The economic impact of artificial intelligence on CRM is expected to run into the trillions of dollars, according to new research by Salesforce and IDC. The predictions set out in the report highlight the huge role AI in CRM will have in driving new efficiencies in how companies sell, service, and market.
By 2021, the research forecasts AI-powered CRM activities to create more than $1.1 trillion in new GDP impact worldwide.
For the UK, AI is forecast to boost business revenues by 900% in the next four years – from $2 billion in 2017, to $18 billion in 2021.
The findings from the report run against the grain of those fearing widespread job losses to automation, with some predicting that automation driven by AI could impact 49 percent of job activities and eliminate around 5 percent of jobs.
However, Salesforce and IDC paint a different picture, one where AI augments and increases the productivity of employees, specifically in CRM-related fields.
In fact, the trillion-dollar revenue boost is predicted to be led primarily by increased productivity ($121 billion) and lowered expenses due to automation ($265 billion).
New jobs associated with the boost in global business revenues could reach more than 800,000 by 2021, which will actually surpass those jobs lost to automation from AI. In the UK, IDC forecasts 17,202 new jobs created by 2021 as a result of AI in CRM.
Highlighting the influence of Salesforce and its hold on the CRM market, the company’s customers are expected to account for $293 billion of the $1.1 trillion GDP impact and more than 150,000 of those direct jobs by 2021.
We might not, however, have to wait until 2021 to start seeing some of the benefits of AI, with Salesforce and IDC billing 2018 as a landmark year for AI adoption.
In fact, by 2018, IDC forecasts that 75 percent of enterprise and ISV development will include AI or machine-learning functionality in at least one application. AI-powered CRM activities will cover a large spectrum of use cases and touch almost all facets of an enterprise, including accelerating sales cycles, improving lead generation and qualification, personalizing marketing campaigns and lowering costs of support calls.
“AI is impacting all sectors of the economy and every business. For the CRM market—the fastest-growing category in enterprise software—the impact of AI will be profound, ushering in new levels of productivity for employees and empowering companies to drive even better experiences for their customers,” said Keith Block, vice chairman, president and COO, Salesforce.
“For companies embracing AI, it’s critical that they create new workforce development programs to ensure employees are prepared for this next wave of innovation.”
Additional key findings from the report included the types of AI companies are planning to use – machine learning (25%), voice/speech recognition (30%), text analysis (27%), advanced numerical analysis (31%) – as well as the countries predicted to lead the way in new business revenue growth due to AI – United States ($596 billion), Japan ($91 billion), Germany ($62 billion), U.K. ($55 billion) and France ($50 billion).