Digital Transformation

2022 IT Predictions by Forrester

In humans, they say that a generation changes every ten years. In IT, it’s a lot faster. From my experience, IT trends and goals change every two to three years. And the work that we did five years back will be considered obsolete today, which points towards a generational shift in IT.

People in IT are on the fast lane. To survive, they need to keep pace with the changing digital world. While it’s exciting and all, it will keep us on the path of learning the whole time, and never on the path showing off the exuberance of our expertise. We are in the world of jacks and being the jack of all things is winning.

How are things going to be in 2022? What are the trending topics? What form of digital transformation takes precedence? These are some of the burning questions that pop into our heads as we think of the year ahead. Well, Forrester has some predictions on this front.

Matt Guarini, VP, senior research director at Forrester said,  “We’re just seeing strong overall growth from a macro perspective in terms of people using technology, accelerating a lot of the digital transformation investments that have been maybe on the plan, but now they’re accelerating.”

With the pandemic more or less behind us, Forrester expects the IT budgets to go up by 6% in 2022. They have come out with some interesting predictions for the upcoming year. This is directly stemming from the budget increase and the role of technical leadership.

Human Centered Transformation

IT has long driven past the line of being an enabler. The previous generation’s digital transformation ensured that IT and business go hand in hand. The next step in the ladder is to focus the IT toward humans, make IT more subjective, so expect human centered transformation.

The prediction from Forrester is that a tenth of the executives from the top companies will channel their investments towards human centered initiatives. The budgets would outnumber their competitors by about three times.

How do they do it? They are likely to leverage on the data derived from Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EE).

Dealing with Talent Scant

The great resignation is in full swing and most companies are feeling the wrath of employees jumping ship. This has thrown a lot of wrenches into the IT initiatives. Even the biggest and most popular organizations are finding is tough to retain good people and getting sufficient decent talent onboarded is a bridge too far.

The Forrester report states, “The talent market dynamics at play will also result in an exodus as their best tech employees seek out truly future fit places to work, leaving with both their skills and their business and technical knowledge of how those firms operate.”

So how do CIOs react to this challenge? They are likely to bring in the automation. And leverage the available tools to identify and automate whatever is possible. Migration to cloud and leveraging low-code/no-code technologies will help reducing the dependency on niche talent.

 Technical Debt Endemic

One of the collateral damages stemming from the pandemic is the rise in technical debt. People working from homes, and the need to come up with production releases at supersonic speeds has made the code unsavoury with technical debt.

“Lots of technology changes are not delivering long-term value and they’re also not delivering value that’s integrated across the company,” Guarini said.

With the outburst of new technologies and spurt in development, the prediction for 2022 is that at least 60% of the organizations will end 2022 with higher technical debt than when the year started. This is big as DevOps and its variants had worked hard to educate the teams on technical debt and this growth in 2022 is going to take us back to the old ways of working.

Steeper Revenue Goals

With IT integrating with the business, the unintended or the unforeseen consequence is the goal set for CIOs, specifically the goals to achieve revenue.

With technology playing an equal part in a product or a business’ success, it is more than fair to ask of more revenue from the CIOs. The prediction is that at least 10% of the technical executives who were earlier not evaluated on revenue will be evaluated on it in the upcoming year.

Guarini said, “some companies are actively trying to integrate technology and the business as seamlessly as possible, and so they believe that giving targets to their tech leaders as well as the business leaders will drive more of that alignment.”

Moving to a Product Model

The buzz in the last couple of years is that companies were moving away from their traditional model towards a product centric model. A traditional model could constitute silos and skill based teams.

Forrester predicts that 50% of the aspiring companies are going to fail in this effort. This is a massive prediction. The reason they say, is that while the main drivers moved towards a product model, the enabling operations model stayed behind in the old ways of working, and this will likely bring down the product model transformation.

Forrester predicts, “‘We’re going to a product model has become the fashionable trend. While over 40% of tech organizations will adopt a product-centric delivery model next year, about half of those attempts will fail. We think you’re going to end up with just another organization that’s not delivering for the business.”

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