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Future-fit tech strategies: the keys to success in a changed future

By 20 December 2021No Comments

Adapt your tech strategy to be fit for a constantly changing future

A new Forrester report poses the difficult question of how ready tech-sector firms are for an industry future that has been changed forever by the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the report suggests plenty of plans are being made, it appears not everybody is going to get it right. 

‘Future-fit companies…will balance short bursts of rapid execution with long-term approaches to adaptivity […] while modernising their tech architecture and moving to the cloud.’ 

No more quick fixes

For understandable reasons, 2021 proved to be a year of quick-fix solutions to keep tech companies afloat in a world where supply chains were disrupted and working practices completely remodelled at short notice. But now strategic eyes must turn to the future, and Forrester’s latest report examines what’s going to happen in 2022 and beyond. 

Tech investment strategy needs to be redefined to be ready for a future that looks very different from how it looked pre-pandemic. Tech spend is going to rise 6% in 2022, but with increased spending comes a warning. Employee experience is becoming as important to tech firms’ futures as customer experience if they are to remain productive and profitable in the ‘new normal’. 

Closing the CX/EX loop

Forrester’s figures suggest the main wave of tech transformation is already behind us, with just 15% of surveyed companies expecting to digitally transform in 2022. This means, however, that tech strategy itself has to evolve if firms are successfully going to differentiate themselves in a saturated market. 

‘In a push for productivity, tech strategy must become human-centric, closing the loop between customer experience and employee experience.’

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Recruitment challenges force more changes

The tech sector faces a double challenge when making itself future fit, Forrester warns.   

A critical shortage of tech talent supply against demand, coupled with a very high staff attrition rate of 13.8%, presents considerable challenges for many companies.  

Indeed, tech roles currently take 66 days to fill, compared with an average of 45 days in other industries. In an effort to address this issue, tech-sector firms will take one of two approaches. The first is to raise salaries, with its concomitant long-term ramifications for their business models and, as tech talent wages rise generally anyway, inadequacy as a permanent solution. 

The other approach is to move to cloud-first, platform-based structures in a low-code or no-code environment, removing the need to hire as many tech specialists in the first place. 

Rising tech debt burdens threaten companies’ futures

The pandemic has meant that 55% of firms globally have rushed to implement tech systems that keep the supply chain moving. These systems may keep the company alive, but they often do so at the expense of customer experience. Money spent on online commerce, hybrid CX and tech manufacturing has resulted in tech debt which throws longer-term tech strategy and investment into doubt. 

Over-reliance on off-the-shelf solutions means around half of tech transformation initiatives miss the mark. Widespread adoption of ready-made solutions merely homogenizes the market, blending companies into each other instead of differentiating them as intended. In reaction to this phenomenon, Forrester expects 40% of tech firms to adopt product-centric delivery models, increase team autonomy and adopt agile and DevOps practices in 2022. 

According to the report, ‘Tech execs in future-fit firms will be accountable with their business peers for aligned business metrics and goals to accelerate revenue growth.’ 

Missing the mark

The report predicts that many firms won’t get this right.   

In 2021, only 21% of software development teams said creating a multidisciplinary product team was a top-three priority for 2022. As a consequence, efforts will stall as a result of poorly defined product strategies and an inability to make changes to teams, talent and processes, a situation exacerbated by the recruitment issues outlined above. 

Pressure to deliver revenue growth will mean 10% of tech executives’ targets will focus on that metric. If they’re to succeed, they must focus on speed, finding new ways of working, and meeting customer needs and demands. 

redk has 15 years’ experience and the agnostic perspective necessary to help your company implement the tech solution that suits your needs. If you’re looking for seamless CRM and customer experience transformation, talk to us today. 

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Hideki Hashimura

Lead Consultant
CRM Transformation Practice at redk

Hideki applies over 15 years of experience in the field of CRM and Customer Experience to overcome business challenges in the customer cycle.

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