This article highlights the top 5 technology disruptions in a no-nonsense manner, with a unique perspective based on discussions with technology vendors, end-users, and consultants. The technology trends discussed in this article play a major role in enabling companies to achieve the next level of competitive differentiation and advantage to win over competition and achieve business transformation.
Gradual Transition from Personalization to Hyper-Personalization CX Strategy
Our team of analysts regularly interact with various technology vendors in the customer experience technology (CXTech) domain to gain insights into the latest trends in CXTech software and services. The analysts’ team periodically updates the insights through numerous user surveys to gain valuable perspectives from end-users and incorporate their perceptions about CXTech.
Until the year 2020, organizations spoke extensively about the role of CXTech in supporting retailers and eCommerce users for achieving personalized experiences. From a case study point of view, even though few technology vendors may claim to offer 1:1 personalization, the strategy of personalization typically relied on identifying micro-groups of customers. It is a process of segmenting customers with similar attributes into micro-group, which has worked for several users in augmenting the overall customer shopping experience. However, with the growing maturity of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics technologies, the personalization approach is moving towards hyper-personalization.
Hyper-Personalization with 1:1 customer segmentation and targeting will possibly emerge as a game-changing strategy to achieve the next level of CX strategies in gaining a significant competitive advantage.
In the digital age, customer experience quickly replaces product features and price as the primary differentiating factor. According to several industry studies conducted by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “Customers are ready to pay a premium price for better services. Brand owners focusing on delivering more exceptional customer experiences are increasingly becoming more profitable and are winning over the competition. A customer-centric approach helps organizations to drive improvements in customer loyalty, brand image, messaging consistency, and revenue growth.”
The software value chain to achieve hyper-personalization strategy may include various functions such as:
- – Customer data integration from the omnichannel environment
- – Data transformation and management
- – Identity resolution and creation of a unified and persistent customer profile
- – Customer persona creation
- – Customer journey mapping, design, and visualization
- – Journey planning, optimization, and management
- – Journey analytics and insights
- – A/B testing and optimization
- – Micro-segmentation to 1:1 segmentation and targeting
- – Journey orchestration and activation in an omnichannel environment
- – Personalized engagement
- – Customer communication management
Robotic Process Automation to Hyperautomation and Intelligent Automation Products & Services
The tremendous popularity and success of robotic process automation (RPA) has significantly transformed a lot of back-end, manual, and repetitive process through automation. Global companies, small or big, are either using or planning to leverage the power of RPA for automating repetitive processes in their performance goals to achieve operational excellence.
While RPA continues to be popular across global regions, leading RPA vendors are pushing to implement a hyperautomation strategy involving advanced process discovery, process mining, and AI technologies. Hyperautomation strategy requires vendors to analyze all the business and IT operational processes and optimize automation to achieve the next level of operational excellence.
According to Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “by 2025, Hyperautomation strategy is expected to become essential to survive and thrive in a highly competitive global business environment, especially for large enterprise organizations”.
Driven by the growing popularity of RPA and Hyperautomation, leading service providers have developed capabilities to offer end-to-end intelligent automation services, including consulting, implementation, system integration, and support. Intelligent automation service providers, driven by the growing challenges of implementing Hyperautomation strategy, are increasingly gaining market traction across global regions.
As per the studies conducted by Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, end users are struggling to implement intelligent automation strategies successfully. The emergence of several failed case studies of unsuccessful implementation is further raising the demand for intelligent automation service providers.
Quadrant Knowledge Solutions identifies implementing the Hyperautomation strategy and the rapid growth of intelligence automation outsourcing services as two of the top 5 technology trends for 2022.
Revolutionizing Application Development with Low-Code & No-Code Platforms
Like RPA, Low-Code/No-Code is gaining tremendous popularity amongst global organizations. From SMB to large organizations, almost all companies use low-code tools or plan to use them soon. There are essentially two types of low-code platforms. The first one is meant for business users focusing on the ease of use with enhanced automation, template-based, drag-and-drop feature, and other UI elements. The second one is for professional developers to build enterprise-grade, scalable applications.
Business users are now empowered to develop complete applications for their specific needs without requiring support from their IT team. Leading low-code platform vendors to offer multi-experience development features allowing users to design, build, preview and develop applications for the multi-experience environment, including web, mobile, tablets, and other smart devices. The platform may include functionalities for enabling users to build applications that automatically optimizes a multi-experience environment and allow users to design and preview the applications for each platform separately. The platform may cover developing custom mobile apps, web apps, progressive web apps (PWA), chatbots, and virtual assistants.
