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Updated by Charles Bystock on 03/02/2022
future of it is fit

Most C-suite executives would acknowledge their companies are facing enormous systemic upheaval in 2022. Technology iterations, staffing shortages, supply chain disruption, and increasing consumer demand come together in what some would call a perfect storm that demands an innovative approach to IT and business strategy.

Forrester has built on the future fit philosophy to develop just such an approach. It’s called the future fit technology model, and it can help your organization thrive during these tumultuous times.

Forrester’s future fit model

Forrester’s new model is focused on “customer obsession.” The idea is to shift corporate focus to analysis of customer behavior to drive a better business strategy and build the resiliency necessary to quickly adapt to rapidly changing consumer demands. The future fit company is customer-led, insight-driven, fast, flexible, creative, and connected.

Forrester surveyed more than 10,000 consumers and employees and interviewed tech leadership throughout the pandemic. What analysts learned translated into a rallying cry for improving the ability to react to change in every area of business. Forbes reports, “Firms taking a customer-obsessed approach were able to quickly see shifting needs and reconfigure their capabilities to deliver new solutions to market.” The three keywords for a future fit focus are: adaptive, creative, and resilient.

Real-time data — captured and analyzed for actionable insights — is the heart of this new approach. Without data, enterprise organizations will struggle to remain in tune with chaotic markets in 2022. An ability to adapt to consumer demand takes a page from startup strategy and from established brands that successfully shifted their focus to roll with the pandemic punches. COVID-19 forced a certain level of agility on the brands that survived, and now, Forrester has formalized what they learned in its future fit model.

future fitness

Why does future fitness matter?

Changing times call for a change in strategy. Enterprise and midlevel organizations accomplish this by capturing emerging insights from consumer data, making fast decisions, and shifting focus quickly to meet customer demands. This approach serves as the basis for a future fit technology strategy.

Why is this important? Adaptive, consumer-driven firms grow three times faster than their industry average. As Forrester describes this new state of adaptivity: “But going forward, firms will get a bigger boost from platforms that bundle technology and services preassembled to deliver specific customer experiences or a new business capability.” Future fitness matters because it forces even the most sedate organization to embrace a more agile model. As an exercise, it may feel uncomfortable at first, but agility is the only way enterprise organizations will evolve to reduce internal complexity and remain competitive.

elements of future fitness

The elements of future fitness

The future fit model reimagines the traditional “3 Ps” of business for IT, turning from people, process, and product to people, practices, and platforms. It’s a transformative idea for sustained adaptivity among even the largest businesses to increase their resilience to change, disruption, and consumer demand. The new 3 Ps prioritize:

  • People. This requires a renewed focus on upskilling staff to retain existing IT teams as well as a shift to a more “customer obsessed” business model.
  • Practices. Organizations must move beyond their usual IT business partnerships to shared accountability among IT, business strategy, and third-party vendor relationships.
  • Platforms. Companies must incorporate cloud technology to track consumer behavior in real time for maximum flexibility and quick adjustment.

Future fitness is simple on its surface: Meld IT with business strategy to create a more adaptive approach to market shifts. Key to this will be the recognition that vendor partners and service providers will continue to play an increasing role in IT infrastructure. These partnerships allow organizations to move through their ecosystem quickly and pick up the players and skills necessary for filling gaps as — or even before — they develop.

Learn more about the future fit model, and what your business can do to develop creativity, adaptivity, and resilience, at