Forrester: 2023 Technology Spending Needs to Deliver Business Value

In a Forbes article entitled “How Will Technology Spending Deliver Business Value In 2023?” the research firm Forrester discussed key themes for IT investment heading into the new year.

Forrester writes “Despite some mixed economic signals and various business challenges around the world, technology executives must approach the 2023 planning cycle with a growth mindset. The lessons from the pandemic are clear: Technology will continue as a beacon to help businesses better connect with customers. The most customer-obsessed organizations accelerated their move to digital during the pandemic and will continue to do so going forward to deliver innovative customer experiences. It’s up to their IT leaders to align technology architectures and build the IT roadmap to ensure a successful digital transformation. And that requires spending.”

Their 2023 Planning Guide provides businesses help to navigate current economic and geopolitical headwinds to ensure that tech spending targets the right areas. Here are the key points called out in the Forbes article:

· Realize value before reducing costs. Align technology investment decisions with the same risk and opportunity framing as the business itself. The need to rapidly translate technology decisions into business value has never been more important. No matter what, technology executives should keep their company’s customers’ needs and expectations central to their investments.

· Reduce costs that do not move the customer forward. Tie technology spending directly to the delivery of business objectives and customer value. Don’t let tech funding become ineffective when negotiating the seemingly endless tradeoffs that exist. Technology executives should take a cost-to-value approach and empower the IT organization to strengthen business outcomes.

· Focus on pragmatic innovation. Uncover where the IT organization can become more valuable to the business. Use experimentation as an opportunity to focus innovation on the pragmatic rather than the dynamic. Technology executives should prove out technologies, concepts, and capabilities that can directly impact the top or bottom line.

At Planalytics, our work with leading retailers shows that businesses can drive better customer experiences, increased sales, and greater profitability by applying predictive weather-driven demand analytics that align with the above priorities.

On the first point, Planalytics helps retailers “rapidly translate technology decisions into business value” with analytics that leverage existing demand forecasting technologies (packaged software or ML-based solutions) to begin delivering financial benefits in terms of reduced stockouts or lower inventory costs in a matter of weeks and businesses routinely realize full ROI within six months. Planalytics’ ready-to-integrate weather-driven demand metrics optimize demand forecasts quickly and this benefits a retailer’s customers and the bottom line.

Planalytics also helps retailers “tie technology spending directly to the delivery of business objectives and customer value” by addressing the core retail processes of having the right product available for shoppers when and where they want it. Fewer empty shelves or racks means more satisfied and loyal customers and greater sales and profit margins. There are few things more critical for retailers than better aligning products and operational resources with continually shifting consumer demand.

Lastly, let’s talk about predictive weather-driven demand analytics as “pragmatic innovation”. Our experience with retailers and other consumer-based businesses fits the goal of pursuing “technologies, concepts, and capabilities that can directly impact the top or bottom line.” By staying a step ahead of the constantly changing weather-based demand volatility, retailers using Planalytics metrics have been able to increase total sales by up to 2% and enhance EBITDA by 2-6%.

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