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A key requirement to make data usable is to provide “context.” In his presentation on contextual intelligence, Thei Geurts describes Forrester’s prediction for the five accelerators defining the business landscape of 2020. What follows is an overview of the accelerators from Forrester and their impact on IT.


  1. Businesses – and government – become obsessive about customers: Customer-centricity has always been a major driver in service industries. Recently, businesses, such as ServiceNow, have demonstrated the benefits of taking a customer-centric approach to automating business functions, with the service desk component at its core. Retailers (Zappos is a good example) know the key to consumer retention is to be obsessive about maintaining their loyalty. Per Forrester, even state and federal government departments and agencies will think about their citizens obsessively.
  2. Operational excellence matters now more than ever: There was a time when IT departments had no competition; taking a week to provide a sales report was common and acceptable. Today, salespeople can get their own reports directly from their Salesforce.com service, without the wait for IT. With cloud-based and outsourced alternatives looming, IT Operations must learn to excel to survive.
  3. Regulatory and competitive pressure will force constant change: Many businesses operate in an increasingly regulated environment. New regulations concerned with consumer privacy reach beyond the traditionally regulated verticals, such as Finance, Insurance, or Health Care. Competitive pressures increase every year as new companies can easily copy another’s unique differentiators, forcing them to innovate and deploy new services to maintain market share.
  4. Finding and leveraging talent will be universal and strategic: Finding talented employees is becoming increasingly difficult. To be attractive to e.g. top developers, organizations now must employ the latest cutting-edge technologies and tools, keeping in mind they are often speaking to experts in their use. The downside of this is the constraints it places on hiring, skills development and retention. By 2020, Forrester asserts this will be a universal problem across all functions.
  5. IT vanishes in the business: We’ve mentioned how departments often bypass IT altogether by accessing cloud-based application providers directly. IT is already adapting to this trend by helping the business select the best provider to serve both business and technical needs. Forrester predicts the demise of the centralized IT organization, which will be replaced by one that is distributed across lines-of-business.


These accelerators point to a more fragmented IT organization during the coming years, which makes centralized data management more challenging. Automated data collection and refinement will become increasingly used to manage the quality of IT asset and configuration data.


The IT Service Management function must still be the first line of support, and to be effective, it must operate with accurate data that provides context. When Blazent maps asset relationships, it provides context of the data for consumers, and by doing so, adds value across the entire process chain. You can learn more by downloading the Data-powered IT Service Management white paper linked here.