Monday, November 3, 2008

Salesforce Site Hosting will Prod Business Cloud Adoption

Salesforce today announced the availability of Sites, a place for businesses to host their websites on Saleforce's infrastructure. This announcement is significant and should serve to push Google's AppEngine to address the needs of business. Here is why:

1. Salesforce has established a reputation of reliability in the business SaaS marketplace. Corporate executives, who would never consider deploying a critical business application on Google or Amazon, routinely run their entire business development engine on Salesforce.

2. Salesforce has done it right. By starting a community of developers around Apex, expanded to Force apps last year and now introducing public facing web applications, Salesforce is exploiting existing processes and data that businesses want to access.

The question of when businesses will start moving to the cloud has been hotly debated over the past few months. I believe the question assumes the "why" they should move to the cloud is obvious, but we shouldn't make that assumption. Until now, there has been very little "why" for businesses to make the leap. The benefits may now outweight the risks. Business technology is essentially comprised of services for storing and controlling data and processess that govern the business model. Gaining fast, reliable access to these processes and data is the business mission of corporate IT. It's going to take time to get the word out but I think this might be the game changer. The old adage "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" might well be stated the same for buying Salesforce.

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