Inaugurating the New AstroChart™ of Tech Trends for The New C-Suite

Designed for strategic planning and roadmap development by executives, leadership, and key digital decision makers, Constellation’s AstroChart™ of Tech Trends for The New C-Suite is designed to be a highly usable visual guide to the top-level technology trends. The position of a given technology on the Astrochart maps its strategic urgency and impact to today's digital enterprise. The vertical axis rates adoption from mainstream and early adopters, all the way to the bleeding edge of experimentation. The horizontal axis estimates the technology's overall impact on an organization’s business model, from incremental to transformational to exponential. As a reminder, a key objective of a Constellation AstroChart is to move beyond the hype and constraints of the traditional two-dimensional rating grid.

Culled from numerous data points including industry discussions, bespoke research, client advisory sessions, and surveys of CXOs over the last year, Constellation has compiled this AstroChart of how current technology trends in the digital enterprise -- specifically at boardroom and C-Suite level -- are evolving and maturing. As is typical for an AstroChart, these trends will be updated approximately every 180 days and will reflect what’s placed into our Futurist Framework and PESTEL model as well as industry inquiries and our own primary research.

The New C-Suite: Digitally Savvy Business Leaders

As a notion and emerging coverage area for Constellation, The New C-Suite espouses a leadership-centered focus on the business and technology issues impacting the enterprise today at the most strategic levels. This coverage is tailored especially for CIOs, CDOs, CMOs, CEO, CHROs and other C-level roles grappling with existential digital issues and opportunities. Consequently, the topics included on this AstroChart either have a) broad applicability to the majority of organizations globally in the near-term and/or are b) still cutting-edge but our analysis shows will become a significant priority soon enough.

In terms of inclusion, the Tech Trends AstroChart for the New C-Suite covers strategic technologies that are profoundly affecting today's digital revolution by making possible major advances in the primary operating environments for organizations today. In each case, these technologies are either making new markets or upending existing ones, though in some cases they will also enable incremental improvements of competitive significance. Today's CXOs are encouraged to be familiar with and fluent with issues involved in employing these technologies to tranform their businesses, as these advances will drive both top-level opportunity and disruption today for most organizations in the majority of industries and geographies.

Designed as a guide and roadmap for CXOs, the Tech Trends AstroChart for The New C-Suite will have some occasional crossover with other Constellation guides, such as the overall Tech Trends AstroChart, though the individual topics themselves may have different positions, depending on the maturity and impact the trends have at a strategic and leadership level. We believe this guide will cut through the noise by emphasizing what matters most to today's senior leaders with top-level digital responsibilities.

Figure 1. Constellation’s AstroChart of Tech Trends for The New C-Suite

Constellation Astrochart of Emerging Enterprise Tech Trends for The New C-Suite

The Tech Trends C-Suite Astrochart

The technologies arrayed across the nine categories in The New C-Suite Tech Trends AstroChart provides key inputs and rankings for strategic planning for both IT departments and digital business groups, as well as to organizations that are improving their strategic digital posture or seeking to maintain a fast follower position.  The nine categories in this AstroChart include:

