Insights, The Marketing Technology Office

What We Learned From Forrester in the First Half of 2015




In addition to our hands-on craft of architecture, development, and delivery, we like to stay smart on all things digital marketing, content and technology oriented.  We invest in relationships with analyst firms like Forrester (and others), to find trends within trends, for that little bit of extra inspiration, and for that added level of validation when we’re innovating and blazing trails.

As the first half of 2015 comes to a close, we are compelled to look back at the 850+ research reports – yeah, that’s a lot – Forrester produced so far this year.  Consuming and making sense of all that insight is more than a full-time job, so we thought we’d save you some time to bubble up the themes that stand out most.

Looking ahead in 2016, CIO’s budgets are shifting to business software, services and application development outsourcing.

 CIOs have adapted to the demands of the modern business, whether it’s due to the “Age of the Customer” or the “Era of Experience”, CIOs will spend less and less on non-customer-facing initiatives.  With that shift, however, we wonder how more customer-focused spending will overlap with the CMOs agenda and budget. After all, CMOs are also focused on building out customer-facing business capabilities through technology.  The message to CIOs is clear: get aggressive and build high-performing teams that integrate organizational silos and align business capabilities with technology roadmaps.  Your CMO is not yet ready to take a seat at the enterprise architecture table.

 No single software platform is the silver bullet, but integrations and APIs are the silver lining.

Commercial and open-source platforms across content and experience management, CRM, marketing automation and commerce have one thing in common: each is investing in open architectures and robust APIs. Despite some improvements within legacy applications and strong modern players entering the market, the sheer number of systems that support online interactions – the average brand now has over two dozen digital marketing solutions – means that seamlessly integrating data and content is the Achilles heel for both CMOs and CIOs alike.  Both sides of the house must lean on a multi-vendor ecosystem, raising the importance and value of “Lead Integrators” and “Experience Management Providers of Record”

Business and technical stakeholders that purchase software “overbuy”, suggesting that the procurement and selection processes are immature at best, perhaps even broken.

 There is blame to go around; vendor sales and product marketing teams are notorious for selling a vision rather than reality.  “Smoke and Mirrors” product demonstrations are still distracting buyers, or worse, misguiding them on capabilities, feasibility and level of effort.  Buyers share some blame, often settling for ineffective features, functions and scoring models that do not expose them to key considerations. What is it really like to work with the tool? Which team should implement it?  Cutting corners on technology selection, particularly with core, foundational platforms (ex. WCM, Commerce, Marketing Automation) is a great example of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

There are a few more standouts to note; be on the lookout for the value of performance engineering, Lean/Agile delivery, and the growth of offerings (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, DaaS, etc).  We’ll check in on these as we progress through the rest of 2015.

The following research from Forrester influence the themes we noted above:

US Tech Market Outlook For 2015 And 2016: The BT Agenda Powers Steady Expansion – June 29, 2015

TechRadar™: Integration Technologies, Q2 2015 – June 23, 2015

Market Overview: CDN Platforms And Digital Performance Services – May 12, 2015

Wanted: Digital Engagement Providers – April 1, 2015


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