Forrester’s 2024 Planning Guides: Economic Uncertainty Tempers 2024 Budget Expectations
According to Forrester’s (Nasdaq: FORR) 2024 Planning Guides, more realistic budget expectations will serve leaders well as they enter 2024, but now is not the time to hunker down, as stakeholder expectations for growth remain steadfast. Additionally, to accelerate growth and keep pace with the evolving expectations of empowered digital customers, leaders should invest in AI and in their own digital capabilities instead of relying on service providers. In the next year, European digital leaders expect their firms to spend a whopping average of 28% of their organisation’s digital budget on services. A versatile AI approach can deliver a broad range of solutions across operations that create customer value, cut inefficient complexity, and drive innovation.
Forrester’s Planning Guides help leaders across technology, marketing, digital, and customer experience (CX) functions during annual budgeting and prioritisation cycles. They provide relevant benchmark operational data and recommendations for areas to experiment, deepen, or divest budget allocations for the coming year. Key insights from Forrester’s 2024 Planning Guides include the following.
Areas to increase investment in 2024:
- AI strategies and tools that deliver customer value. To deliver greater customer value, leaders must leverage AI for efficiency and effectiveness. This includes using synthetic data for training and refining AI models and AI-powered TuringBots to build and deliver higher-quality customer software faster and cheaper.
- Digital B2B buyer interactions and self-serve routes to market. B2B buyer composition and practices have changed. As such, go-to-market strategies must change, as well. In 2024, businesses should create seamless digital experiences that enable buyers to make product purchases independently through websites, marketplaces, and app stores. They should also consider hiring a revenue operations leader to drive tighter alignment across organisational functions to maximise customer value.
Areas to decrease investment in 2024:
- Redundant cloud environments and tools across functions. While cloud remains the primary focus of advancements in development and AI, leaders should gauge whether adding new cloud environments will shift workloads seamlessly and help their broader IT design.
- Digital service providers. Digital leaders should evaluate each provider they work with to determine whether the partnership is helping them create customer-focused solutions that advance their organisation’s business strategy.
Areas for experimentation in 2024:
- Advanced AI capabilities — including autonomous workplace assistants (AWAs). Generative AI’s rapid business progression will prompt organisations to experiment with AWAs to accelerate workplace productivity and innovation.
- AI and machine learning security. Security leaders should explore new frameworks and vendors in the AI and machine learning security space to both maximise generative AI’s potential and put guardrails in place to minimise its risks.
“European economic indicators are pointing in ambiguous, counterintuitive, and contradictory directions — making it difficult for business leaders to plan their budget investments for the year ahead,” said Laura Koetzle, VP and group research director at Forrester. “Despite the continued economic volatility, European leaders who prioritise investments that create customer value, improve efficiencies, and create differentiation will see significant gains. Forrester’s Planning Guides provide detailed guidance to business leaders on where to invest, pull back, and strategically experiment to grow and succeed in the coming year.”
- Explore the 2024 Planning Guides hub here.
- Read more about the investments, divestments, and experiments that business leaders in Europe should pursue in 2024 to deliver customer value.
- Download Forrester’s Planning Guides 2024 for B2B marketing leaders, CX leaders, and technology leaders.
Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We help leaders across technology, customer experience, digital, marketing, sales, and product functions use customer obsession to accelerate growth. Through Forrester’s proprietary research, consulting, and events, leaders from around the globe are empowered to be bold at work — to navigate change and put their customers at the centre of their leadership, strategy, and operations. Our unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 700,000 consumers, business leaders, and technology leaders worldwide; rigorous and objective research methodologies, including Forrester Wave™ evaluations; 70 million real-time feedback votes; and the shared wisdom of our clients. To learn more, visit Forrester.com.
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