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Digital Transformation

New Study Finds Salesforce Economy Will Create 9.3 Million Jobs and $1.6 Trillion in New Business Revenues by 2026

Salesforce partner ecosystem on track to grow to nearly six times the size of Salesforce itself by 2026

SAN FRANCISCO — September 20, 2021 — Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), the global leader in CRM, today announced a new study from IDC that finds Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners will create 9.3 million new jobs and $1.6 trillion in new business revenues worldwide by 2026. The study also finds that Salesforce is driving immense growth for its partner ecosystem, which will make $6.19 for every $1 Salesforce makes by 2026.

Building digital HQs helps solve for urgent transformation needs

IDC forecasts1 that cloud-related technologies will account for 27% of digital transformation IT spending this year, growing to 37% in 2026, as businesses focus on establishing digital HQs to deliver customer and employee success from anywhere. Remote work, contactless customer engagement, and sustainability efforts are becoming more prevalent than ever, and IDC expects this trend will only continue. 

“IDC forecasts that cloud-related technologies will account for 27% of digital transformation IT spending this year, growing to 37% in 2026”

As more companies build out digital HQs to support an increasingly remote workforce, Salesforce technologies have helped its customers adjust to uncertainty – enabling remote work and remote contact with customers, and making it possible to develop new products in weeks, not months2

IDC also conducted a survey of 525 enterprises across eight countries on cloud deployment and the benefits and challenges of cloud computing. Of the 74% of survey respondents who say their organizations have a formal digital transformation strategy, 97% rate cloud computing as important to that strategy. The survey also found that Salesforce solutions have enabled:

  • 47% of customer respondents to expand their workforce to more suburban and rural areas.
  • 38% of customer respondents to expand their workforce to new populations (for example, stay-at-home parents and people with disabilities).
  • 36% of customer respondents to support a more flexible work environment.

Salesforce technologies can also help companies plan for a more sustainable future. IDC forecasts that from 2021 to 2024, migration from on-premise software to the cloud could reduce as much as 1 billion metric tons of CO23. Salesforce itself has set a goal of pursuing 100% renewable energy for its global operations by 2022, and currently delivers a carbon-neutral cloud to all its customers. And, according to IDC’s customer survey, 39% of Salesforce customers surveyed look to Salesforce as a source of support in reaching their own sustainability objectives.

The Salesforce partner ecosystem drives worldwide acceleration of growth

IDC predicts that the use of Salesforce and its ecosystem’s cloud services will generate $308 billion in the customer base this year and more than double that in 2026, at $724 billion. Today, the ecosystem of Salesforce partners delivering cloud services to customers is five times as big as Salesforce itself, and will be more than six times as big in 2026. The study also found that 2026 ecosystem revenues are forecast to be 3.5 times those in 2020.

“The Salesforce partner ecosystem extends the power of Salesforce to companies of all sizes, across industries and helps make customer success possible,” said Tyler Prince, EVP, Alliances & Channels, Salesforce. “As Salesforce grows, so do our partners — and we are committed to providing our expanding partner ecosystem with the tools needed to succeed in the jobs of the future.”

Salesforce paves pathways to help unlock career opportunities in the Salesforce Economy

23% of new jobs created in the Salesforce customer base this year leverage significant digital skills — such as using automation tools, the Internet of Things ( IoT), and other complex applications. Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, and its Trailblazer Community, which accelerates this learning through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and support, empower anyone to learn digital skills for the growing Salesforce economy. 

“For Salesforce, it’s not only about creating new technology and career opportunities; we have to pave pathways to these new jobs,”

Kris Lande, SVP Trailblazer Ecosystem, Salesforce

Salesforce is also helping companies navigate their digital transformations through these platforms; 84% of survey respondents at companies using Trailhead say it’s important to their organization’s deployment of cloud solutions, and 44% said it’s “critically” so.

“For Salesforce, it’s not only about creating new technology and career opportunities; we have to pave pathways to these new jobs,” said Kris Lande, SVP, Trailblazer Ecosystem, Salesforce. “We’ve made it our mission to empower people with the tools they need to build dynamic careers, companies, and communities with Salesforce, and thrive in a digital-first world.”

