As I pointed out in my book, Silicon Collar, for years now analysts like Gartner and academics at places like Oxford U have been predicting doom and gloom in massive job loss from machines. Even years after their predictions, there have been few to none job losses but they have not bothered to update their analysis. Why should they when fellow academics and analysts just parrot their studies, without challenging them? While the book points other flaws in their studies, the biggest one is they did not bother to call and survey practitioners and validate their analysis.
I have been waiting for a backlash to the “sky is falling” noise. Well, IDC finally has a report which a) has surveyed practitioners and b) actually predicts job gains from use of machines. It is narrow – only looks at AI, not other automation like robotics, wearables, drones etc. And it only looks at the CRM domain. Still, it is good to see something positive.
Where the IDC study loses credibility in my mind is its conclusion that “AI associated with CRM activities will boost global business revenue from the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2021 by $1.1 trillion.” I would be more comfortable with that number if they had also surveyed product folks – those building next-gen smart products and services embedded with software, sensors etc. Or if they had talked to companies that are radically rethinking business models. Without those two components I am not sure better CRM activities they surveyed (see below) will actually increase revenues that dramatically.
Still, I would love other analysts to expand the scrutiny and present more realistic view points on automation. This week as the Golden State Warriors ( a case study in my book) won the NBA championship in dominant fashion, it allowed me to include them in a class of “super workers” that machines are helping create.
May be AI will allow some companies to create “super salespersons” who generate that additional trillion. But I bet they will need a new category of products, services and economics – not something CRM should take credit for.
(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)