Forrester report: Generative AI set to deliver significant returns for enterprises in the coming years

According to Forrester’s latest report, “The Top 10 Emerging Technologies in 2023,” several technologies are poised to deliver substantial returns on investment for enterprises in the near future. The report highlights the significance of generative AI and conversational AI, emphasizing the need for businesses to manage associated risks while capitalizing on their potential.

Generative AI, a leading emerging technology, is predicted to yield significant returns for most enterprises within the next two to four years. However, businesses must navigate challenges related to trustworthiness, evolving regulations, and potential intellectual property complications to fully benefit from generative AI applications.

Despite these risks, generative AI is highly recommended for investment due to its wide-ranging impact and ability to expedite the development of other emerging technologies, such as autonomous workplace assistants (AWAs) and conversational AI.

Conversational AI, enabled by generative AI, is identified as the second top emerging technology with the fastest ROI potential. E-commerce, B2B sales, and customer service functions are expected to witness the most significant impacts from implementing conversational AI. AWAs, on the other hand, are set to deliver immediate benefits to most firms, as they are equipped to handle increasingly complex yet repetitive human tasks.

Forrester’s report also sheds light on several other emerging technologies that are anticipated to offer substantial benefits within the next two to four years

  • Decentralized Digital Identity (DDID): DDID is projected to replace physical proof-of-identity documents, with financial services, government, and education sectors likely to benefit the most. Adopting blockchains and zero-knowledge proofs will play a crucial role in facilitating this gradual transformation.
  • Edge Intelligence: The conversion of massive data sets generated by computer vision and sensors into real-time actions necessitates more intelligent software operating at the edge of business and consumer networks. By implementing edge intelligence, customer digital experiences are expected to witness the greatest enhancement.
  • Explainable AI (XAI): The trustworthiness of new AI software relies on its explainability. Although XAI capabilities are still developing, this technology is expected to find substantial utilization in highly regulated and high-risk scenarios, particularly in the finance and healthcare sectors.
  • TuringBots: There has been a remarkable surge in the number and capabilities of TuringBots, AI-powered software robots that aid developers in building applications. Within the next two to four years, a significant portion of enterprise applications could be generated using this technology.

Some technologies may take at least five years to deliver tangible value for enterprises

  • Extended Reality (XR): Only 20% of US online adults are comfortable using virtual or augmented reality for information consumption. Therefore, XR will require further hardware innovation and consumer adoption. In the short term, enterprises are expected to benefit from XR in employee training and onboarding areas.
  • Web3: Despite its promise of a new, more democratic web, Web3 remains a self-referencing ecosystem of financial engineering fraught with risk and scandal. Enterprises face technical challenges related to scaling, security, identity and key management, and privacy regarding Web3 adoption.
  • Zero Trust Edge (ZTE): ZTE integrates Zero Trust security principles into software-defined networks deployed in offices and physical spaces but controlled centrally via the cloud. The enhanced security and performance these tools offer will require additional time as security and networking vendor offerings merge and mature.

“While many emerging technologies show great promise, tech leaders must assess whether these technologies can deliver value and if their business can navigate their associated risks,” said Brian Hopkins, Forrester VP of emerging technology portfolio.

“This means side-stepping misinformation, mitigating poor decisions driven by a fear of missing out, and narrowing the focus from the shiny objects to the few technologies with real potential. Firms must also ensure that their time frame for implementing these technologies is commensurate with their overall risk/reward tolerance,” Hopkins added in the report.

As enterprises maximize their investments in emerging technologies, carefully considering each technology’s potential and associated risks is crucial. Forrester’s report is a valuable guide to help businesses navigate the evolving technological landscape and make informed decisions regarding their future investments.


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