Since we published The Top 10 Emerging Technologies In 2022, we’ve been getting questions about how these technologies were selected out of the hundreds that Forrester tracks. Clients also ask, “Why are some obvious ones like machine learning, blockchain, the metaverse, or quantum computing missing?”
Here are our top 10. Please read our four-part blog series, beginning with Show Me That Emerging Technology Magic, for more details.
Here is the inside scoop on how we picked these 10 and what happened to some of the others.
Step 1: We compiled an exhaustive catalog of over 300 technologies.
To start, we compiled a catalog of over 300 emerging technologies, looking at our Tech Tide™ reports, other research, emerging technology lists that clients have shared, and years of my own research notes. Next, we recruited a team of emerging-technology analyst experts from various fields. We asked them to pick the technologies that would have the most impact on the largest number of our clients. This process yielded a list of 80 “semifinalists.”
Step 2: We selected 20 semifinalists using a survey and analytics.
We wanted to understand which of these 80 had the biggest impact across industries and business areas. To accomplish this, we surveyed over 100 analysts, asking them to identify the technologies that they thought would have the most benefits for clients in the areas they covered.
Next, a small team analyzed data including client search terms, document readership, and the number of reports published on our finalists. We also looked at startups, venture capital investment, the average age of companies, and the quantity of scientific and academic research.
Last, we combined breadth of impact with analytics scores in a weighted algorithm that compares client energy, sustained business value, and external activity. The result was 20 technologies that were our “finalists.” This list included many of the usual suspects, such as several types of machine learning and blockchain. It also included some noisy technologies such as NFTs, the metaverse, and Web3.
Step 3: We selected our top 10 by looking at client success imperatives and maturity.
We took a qualitative approach to selecting 10 from the 20 finalists.
- We compared each of the 20 to important strategic imperatives — for example, customer obsession, the trust imperative, future fit technology strategy, and insights-driven business, among others.
- We balanced our list to include technologies delivering value now, those that would be delivering value in the next few years, and some that are still on the frontier.
The results: a balanced list of broadly impactful technologies
As a result, the technologies on our list are important to most Forrester clients, regardless of industry, business area, or maturity. We excluded technologies that are well known and foundational, like machine learning or blockchain. And we excluded the metaverse (read our blog on the state of the metaverse for more detail on why) and quantum computing, which are likely to be important but still have an exceedingly long way to go and are still relatively niche.
I have been sharing our semifinalist and finalist lists with clients. Clients, please reach out to me: I am happy to go through this material with you.