As we did last year, we start off 2023 with a look ahead to pertinent trends, challenges, and predictions to get readers ready for what’s to come. Zilliant Chief Technology Officer Shams Chauthani shares his technology insights.
2023 Predictions: A Q&A with Zilliant CTO Shams Chauthani
We sat down with Shams to get his take on how technology and innovation will impact the pricing and revenue operations and intelligence space.
Q: What are the 3 biggest trends to watch in 2023?
The biggest from a technology perspective will be the further mainstreaming of AI in business functions. After years of build-up, you will see AI really move from the theoretical to practical applications for knowledge workers. In parallel, the cloud is where companies will continue to innovate. Expect to see cloud-first decisions made more often than not. Finally, organizations must institutionalize the changes in how employees engage with work. This means securing and ensuring access to critical applications for the work-from-home set, making strategic moves in terms of outsourcing and offshoring, and grappling with competition for talent with gig work in the knowledge economy.
Q: What innovations are poised to break through?
Let’s go a bit deeper on AI going mainstream. When I say it was largely theoretical, that is because until recently much of its application has been in the form of nice-to-have assistive technologies for knowledge workers. Unlike the use of AI and Robotics in the field of manual labor, such as robots flipping burgers or automation increasing the efficiency of assembly lines, knowledge workers have not really seen such transformational changes due to AI. But advancement in AI is finally reaching a tipping point where it is breaking through and disrupting the knowledge workers.
A few of the many examples: AI is writing code much faster with best practices and fewer issues, creating images based on textual descriptions, generating documents, and even performing legal reviews.
Of course, Zilliant has been using AI in its pricing and revenue intelligence solutions for more than a decade. I posit that the mainstreaming of AI will turn from being a nice-to-have luxury to a distinct competitive advantage. More companies will find it necessary to apply AI to streamline and improve their commercial systems.
In 2023, expect to see AI really disrupt existing functions while creating some unique opportunities.
Q: Where will there be investment opportunity?
In the current investment climate, I believe the investors are looking for things that deliver undisputed value in established businesses. I think they are going to look for opportunities that automate the resource-heavy functions in well-established industries. This is where I think companies that leverage AI to solve existing functions will get a lot of love.
Q: What lingering effects will inflation and a potential recession have?
In a volatile inflationary or deflationary period, the ability to dynamically adjust pricing and deliver it to execution systems is critical. For that reason, we see an increased demand in Zilliant products in the last few quarters. Although looming recession is creating headwinds for all B2B businesses, in the case of Zilliant we are in a unique position to offer customers ways to smooth their ride through these rough waters. We do this by optimizing their revenue and margin using our AI and management solutions. Customers leverage Zilliant to drive more profitability in every transaction and drive top line growth by maximizing their share of wallet with their customers.
Broadly speaking with labor shortages for both skilled and non-skilled workers this is an ideal time for AI-driven solutions that help fill the gap.
Q: What is the most critical shift you foresee in the realm of pricing?
The visionary companies have left behind manual tools like spreadsheets in favor of a next-gen, SaaS-based system of price management. This trend will only accelerate as the troubling economic times and fierce competition in various markets outpace pricing teams’ ability to keep up with only manual tools at their disposal.
A dedicated system of price management simplifies the complex price administration procedures through automation and allows teams to simulate the effect of price changes before they are made. Through API connection to back-end systems of record and front-end execution applications, a company’s pricing is always evergreen. There is also an audit trail that replaces the miserable email and spreadsheet investigations that pricing teams have come to dread.
We are seeing more and more companies interested in getting up and running fast with price management. Any readers who fit that description can reach out to me directly [firstname.lastname@example.org] and check out our Quick Start package that gets teams live with Zilliant Price Manager™ in as few as four weeks.