How Salesforce is creating jobs to fuel the Salesforce Economy

Salesforce has a number of programs and initiatives to help create the jobs of the future — and to fill them with well-equipped candidates:

  • The Trailblazer Community is a network of 15 million people across the Salesforce ecosystem who help each other learn new skills and succeed with Salesforce. The Trailblazer Community offers an online platform to connect from anywhere, as well as more than 1,300 active regional and interest-based groups around the world. Members share their guidance and expertise and support each other as they build careers and companies with Salesforce. To date, 3 in 5 Trailblazers credit their participation in the Trailblazer Community with helping them get a new job or promotion.
  • Trailhead has empowered nearly 3.5 million people to learn in-demand skills for the future of work. With Trailhead, learners can skill up for free from anywhere and earn globally-recognized credentials for careers in the Salesforce ecosystem. Trailhead provides guided career paths for Salesforce roles, and is introducing three new roles to create entry points into some of the fastest-growing fields today: Marketer, Sales, and Designer. 
  • The Salesforce Talent Alliance is an initiative that connects partners to job candidates trained on Salesforce via Trailhead and brings new talent into the fast-growing ecosystem. This year, two Talent Alliance partners are Salesforce’s Partner Innovation Awards recipients for demonstrating excellence in expanding the Salesforce economy by training and hiring new and diverse pipelines of talent:
    • Cognizant, in collaboration with Salesforce, the University of Montana and ATG, a Cognizant Company built a 12-week paid Salesforce training program called Aim Higher, which has developed more than 175 new Salesforce credentialed consultants in the past two years.
    • Bucher + Suter is a Salesforce ISV partner that champions and is a sponsor of Noser Young, which is a leading IT Trainer in Switzerland. Through the Noser Young partnership, Bucher + Suter takes on apprentices every year to help with their education in IT.

What is the Salesforce Economy?

IDC defines “The Salesforce Economy” as the footprint of Salesforce and its partner ecosystem on the economy at large. This includes the revenues and jobs directly generated in the Salesforce customer base from the use of Salesforce and its partners cloud services, as well as jobs created indirectly in the economy by local spending by direct employees and Salesforce and its partners themselves.

Salesforce’s multi-faceted partner ecosystem is a driving force behind the Salesforce Economy’s massive growth:

  • The Salesforce partner ecosystem can help customers grow faster. Throughout a customer’s journey, partners fill technology whitespace and offer solutions across products, industries, and regions. The Salesforce partner ecosystem includes consulting partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), and resellers that bring the power of apps and expertise to solve customer challenges.
  • Launched in 2006, Salesforce AppExchange is the world’s leading enterprise cloud marketplace, with over 6,700 partner listings and more than 9 million installs. 90% of the Fortune 500 and 91% of Salesforce customers rely on partner apps and expertise found on AppExchange.

Additional Resources

  • Download a full copy of the IDC White Paper, “The Salesforce Economic Impact”. 
  • Explore data from the IDC White Paper in Tableau
  • Hear more about the impact of the Salesforce Economy in this Newsroom Q&A
  • Learn more about the 2021 Partner Innovation Awards here.
  • Learn more about Salesforce’s partner ecosystem here
  • Read more about Salesforce’s Pathfinder Program in a blog post here

IDC Methodology

The Salesforce Economic Impact Model is an extension to IDC’s IT Economic Impact Model. It estimates Salesforce’s current and future share of the benefits to the general economy generated by cloud computing, and it also estimates the size of the ecosystem supporting Salesforce using IDC’s market research on the ratio of spending on professional services to cloud subscriptions; the ratio of sales of hardware, software, and networking to spending on public and private cloud computing; and the ratio of spending on application development tools to applications developed.

Note that the ecosystem may include companies that are not formal business partners of Salesforce but that nevertheless sell products or services associated with the Salesforce implementations.

IDC White Paper, sponsored by Salesforce, “The Salesforce Economic Impact,” doc #US48214821, September 20, 2021

1IDC’s WW Spending Guide on Digital Transformation, 2021

2The Impact of Digital Transformation During Times of Change, July 2020

3IDC Press Release, Cloud Computing Could Eliminate a Billion Metric Tons of CO2 Emission Over the Next Four Years, and Possibly More, According to a New IDC Forecast, March 2021


About Salesforce

Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

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