Most low-code platforms support integration with multiple AI services to support advanced functionalities, with very few offering native AI-powered development assistance. The AI-powered assistance may include a robust recommendation engine to provide the next-best recommendation for process and interface design and other development assistance to accelerate application development processes.
Low-code vendors may offer a specialized value propositions such as, strategies that focus on particular verticals or horizontal-specific use-cases, exclusive focus on citizen developers with no-code development functionalities, and BPM-oriented solutions.
According to Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “Low-Code platform’s fundamental value proposition of providing graphical UI and visual development tools for rapid application development by business users are increasingly becoming a key enabler for digital transformation and a key differentiator for organizations. Organizations are increasingly leveraging low-code platforms for developing new apps, replacing legacy apps, and extending the value of their existing applications. LCAD platform is emerging as an essential technology for digital transformation strategy enabling organizations to keep up with their competition and quickly respond to market and technology disruptions.”
Zero-Trust Architecture & Strategy
Zero Trust is a network security concept based on strict verification of users, devices, applications, and network infrastructure. It requires every access request by users or devices to be securely authenticated and authorized before granting access. Zero Trust framework became popular in the wake of data breaches and modern cyber-attacks. It contends that no entity, whether inside or outside a network perimeter, should be trusted without verification.
The conventional security practice focuses on creating a network perimeter to defend resources and trust entities inside while considering every entity outside the perimeter as untrusted. It assumed that those inside the perimeter were inherently trusted and gave them more unfettered access to internal resources. Furthermore, it fails to adapt to virtual and cloud computing dynamics and the changing threat landscape with more advanced, coordinated outside attackers and malicious insiders trying to move laterally within the network perimeter to exploit important resources.
A Zero-Trust Network Security (ZTNS) approach addresses these challenges by following the principle of “trust nothing, verify everything”. The Zero Trust model treats all access requests without inherent trust and gives access permission on a strict need-to-know, least privilege basis. A Zero Trust solution provides a holistic security architecture. By providing granular and contextual access control and performing continuous adaptive authentication, Zero-Trust Network Security offers comprehensive security against modern threats. By making applications and resources invisible to unauthorized users and granting access post-authentication and authorization of every endpoint request, the ZTNS solution drastically reduces network-based attacks.
According to the research team at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “Zero Trust Architecture is expected to drive the next generation of cybersecurity and network security technology ecosystem with a major focus on strong authentication, authorization, and granular-level access control.”
Cloud-Native to Play a Central Role in Supporting Organizations’ Digital-First Strategies
For the last decade, the cloud has remained one of the most important trends with companies moving from an on-premises environment to cloud-based applications and services. The cloud transformation greatly benefits companies in offering a frictionless scaling-up and down, optimizing cost and IT operations, and achieving a competitive advantage. However, most cloud transformations based on the “Lift and Shift” approach, where conventional applications are moved from on-premises to cloud environments, are not intentionally designed for cloud environments. Such applications often lack performance, agility, ease of implementation, ease of use, and configurability to suit the organization’s growing needs. In several cases, organizations take a significant amount of time to complete cloud transformation projects.
With the emergence of cloud-native technologies, organizations can develop and deploy applications designed for optimum performance across a multi-cloud environment. Cloud-native is an approach to design and build applications based on microservices-based architecture running on containers and dynamic orchestration platforms. Unlike traditional monolithic architectures, cloud-native applications are automatically optimized for optimum performance across any cloud environment with container infrastructure, including private, public, on-premises, hybrid clouds, or edge locations. The cloud-native approach follows agile development and DevOps principles, supporting continuous integrations and continuous delivery (CI/CD) along with continuous deployment. The applications are designed, developed, and delivered collaboratively by development, IT operation, testing, and security teams.
According to Quadrant Knowledge Solutions’ research findings, “cloud-native applications offer a significant advantage over traditional multi-tenant SaaS applications. Cloud-native architecture helps organizations create a culture of innovation with customer-centricity at its core. With benefits such as significantly shorter time-to-market, lower cost-to-market, improved deployment frequency, operational efficiency, and much lower failure rate, cloud-native applications are increasingly becoming the industry norms, helping organizations succeed in today’s dynamic digital environments.”
According to Quadrant Knowledge Solutions, “Over 50% of the global organizations are expected to move to cloud-native by the end of 2022 as part of their cloud transformation and digital-first strategies. Apart from the growing portfolio of cloud-native products from leading vendors, outsourcing service providers with cloud-native implementation expertise is expected to play a major role in cloud-native transformation.”
Director & Principal Analyst – Research & User Consulting at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions
Senior Director – Quadrant Knowledge Solutions