Interpreting Machine Customers Gartner 2024 Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends KellyOnTech

KellyOnTech
4 min readFeb 22, 2024
Interpreting Machine Customers Gartner 2024 Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends

At the end of 2023, the consulting firm Gartner released the top ten strategic technology trends for 2024. Today let’s discuss the last point, the machine customers.

Image source: Gartner. Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends 2024 KellyOnTech
Image source: Gartner. Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends 2024

What Impact Does the Machine Customer Trend Have on Businesses

This trend will significantly affect business owners. There will be a substantial shift at the strategic level, the IT department to product development, marketing, logistics and customer services. Taking IoT devices as an example, suppose our smart refrigerator runs low on ingredients. In such scenarios, the system automatically notifies the merchant to restock items without human intervention. This automated process represents a new sales scenario for merchants, and we can expect more of these in the future.

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Which Jobs Are at Risks as Machine Customers Continue to Grow

Let’s give an explanation based on the four quadrants of work proposed by Kai-fu Lee, the founder of Innovation Works. Kai-Fu Lee said in response to the Harvard Business Review that the analysis of AI replacing jobs cannot be analyzed only through a single dimension such as high skills or low skills, but also depends on the specific job content, especially jobs involving cognitive labour.

Cognitive labour involves processing information through complex mental operations to accomplish tasks and achieve work goals.

Image source: Wikipedia. Kaifu Lee, founder of Innovation Works KellyOnTech
Image source: Wikipedia. Kaifu Lee, founder of Innovation Works

What Are the Four Quadrants of Work

The four quadrants of work are the danger zone, the safety zone, the combination zone and the slow-change zone.

The danger zone refers to occupations that are at high risk of being replaced in the next few years, such as bank loan officers and entry-level law clerks.

The slow-change zone refers to workers such as construction workers and plumbers who rely less on human social skills and more on hands-on skills, or the ability to adapt to an unstructured environment. Jobs in the slow-change zone are still short on AI for now. Certainly, as technology advances, it may compensate for these shortcomings. The speed at which these job types vanish will hinge on the breadth and pace of AI application expansion.

The safe zone refers to occupations that are currently very unlikely to be replaced by AI, including craftsmen, entrepreneurs, monks and so on.

Here I want to focus on the combination zone. The most likely outcome is that the behind-the-scenes optimization is done by machines. The part of socializing with customers on the front end still needs to be completed by humans, that is, humans and machines form a symbiotic relationship. For example, B2B sales. The speed and proportion of this kind of human-machine integration depends on many factors, including the flexibility of the company to transform employees’ work content, the company’s cost budget and whether the company’s customers are willing to adopt this method of human-machine interaction, etc.

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Will Robots Replace Salespeople

This is very possible. Salespeople who sell simpler, more standardized products and services are more likely to be replaced by robots. The more complex the transaction, the less likely it will be completely replaced, especially B2B sales.

First of all, The B2B sales process is inherently lengthy and entails diverse knowledge. Given that decision-makers comprise multiple individuals, extensive interactions are necessary. Currently, AI falls short of entirely replacing B2B sales

As a B2B salesperson, on the one hand, you need to learn various automated methods to improve your efficiency, and at the same time, you need to use information and big data to analyze and make decisions to help yourself and your customers better achieve their goals.

In addition, it is best to enhance and master complex sales skills as early as possible to improve your overall quality. Because customers are also becoming smarter through technology and advanced information. In essence, the era of relying solely on information gaps to generate income has concluded. Salespeople must now focus on gathering and monitoring industry, market, and product information. This enhances their analytical and logical thinking skills, enabling them to consistently outpace customers, so that they can provide customers with more effective value.

It’s easier said than done, but in the words of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, we should do the hard and right things. There is no ceiling for B2B sales and there is more space. In an era of explosive development of technology and knowledge, consolidating one’s own strength and accumulating one’s own brand and influence are top priorities. In 2024, may we get better and better🌷

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The original article comes from the Mans International website

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KellyOnTech

Tech Investor / Founder at Mans International / Author