Digitally-advanced firms ‘will capitalise in 2021’

The first of the 2021 prediction reports has forecast that next year every company will double down on technology-fuelled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems.

According to Forrester’s outlook, the success of European organisations will depend on how quickly and well they harness technology to enable their workforce and build platforms that differentiate them.

The market analysis firm stated that more than a third of European white-collar workers will remain remote full-time. In 2021, 49 per cent of European managers anticipate a permanently higher rate of full-time remote employees – as a result, remote cross-border work will grow.

Chief marketing officers will assert full control over the customer lifecycle, putting people at the centre of leadership, strategy and operations. As a result, spend on loyalty and retention marketing will increase by 30 per cent in 2021, according to Forrester.

Chief information officers meanwhile, will embrace cloud-first and platform strategies for speed and adaptiveness. The report stated that next year 30 per cent of firms will continue to accelerate their spend on cloud, security and risk, networks and mobility - including struggling firms looking to gain advantage coming out of the pandemic.

The European Parliament will draft new rules on artificial intelligence and abandon e-privacy reforms, according to the report. At the same time, fraud and data breaches in banking will reach an all-time high.

In 2021, there will be a high number of fraudulent COVID-19 loans, according to the report. Banks will also face breaches and fines because of naive businesses that digitised with little regard for the General Data Protection Regulation, exposing data and compromising millions of accounts.

“During the pandemic, European firms accomplished tasks that once seemed impossible - sometimes overnight,” said Laura Koetzle, vice president and group director at Forrester. “The shift to remote work, standing up e-commerce platforms to sell online, and organising events virtually to stay connected are just some examples of pivots that European organisations had to make quickly.”

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