For those of us that live in the SaaS or cloud world, Dreamforce is the main event of the year. This year’s Dreamforce, held the last week of August, was no exception: 45,000 people registered to attend and some great product announcements came out of the event. It was a personally exciting time for me, as we announced a major partnership with salesforce.com, and earlier that week hosted our second Workday Tech Summit.
The Tech Summit is an annual event where we invite 20 of the software industry’s top analysts and walk them through the Workday technology stack and applications. It was well received—nearly 1,200 tweets passed across Twitter in one day using the event’s hashtag, #workdaytech.
So after a few weeks of reflection and gaining additional data points, I’d like to share some observations:
Considering these observations as a whole, it’s obvious we are witnessing the dawn of a new age of enterprise applications that bear little resemblance to the previous generation of legacy apps. The enterprise cloud continues to collide with consumer-driven technologies such as mobile, social, and open Web services, delivering the next generation of enterprise apps right before our eyes. These apps more closely match the way people work (collaboratively) and support the devices they use to perform their work (mobile).
The good news for native cloud vendors is the underlying technologies used to build cloud apps have a nearly 100% overlap with the technologies used to develop mobile and social apps. For the legacy vendors, the innovations occurring in social, mobile, and Web-services technologies only make the gap greater and odds lower that they’ll be able to catch up. It’s no longer just a debate about on-premise apps vs. the cloud from a delivery and architecture perspective; it’s now about consumer-driven innovation that is happening ONLY in the cloud.
Of course, I’m biased, being a citizen of the cloud. And in the end, enterprise technology buyers and consumers will choose the best solutions to meet their needs and budgets. That said, I am delighted to roll the dice and see what happens over the next few years. I have only one prediction for the legacy vendors: snake eyes.
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