Do you wonder what other organizations are working on?  Do you feel challenged around topics such as DevOps, hybrid cloud, infrastructure transformations and how to enable your workforce?   I took a look at 1,270 user inquiries/questions that the Forrester’s I&O research team received between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.  The results are:

  • Financial services firms seek innovation with cloud, DevOps, and mobile. Financial services firms want to invest in and innovate with digital banking and new ways of serving customers.  I&O pros at these firms must balance their desire to innovate with cloud-based services and new mobile apps against their compliance and regulatory obligations. Thus, their most common questions centered on cloud, development and operations (DevOps), and how to deliver better mobile moments to their firms’ customers.
  • Nonprofit and government organizations demonstrate the slowest shift to digital. US residents might have to wait a while until their government shifts toward customer centricity, as US federal spending on customer interaction technologies will stay flat in 2017.  Most of our questions from I&O pros in these sectors focused on ways to reduce costs. Popular themes included ways to improve IT asset management and manage government contractors more efficiently.
  • Business services pursue cloud, migration, DevOps, and outcome-based delivery. This vertical includes management consultants, system integrators, and agencies looking to support their clients’ digital transformations and connect with them in new ways. And their clients need help: 61% of global services decision makers at firms that plan to use or have used third parties to help with their digital transformation tell Forrester they’re doing so because they need an outside-in perspective to think about their business models, organizations, processes, or technology in new and innovative ways.  I&O pros at business services firms asked Forrester for help most frequently with cloud services, infrastructure and application migrations, DevOps, and outcome-based delivery models.
  • Manufacturers focus on the internet of things (IoT). The proliferation of robots of all sorts (here, we’re using “robots” to mean all forms of automation technologies, including those that conduct physical tasks, intellectual tasks, or customer service tasks, whether physical or software); autonomous drones; sensors; and 3D printing drives digital transformation at manufacturing firms.   Thus, many I&O professionals at manufacturers asked us about IoT platforms, IoT devices, and the impact these make on network and security strategy as well as about specific IoT use cases.
  • Retailers zero in on strategies of innovation. Eighty percent of online adults in the EU-5 — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK — expect retailers to deliver personalized experiences.   Retailers are racing to deliver on those expectations across the store, web, and mobile go-to-market channels.   I&O pros at retailers asked us for advice on digital store technologies, wearables, predictive analytics, and end user experience monitoring.
  • Healthcare firms pursue cloud and analytics. Given the uncertain regulatory environment, I&O pros in US healthcare must improve patient care while cutting costs.  They asked Forrester many questions about use cases for adopting public and private cloudservices. They were also very interested in enterprise service management and in creating catalogs of services that their clinical colleagues can use.

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