  1. Bleeding edge – Exponential. These technologies are still on the emerging edge for the enterprise. This segment is currently dominated by the industry conversation around artificial intelligence and machine learning in virtually all aspects of the enterprise. Other key technologies such as industry clouds, which provide capabilities for specific industries or Industry 4.0 frameworks, as well as outcome-based value-as-a-service (VaaS) offerings based on a pay-per-result SaaS model.
  2. Bleeding edge – Transformational.  Strategic accelerators for digital transformation are beginning to emerge in the form of ready-to-go target platforms that have proven change pathways associated with them. At the same time, technologies for employee engagement and real-time performance management are changing the nature of the digital workplace, while immersive digital experiences in the form of virtual and augmented reality (AR and VR) are poised to remake both the customer and workplace experience. Blockchain is revolutionizing digital recordkeeping while simultaneously creating new products, services, and markets in the process, just as artificial intelligence looms as a potent new way to actually manage and lead the next-generation enteprise.
  3. Bleeding edge – Incremental.  While office robotics is still around the corner, it appears likely to have significant ramifications in many industries in terms of the future of the workforce. At the same time, logistics is being transformed from supply chain to end-point delivery by new forms of automation and intelligence. Digital twins will soon be instrumenting our organizations like never before, providing the ability to both model and monitor organizations strategically. Digital boardrooms as next-generation dashboards that provide insights and prescriptive analytics to senior leaders and are becoming compelling enough for day-to-day use and major decision making.
  4. Early adopter – Exponential. The Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting companies to customers in sustained new ways that create both major challenges and opportunities. Open APIs are quickly becoming a C-level topic as organizations must rapidly position themselves in 2017 as ecosystem-savvy and ready players. Systems of intelligence and innovation are poised to offer blueprints for both functions in the cloud for a growing number of organizations.
  5. Early adopter – Transformational.  Marketing is becoming ever more cross-channel with requisite and voracious demands for data to drive the customer journey as well as to manage the customer experience as a whole. Digital learning and skill building is becoming essential to uptalent and crosstalent the workforce in the digital age. Public cloud is getting increasingly enteprise-ready as organizations broadly shift most new IT investment towards it. The fragmention of marketing into thousands of point solutions will soon drive both a mass die-off as well as a drive towards far better integration to support better customer experience, the top value differentiator when it comes to digital experience.
  6. Early adopter – Incremental.  As today's enterprise has to be increasingly digital-ready in all aspects, microservices has emerged as C-level discussion to build the next generation of revenue generating functions in the modern organization in key industries like health care. Prescriptive analytics is coming into its own to create actionable recommendations that rapidly propel organizations down high value, strategic decision trees, heading off the competition in the process. Master data managment is improving to create a more holistic and actionable view of what organizations know and can do, while adaptive cybersecurity remains the top new tool to combat the challenges of keeping enterprise systems in all forms safe and secure. Risk management technologies round on one of the top digital technologies that organizations must employe to keep digital performing positively on a sustainable basis.
  7. Mainstream – Exponential.  The majority of potential in digital technologies remains outside of the mainstream high growth path (in fact, virtually no traditional enteprises have ever achieved expontential growth or potential), and this segment is currently not occupied though Open APIs and Internet of Things are both poised to move into this position soon.
  8. Mainstream – Transformational.  Mobility is still in the process of remaking digital experience, and still has a good way to go in the majority of organizations. Public cloud has now become a mainstream force for IT, but still has years of major evolution and new potential ahead of it. Digital talent platforms and business intelligence/analytics round out now mainstream technologies that are still steadily changing organizations today.
  9. Mainstream – Incremental.  A bit longer in the tooth in terms of being considered emerging tech, yet still relevant for strategic purposes for the majority of organizations, mainstream technologies such as big data, cloud ERP, customer relationship management, and digital workplace round out tech that still key for C-level leaders to watch closely.

Plan Your Digital Strategy With The Constellation’s AstroChart for Tech Trends for The New C-Suite

Digital leaders can stay abreast of strategic technology and business trends by adoption rates and business model impact using Constellation’s AstroCharts. Use the AstroChart to develop your overall boardroom strategy and to benchmark your organization’s adoption. Constellation notes the following:

Organizations should take an assessment of their strategyic digital priorities and use the AstroChart to determine portfolio management.

  • Market leaders tend to bet 50% of their portfolio on disruptive projects
  • Market leaders tend to bet 30% of their portfolio on bleeding edge projects
  • Fast followers tend to bet 80% of their portfolio on early adopter projects
  • Exponential – bleeding edge bets require a very informed or founder driven board, innovation fund, or startup partners(s)

Become The New C-Suite

Would you like to take advantage of the Constellation’s AstroCharts for The New C-Suite? How have you built out your strategic investment map? Have you prioritized and fully resources your digital efforts? Learn how organizations can apply this business trends roadmap and Constellation's unique frameworks to disrupt digital businesses.

Note: This chart, as well as the Business Trends for The New C-Suite are part of a forthcoming research report that details how these trends must form the foundation of the next generation of your organization. You can also explore my overall take on the enterprise technologies to watch in 2017 on ZDnet.

Please add your comments, suggestions, notes on additions/omissions, and other commentary below. You can also reach me via email: dion (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or @dhinchcliffe on Twitter.

Finally, please let us know if you need help with your digital business and transformation efforts. Here’s how we can assist:

  • Developing your digital business strategy
  • Connecting with other digital leaders
  • Accessing the latest digital best practices
  • Understanding the vendor space
  • Identifying options for implementation partners
  • Validating roadmaps and playbooks
  • Providing advisory and education to CXOs and boards

Additional Reading

Constellation's AstroChart For Business Trends, Q4 2016

CEN Member Chat: Trends for 2017 - Using the AstroCharts for Strategic Planning