side with the other business leaders — especially CMOs — in leading the transformation to digital business and in orchestrating the end-to-end services and operations so vital to effective customer experience. Although some firms have appointed a chief digital officer (CDO) to lead that effort, 2015 will be the year that CIOs can prove that the CDO role is unnecessary. As competitive advantage moves beyond an isolated web site or a mobile app, CIOs are in the best position for these end-to-end capabilities. Are all CIOs up for the challenge? No. But in 2015, any CIO who isn’t will be replaced by a one who is.
If you want to know more about these trends, you can either download the full report or contact us. Do you disagree with the above statements? In your opinion, what will happen in 2015? Be sure to check out Forrester's full list of Predictions 2015 reports.