When it comes to 2023 planning, which areas would you want to raise or cut spending?
According to Forrester’s recently released 2023 Planning Guides, there are two areas that businesses need to consider increasing their investments.
Customer insights and engagement. With 2023 unlikely to look like any past recession, many assumptions about customers and their behaviour will be rendered useless, Forrester said.
Leaders should invest in new customer data and analytics tools, such as experience research platforms (XPRs), to sharpen audience targeting strategies, the firm advised.
Technologies that improve CX and reduce costs. Current economic headwinds will require focusing on technology tuned for optimisation and resilience, according to Forrester.
Leaders should invest in tools that drive loyalty and reduce operational costs, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and agent-assist apps, the firm said.
Areas to reduce spending in 2023
According to the company, the areas that businesses need to decrease spending in 2023 include:
Technical debt — including cloud. Many thought the cloud would be the antidote to technical debt, but yesterday’s lifted-and-shifted workloads are now debt themselves given how inefficient to operate and difficult to upgrade they are.
In 2023, leaders should consider early cloud deployments as candidates for technical debt reductions.
Low-quality data partners and innovation outsourcing. Partners will continue to play an important role in growth, but two key areas are ripe for cuts.
As the quality of third-party data continues to drop, leaders should streamline these partnerships to only those that add value to customer relationships.
Second, firms that relied too heavily on partners for digital innovation during the pandemic-induced digital sprint should bring more innovation in house.
Areas for experimentation in 2023
There are also the following areas that businesses can test the water when it comes to 2023 planning, Forrester pointed out.
Extended reality, the metaverse, and Web3 that offer immersive experiences. These interlinked — and arguably overhyped — technologies hold the promise of immersive experiences linked to token-based ecosystems that use cryptocurrencies and public blockchains.
Leaders in consumer industries should experiment with metaverse precursor platforms such as Roblox and Decentral to open doors to new audiences.
Intelligent agents that make experiences more human. An intelligent agent (IA) can make decisions or perform a service based on its environment, user input, and experiences.
Leaders should plan to experiment with IAs on an ongoing basis to utilize their full potential.
Above all, Forrester advised that business leaders who plan for “business as usual” modest spending increases in the year ahead will fall short.
“Indeed, due to an unpredictable and turbulent economy, leaders will need to tackle planning with discipline and precision in order to trim waste, experiment, and make bold, smart investments,” said Sharyn Leaver, chief research officer at Forrester.