The hype surrounding emerging technologies might allure some enterprises, but CIOs have a lot to consider before the test and implementation stages of emerging tech.
For most businesses, technology is a utility or an order taker, Forrester research shows. That means that for more organizations, the newest emerging technology isn't worth the potential risks and time needed to experiment.
CIOs at these companies have to sift through an ever-growing list of emerging tech to find the tools that will produce the best ROI and communicate value to stakeholders.
However, that isn’t to say that emerging technologies aren’t important. Nearly two-thirds of IT professionals say their organizations will increase spending on emerging technologies over the next year, according to Forrester data.
There is even more pressure on CIOs to make the right decision as businesses navigate lower consumer spending power and record inflation.
Forrester weighs some emerging technologies far ahead of others, setting up a guide for CIOs on what to prioritize. In a presentation at last week's Technology and Innovation North America conference, Forrester laid out when companies could expect positive ROI from specific technologies.
While companies could expect ROI from cloud-native computing or natural language processing within a year, others, including Web3 or extended reality won’t deliver benefits for at least five years.
When companies expect to see ROI from emerging technology
|< 1 year||2-4 years||5+ years|
|Cloud-native computing||Edge intelligence||TuringBots|
|Natural language processing||Explainable AI||Web3|
|Intelligent agents||Extended reality|
|Privacy-preserving technology||Zero-trust edge|
This means that organizations looking for the fastest and most fruitful ROI can start by implementing and piloting cloud-native computing and natural language processing if they haven’t already.
In the same vein, businesses should not be expecting positive ROI from emerging technologies like TuringBots, Web3, extended reality and zero trust edge for at least the next five years.
Notably, the metaverse didn’t make the top 10 list.
“The reason metaverse is not on our list is simple: there is no metaverse,” Brian Hopkins, VP, emerging tech portfolio at Forrester, said during the event.
“Metaverse is a concept for the future; it does not exist today," he said. "It’s a future aspiration, something you need to be aware of and keep your eye on, but it’s not a technology, not today.”
Forrester's advice aligns with what industry executives are saying. Almost two-thirds of executives say they are waiting for competitors to invest in and/or adopt metaverse technologies before investing themselves, according to KPMG data released last month.
Hopkins also warned businesses about the promise of Web3 technologies versus the reality of what it can do today.
“Here’s the deal: no one can tell you exactly what [Web3] is,” Hopkins said. “Even more than that, no one can tell you how to make money with it.”
Last year, Web3 startups generated publicity and raised $30 billion in venture funding, according to Forrester data.
“But at this point, with all the hype and all this venture capital going into it, it’s buyer beware,” Hopkins said.