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Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor: Automation is crucial, even amid a slowing economy

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read
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Economic conditions remain far from perfect, leaving companies to consider cutting back on tech investments to preserve profits at the risk of falling behind competitors that don't have the same cautious mindset.

The chief executives who Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has recently chatted with embrace the mandate to automate their businesses as they look to keep productivity flowing. That's despite the economy clearly losing steam, triggering many C-suites to reverse course on longer term investments.

"When you think about what technology does, it's about productivity," Taylor, who is also Twitter's chairman, told Yahoo Finance Presents (video above). "It's about driving efficiency. It's about automation. And so despite all the uncertainty in the economy, the demand environment remains strong. People really want to invest in technology for top line growth, for efficiency."

Bret Taylor, Co-CEO of Salesforce, speaks at the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France June 15, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Bret Taylor, Co-CEO of Salesforce, speaks at the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France June 15, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

According to data from Zapier, 88% of small businesses say automation allows them to compete with larger industries. About two-thirds of knowledge workers believe that automation helped them to be more productive at work. And another two-thirds of knowledge workers would recommend automation to other businesses.

Salesforce plays into the automation push via productivity software platforms such as Slack, Mulesoft, Tableau and its namesake brand.

And while Taylor acknowledged the concern that more automation will lead to layoffs of humans, he argued that tech is actually more of a force multiplier for value as opposed to a destroyer.

"For my entire career in technology, there has been sort of a risk of automation eliminating jobs," he said. "I actually think the opposite. It means that we don't need to work on the mundane tasks. Our job isn't to copy and past things between screens. Our job is to be creative and to think of creative new businesses. And when I think of automation it means that we as employees can focus on what we do best."

What the full conversation above.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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