Forrester’s 2019 predictions identify the major dynamics that will affect companies in the coming year – a year where firms will shift from strategic ambitions to pragmatic, surgical efforts.

In 2018, leaders set their sights on large-scale initiatives such as digital transformation and customer experience (CX). But many faced the harsh reality that these strategies are hard, costly, and challenge the way leaders run their businesses. CX performance was flat and more than 50% of digital transformation efforts stalled.

In 2019, leaders will turn their attention to pragmatic, surgical efforts. Forrester predicts that:

  1. CX remains under fire: Brands will give up on strategic CX initiatives and resort to old-school methods for short-term gains.
  2. Digital goes surgical: Digital transformation will move to a pragmatic portfolio view of digital investments.
  3. Purpose regains meaning: Purpose will become a strategic priority again, acting as the strategic compass for firms.
  4. CMOs rebrand: CMOs will bring back brand as their top priority.
  5. CIOs take the reins: CIOs will expand their remit, building a model that translates tech-led innovation into customer value.
  6. Artificial intelligence (AI) builds a foundation: Firms will put more building blocks in place to accelerate their ability to meet AI’s promise.
  7. The world goes to Zero (Trust): Zero Trust will become the ad hoc standard security architecture.
  8. Consumer brands enter the outrage: More brands will partake in market-baiting, but most will misjudge the mechanics and make minimal impact.
  9. B2B in a squeeze: B2B marketers will shift away from blunt outbound methods and reorient around customer outcomes.
  10. Employee experience (EX) takes center stage: Leaders will reignite change management efforts, substituting targeted initiatives for 2018’s broad-based culture efforts.
  11. Robots reimagine talent management: Talent leaders will use automation to address the talent scarcity squeeze.
  12. VC funding recalibrates: Martech and adtech investments will dry up as investors look to put their dollars into specific verticals.
  13. Blockchain exposes advertising: Blockchain will allow advertisers to see where waste and abuse lie and how their money is spent in the media-buying supply chain.
  14. Internet of Things (IoT) gets down to business: IoT in the B2B space will take off while B2C incarnations still try to find their footing.

To understand the seismic shifts firms will face in 2019, download Forrester’s predictions 2019 guide.