The pandemic has set a new standard for the pace of change. In the past, we have euphemized “overnight disruption” to mean a few months to a few years for changes to unfold, which seemed fast. We live in a new world, where overnight disruption literally means overnightThis represents a radical shift in our mental model of the world, and it is something we are all coping with.

This week, I am excited to announce two important research areas, part of our The Future Of Technology And Innovation 2020 coverage, that are designed to help our clients survive and thrive now and into the future. Both feature rapid, responsive research delivery across multiple paid and free channels.

Technology And Innovation At A Global Scale

Information technology has turned ouplanet into a vastly complex, globally connected ecosystem. Consider, for example, that international trade is now 60% of global GDP according to the World Bank. This also means that technology and innovation are big weapons that we can use to fight a global crisis, faster than ever before.

For example:

  • Big data and machine learning can help discover solutions across the globe — such as Alphabet’s DeepMind’s protein folding research or Alibaba Cloud’s Epidemic Prediction Solution.
  • 3D printing can overcome supply chain problems such as scaling up ventilator production across a globally distributed set of vendors sharing an open source design standard.
  • Smartphones and advanced data protection can be used to keep people safe. For example, MIT just released an app that can tell if you have crossed paths with an infected person while retaining that person’s privacy.

Our aim is to help clients gather critical information on these and other valuable innovations, find partnerships, spur ideas for their own efforts, and improve their ability to be ready for a future when speed is more critical than ever; Forrester is here to help.

Emerging Technology And Trends

Our clients need information on trends and emerging technologies faster, and we have a team that is working on how we meet that needUnlike in the past, when we have published annual reports like “The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch 2018,” we will be publishing trends as streams of content both in front of and behind our paywall. In the fall, we will still publish an aggregated report on top trends to watch.

These are just a few things we are exploring:

  • Customers are pushing companies to transparently examine their suppliers and partners. This trend is driven in part by unprecedented connectivity and visibility into corporate behaviors. There are many interesting technological developments contributing to this trend, such as blockchain-based supply chain track-and-trace capabilities.
  • Automation and AI are creating a self-reliant workforce. AI and automation are having a big impact on how work will get done in the future, but what is the end point? We are exploring the idea of a self-reliant workforce in which the very nature of employer and employee is fundamentally different.
  • Smart, connected devices are pushing firms to think beyond the smartphone for next-generation experiences. We see smart connected devices in homes, workplaces, and transportation, evolving how businesses deliver on both employee and customer experiences. Enabling technologies such as edge computing and 5G are helping drive these changes, but there is also a lot of misinformation and hype to break through.

Do these sound interesting? Have any other big ones you are thinking about? If you have a point of view, an interesting story, or questions, let us know here and we’ll pull you into our efforts.