CIOs already face significant pressure to understand and respond to digitally empowered customers. And as their firms’ customer experience (CX) focus intensifies, CIOs must bring digital into the heart of customer engagements — leveraging technology to assure high value end to end across the customer life cycle.

The next wave of tech trends to watch — 2016 to 2018 — support tech management’s move to the heart of digital CX implementation. Today’s mainstream CX investment path has individual organizations making point investments in the latest technology inventions — like social, mobile, big data, cloud, and analytics. But today’s leading firms are delivering solutions that reach end to end across customers’ journeys and across systems that connect the employees who service the customer life cycle. And these trends will accelerate over the next three years.

We see the top tech trends making this shift in three phases from 2016 through 2018:

  • Visionaries will dominate dawning phase trends as they drive point inventions to address specific business organizations’ opportunities.
  • Fast followers will discover the limits of point solutions in the awareness phase and begin to work through the challenges of end-to-end innovation.
  • Enterprises will shift investment toward integrating capabilities across the customer life cycle in the acceptance phase. We call this an “insight-out” approach, as it reaches across customers’ ecosystems.

In our research report, we plot this year’s top technology trends to watch across these three phases. The figure below summarizes our trends. It also illustrates where we think each is relative to point and end-to-end investments. And the figure names some research reports to check out for more information.

CIOs should work with the other business leaders and their tech management teams to adopt the capabilities necessary to leverage these trends. This work begins with the enterprise architects planning appropriate shifts in technology use for their firms. To enable effective adoption, CIOs should invest in:

  • Customer-in strategy and design.
  • Fast-cycle planning and governance.
  •  Continuous delivery.
  • Flexible sourcing.
  • Information security.

Take advantage of our upcoming Webinar to get a clearer understanding of the top tech trends to watch — 2016 to 2018 — and how your firm can take advantage of them.