Tech leaders at customer relationship management company Salesforce have shared their top IT predictions, based on market analysis and customers’ perspectives. Salesforce execs provided an overview of the main technologies, economic challenges, and trends that will impact businesses in 2023.
Here are Salesforce’s five IT investment predictions, given the ongoing economic pressures:
- Digital Transformation – Organizations that lean too much on cost efficiency risk lagging behind at the time of the next economic upswing. With a looming recession, the pressure to make cuts will be compelling, but the key will be to evaluate how many digital transformation cuts an organization can make without creating a bigger risk.
- Automation – Pressure to cut costs will also lead to more investments in automation, designed to create ways of working that can save time and labour, while continuing to drive efficient growth.
- Business intimacy – Business intimacy is the process of identifying and understanding broader needs of an organization, including the priorities, the pain points, the investments and, most importantly, the technologies that workers are dealing with, chief information officer (CIO) of Salesforce, Juan Perez, said. That process will be key in 2023, not only to drive better strategies across all departments in the organization, but also for CIOs to bring a new set of skills and operating processes to the executive table during a radically different business environment.
- “Digital Darwinism” to stay competitive – Markets and technology will continue to evolve, and so will customers’ decisions and behaviors, even when organizations decide to halt and cut costs. Competitiveness hence becomes a matter of digital Darwinism, whereby to survive in this market, organizations must adapt to the pace at which technology and society is evolving and be smarter than their competitors.
- Composability – Organizations will need ways to do more with what they have, given limited resources. A composable digital strategy or reusable business capabilities will meet that need to drive efficiency and agility at scale.
Here are Salesforce’s predictions on what will drive sales and service, as sales reps find themselves forced to adapt to changing economic conditions.
- Retraining – Leaders will look to leverage enablement programs to retrain and elevate morale of sales reps working in tough selling environments, while streamlining sales processes with AI and automation.
- Sales enablement programs – Organizations will look to connect sales training to broader business outcomes. “As Enablers [of sales], we have to hold ourselves accountable for moving the needle on pipe generation, revenue, and participation. The better prepared the sales team, the better they can serve as trusted advisors to customers,” said Jody Kohner, executive vice president of global sales enablement at Salesforce.
- Automation – With increasing customer expectations, shrinking team sizes, and worsening economic conditions, automation will become a ‘must have’, rather than ‘a nice to have’, in order to improve customer experience and drive down cost.
- Customer relationship – Maintaining successful customer relationships will require consistent communication, and often from diverse channels. “The message to heads of customer experience is to learn to actively listen to customers, and create processes that naturally draw the customer to a specific channel — one that feels it is their choice. Get this correct and you earn the right to customers for life,” said Michael Maoz, senior vice president of innovation strategy at Salesforce.
- Customer Data Platform (CDP) – Customers want personalized, real-time, and automated service and interactions, and CDP can provide that.
Salesforce execs also shared the top four disruptive technologies:
- Generative AI (use of machine learning algorithms to enable computers to use existing content like text and code to create new content) will empower mass customization of experiences.
- Employees will experience workplace culture in the cloud as organizations move to invest more in online collaboration tools.
- Data will become more accessible and understandable for everyone, as organizations endeavor to create a data literate workforce.
- Virtual reality (VR) offices will not materialize anytime soon. The technology is still raw, the avatars are disengaging and it will be a while before organizations consider interacting with their workforce using VR.
Salesforce also predicts that more organizations will focus on climate commitments, approaching customer data with trust and transparency, and embedding tech ethics and privacy frameworks in their operations.