Forrester Preps IT Leaders to Be “Future Fit”



A few years ago no one knew that a pandemic would shut down the world or break just-in-time manufacturing and supply chains. It’s hard to know how to prepare for the future when unforeseen disruptors can change everything.

Forrester Research noted in a report that 2020 and its pandemic has kicked off a new decade by accelerating digital and technology needs. Buyers are prioritizing values, privacy, and experimentation. The future of work is getting redistributed. And shifting market dynamics are redefining operating models.

“Leaders must reimagine their approach to technology to keep up,” said Forrester analysts in a recent report. “Customer obsession will provide the North Star for leading CIOs, CTOs, and chief data officers as they embrace what Forrester calls a “future fit technology strategy.”

But what does that actually mean? Cultivating certain traits within an organization can help it prepare for whatever unknowns may be coming in the future.

“When we look at the enterprise we found that there were three traits that were key for a tech strategy to be successful and to drive customer obsession and get the benefits of that — to be future fit,” says Forrester VP and research director Matthew Guarini. “You need to be adaptive, creative, and resilient.”

Be Adaptive, Creative, and Resilient

Forrester plans to help IT leaders harness these three traits to get closer to the future fit model at the upcoming Technology & Innovation North America event taking place in Austin and also available digitally, September 29-30. The event is designed for CIOs, CTOs, chief digital offers, VPs, directors of digital teams, and line of business leaders, as well as leaders of digital and e-commerce business units, plus CEOs, CFOs, and chief operating officers.

An opening keynote address by Guarini, presenting with fellow Forrester analysts James L. McQuivey and Fiona Mark, will focus on How Technology Leaders Can Drive High Performance Today, a theme that attendees will learn about throughout the event.

Taking that a step farther, Guarini says that the event is geared toward helping IT and business leaders take the lessons that they have learned and formulate a practical plan to apply those lessons in their own organizations and environments. The idea is to turn research into action, Guarini says.

Other programming at the event will include a number of panel discussions on topics that are top-of-mind for IT leaders right now, such as low code/no code, competing for talent and managing talent during uncertain times, hybrid work, Web3/the metaverse and the future of the internet, future-fit cybersecurity, and more.

The event will also feature a number of use case/case study presentations that include projects by Pinterest, Oomnitza, and OutSystems, among several others.

The Talent Wars

At a pre-conference event, Forrester will put a sharper focus on the talent concerns that have troubled the industry, particularly over the past few years, and some solutions to those concerns. This part of the event will feature some recent Forrester research on the increasingly competitive nature of the tech labor market.

Forrester Research is forecasting a huge increase in employment for technology workers in the decade between 2020 and 2030. But a number of new forces will change the labor market in the years ahead. For instance, Forrester says, Silicon Valley is no longer a destination, it is a hyperlocal design.

“Due to labor and business migration patterns, the extended reach of venture capital, and academic endowments soaring, it is becoming much easier to replicate Silicon Valley’s historical success,” Forrester states in its Labor Market report. “Tech execs need to locate where these ecosystems are concentrating and establish beachheads to maximize their labor strategy.”

State-issued relocation credits as well as state and local tax environments are disrupting the game when it comes to highly skilled tech labor.

At the Forrester event, a particular area of focus in terms of labor will be women in technology.

“It’s still a male dominated industry,” says Guarini. “There are a lot of women who come into the industry but then they don’t stay.” With that in mind, Forrester’s programming will illuminate how to build a great experience for women in IT, including women as leaders and women as individual contributors.

Those interested in attending Forrester’s Technology & Innovation North America Forum, taking place September 29–30, 2022, can register with voucher code FORRIW.

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