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Salesforce’s Layoffs Signal a Larger Market Trend

clicking on a screen in the airThis article first appeared in No Jitter, a partner publication.

The recent announcement of Salesforce's plan to lay off 10% of its workforce in the coming weeks signals a larger market trend. As we detail in Omdia’s IT Enterprise Insights: ICT Drivers and Technology Priorities – 2023, the data and analysis show companies pulling back their contact center and customer engagement technology investments this year. Additionally, the research reveals companies' top two priorities for this year include increasing revenue and improving operating efficiencies.

Coupled with recent earnings shortfalls in the tech space, these trends foretell a move away from digital CX experimentation, and toward cautious technology spending in 2023. The top challenges of increasing revenue and operating efficiencies will remain at odds, as long-term revenue gains will derive from deployments that seek to continuously innovate the customer experience and meet customers’ expectations.

Given these circumstances, enterprises of all sizes must balance the need for reducing operating expenditures against the need to enhance their customer experience (CX). As a result, companies must carefully strategize their planning and investments in 2023, ensuring that every dollar spent will yield anticipated outcomes.

In response to these changes and in anticipation of enterprises’ impending challenges and needs, Omdia predicts the 2023 customer engagement market will focus on automation and intelligence to enable precise decision-making. The changes will primarily focus on moving data to the center of customer engagement architecture to enable real-time, AI-powered insights.

This trend will prompt consolidation of customer interaction interfaces, as enterprises seek unification of systems and applications that surface critical real-time data.

As a result, AI and intelligent automation will surge as enterprises look to assisted agents, guided self-service, and conversational assistance in service this year. In fact, the survey data shows strategic and minor investments planned in self-service automation (54%), guided agent assistance (57%), and intelligent agent agents (57%).

While the data indicates a strong outlook for AI investments, the Salesforce announcement nonetheless underscores the overall findings from Omdia’s survey that reveal across-the-board declines in customer engagement spending. As Big Tech anticipates deeper cost cuts as customers apply greater rigor to spending, other leaders in the customer engagement technology market may also face the possibility of impending layoffs in the coming weeks.