I’m proud to share Ventana Research’s 2022 Market Agenda for Digital Technology. Our focus in this agenda is to deliver expertise to help organizations prioritize technology investments that increase workforce effectiveness and organizational agility, ensuring ongoing operations during any type of disruption.
Ventana Research is sharing insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Agent Management 2022 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to customer experience vendors supporting the spectrum of Agent Management. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the product experience ﹘ adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability ﹘ and two related to the customer experience ﹘ TCO/ROI and vendor validation.
With the announcement of Ventana Research’s 2022 Market Agenda, our expertise in Digital Business continues to advance the market need for effective investments into technology, and I will outline here the key areas of focus to provide insights to organizations that can increase their organizational resilience and workforce readiness. We are proud to provide expertise on ensuring technological effectiveness through our market research and experience in providing guidance on trends and best practices.
Topics: Performance Management, Business Continuity, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Digital transformation, Digital Business, Digital Security, Digital Communications, Sustainability Management, Work Management, Experience Management
The necessity of business continuity came to a reality with the pandemic in early 2020, with the requirement to avoid the risk of interruption to the fundamentals of an organization. I outlined this challenge in my perspective, “The Business Continuity Imperative: The Workforce Experience and Human Capital Management in 2020 and Beyond.” Ensuring that software in cloud computing environments is continuously available should be a business continuity priority for your organization. In fact, your own chief information, risk and operations officers should ensure your organization has the level of reliability that you expect and pay for from your software as a service provider. And does your provider perform the level of investment and protection that you would expect to protect your organization? Do you ensure the level of preparation in business continuity has been done, and do you have a disaster recovery program you can institute in a moment’s notice? Can you operate your business if critical software is not available for more than a day, week, month or longer? Unfortunately, our assertion is that by 2025, after decades of digital transformation efforts, two-thirds of organizations will not resource business continuity as an investment priority to reduce operational risk in black swan events.
Ventana Research was the first market research firm to focus on the emerging area of sales performance management (SPM), which we define as a coordinated set of sales-related activities, processes and systems that enable organization. Over the past decade, SPM has become more science than art. Properly managing a sales organization requires effective planning, which in turn requires key performance and sales indicators built on a foundation of relevant metrics. But this is changing. As more organizations embrace the subscription business model and engage with additional selling channels over and above direct sales, the concept of the primacy of new sales is transforming to a more holistic view of revenue.
The necessity of learning is essential for every organization to realize the full potential of the workforce. But many organizations treat learning like training or academic instruction to ensure policy or compliance to a minimum level of work performance, instead of continuing career education and improving skills in the operational workflow. The context for where and how workers work is critical to ensure that on-the-job learning is possible. While traditional learning management systems (LMS) have advanced the authoring and curriculum for formalized training in a digital learning environment, the need to adapt learning to the operational requirements is essential for every organization. This context provides the opportunity for continuous skills development, which is essential to building organizational readiness and workforce resilience critical for everyday operations and business continuity. We assert that by 2024, learning management systems and learning experience platforms with embedded skill and job ontologies that recommend optimal learning paths will guide one-half of organizations to elevate employee engagement, retention and productivity.
The 2022 Ventana Research Value Index for agent management software is published, offering interesting observations about how the market is advancing to provide more sophistication to agents and the management of them. The market is now characterized by applications integrated into multifunction suites, a significant change accelerated by the pandemic in the short term and vendor consolidation over a longer period. The core applications — workforce management scheduling, call recording and evaluations, and performance management — are largely commoditized. This has opened the door to systems for ensuring agent access to real-time knowledge, peer collaboration and other, more advanced systems.
As with many IT innovations, augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR) and the related topic of spatial computing had been discussed to death long before they became a practical reality. As a user interface, AR is already well understood in terms of its ability to open vast new vistas in entertainment as well as making physical tasks, such as machinery maintenance and warehouse pick-and-pack, far more efficient. In the case of spatial computing, by using glasses to superimpose workflow directions, instructional videos, messages and the like onto the three-dimensional world, individuals can complete tasks faster with little formal training and make fewer errors in the process. So, long before these AR devices, tools and their related UI techniques are adapted to create a new era of immersive business computing, here are some thoughts on this idea.
Ventana Research has announced its market agenda for 2022, continuing the tradition of reliability in our efforts to educate and guide the technology market. Our assessments are backed by our expertise and independence, as we do not share our market agenda or our research – including analyst and market perspectives or our Value Index – with any external party until it is published. We review and refine our market agenda throughout the year to ensure we offer the expertise and insights organizations rely on to better assess and navigate the direction of the technology industry.
Organizations today have huge volumes of data across various cloud and on-premises systems which keep growing by the second. To derive value from this data, organizations must query the data regularly and share insights with relevant teams and departments. Automating this process using natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) enables line-of-business personnel to query the data faster, generate reports themselves without depending on IT, and make quick decisions. Some organizations have started using NLP in self-service analytics to quickly identify patterns and simplify data visualization. Our Analytics and Data Benchmark Research finds that about 81% of organizations expect to use natural language search for analytics to make timely and informed decisions.
Few trends have had a bigger impact on the data platforms landscape than the emergence of cloud computing. The adoption of cloud computing infrastructure as an alternative to on-premises datacenters has resulted in significant workloads being migrated to the cloud, displacing traditional server and storage vendors. Almost one-half (49%) of respondents to Ventana Research’s Analytics and Data Benchmark Research currently use cloud computing products for analytics and data, and a further one-quarter plan to do so. In addition to deploying data workloads on cloud infrastructure, many organizations have also adopted cloud data and analytics services offered by the same cloud providers, displacing traditional data platform vendors. Organizations now have greater choice in relation to potential products and providers for data and analytics workloads, but also need to think about integrating services offered by cloud providers with established technology and processes. Having pioneered the concept, Amazon Web Services has arguably benefitted more than most from adoption of cloud computing, and is also in the process of expanding and adjusting its portfolio to alleviate challenges and encourage even greater adoption.
Organizations today are working with multiple applications and systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and other systems, where data can easily become fragmented and siloed. And as the organization increases its data sources and adds more systems and custom applications, it becomes challenging to manage the data consistently and keep data definitions up to date. This increases the need to use master data management (MDM) software that can provide a single source of truth to drive accurate analytics and business operations.
The contact center is where much of customer experience management happens, but it is by no means the beginning or end of the CX story. Other departments, notably marketing and revenue, have a stake in what happens during the customer’s lifecycle. Whether it’s developing offers, orchestrating interactions or assessing behavior and intent, handling the complexity of the relationship requires a broad set of participants who are not always in alignment.
Pricing is an issue that almost every for-profit company confronts – and usually agonizes over. Chief financial officers must play a part in setting the strategic direction of pricing in their organization. They should not be involved in tactical pricing decisions because they are not close enough to markets and customers, but they should be part of the strategic design of pricing, especially as part of a profitability management effort, which I’ve discussed before.
The need for data-driven decision-making requires organizations to transform not only the approach to business intelligence and data science but also accelerate the development of new operational applications that support greater business agility, enable cloud- and mobile-based consumption, and deliver more interactive and personalized experiences. To stay competitive, organizations need to prioritize the development of new, data-driven applications. As a result, many have been encouraged to invest in new data platforms designed to support agile development and cloud-based delivery. This is one of the factors driving the growth of MongoDB, and continues to drive the evolution of its document database into what is now described as a cloud-based application data platform.