Keith Block, vice chairman, president and COO, Salesforce Keith Block, vice chairman, president and COO, Salesforce

2018 will be a landmark year for AI adoption, according to a new IDC White Paper, commissioned by Salesforce. 

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, personalising marketing campaigns and lowering costs of support calls.

“AI is impacting all sectors of the economy and every business. For the CRM marketthe fastest-growing category in enterprise softwarethe 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.”

AI-powered CRM activities will drive new efficiencies in how companies sell, service, and market, and is expected to create more than $1.1 trillion in new GDP impact worldwide and 800,000 net-new jobs by 2021. The types of AI companies are planning to use, or exploring, range from machine learning (25%) and voice/speech recognition (30%), to text analysis (27%) and advanced numerical analysis (31%). [More info on the research can be found here

With Einstein, Salesforce is making efforts to remove the complexity of AI and empowering business users with AI embedded across the company’s apps for sales, service, marketing, commerce and more.