We’re in the middle of an app revolution and the implications for your business are huge, even if you don’t think of yourself as an app business.
The truth is, new businesses processes are improved by cloud computing every single day, and the technology is becoming easier to master. The customer success stories shared at Salesforce World Tour London have this in common: they proved that every company today is an app company, and everybody is an app person.
We’re not talking about setting the app store ablaze with the next Angry Birds. The apps celebrated at the event – the apps that even non-IT users are creating with the help of Salesforce1 and the Lightning App Builder – are the kind that define how businesses work.
They’re the technology engines that drive operations in the front and back offices, changing the way you work and the way you engage with customers.
Three forces have catalysed this revolution:
At the foundation of everything is the humble business process. In the old days, business software didn’t change much and upgrades were infrequent. Today you need the agility to respond daily to the changing needs of your customers.
In effect, software lifecycles are now counted in days, not years. This intensive new model has brought about the democratisation of business technology. More employees are using technology platforms to make their lives easier – and they’re doing it for themselves.
CRM technology makes collaboration possible, but it’s the people who have to get on with it. One company taking on this challenge with the help of Salesforce1 is spirits business Brown-Forman.
With an easy-to-use platform, Brown-Forman has encouraged business analysts to get in on the app development action along side their IT colleagues. Everyone can identify a process that needs to be streamlined for the benefit of the business, and now they can act on it too.
After just three years spent devising new ways to put technology to work for the business, the staff at Brown-Forman had 45 apps in production.
Jon Riehm, Senior Software Engineer at Brown-Forman, described the feeling of seeing the tangible results: “It makes us feel like we’re superheroes because we’re making applications that actually have a business impact.”
Making things simple is never simple. It takes a lot of planning and buy-in from everyone, spearheaded by a committed leadership.
That’s what Paul Clarke, Director of Technology at Ocado, learned when he drove Salesforce adoption in the world’s largest online-only grocery store.
Paul drew a lesson from the story of the cobbler’s broken shoes: companies can find themselves so busy fixing customer problems that they neglect their own systems.
To avoid this, Ocado is committed to leading innovation in both customer-facing and internal application development. Not content with disrupting the groceries market, Ocado is turning its attention to its own internal and supply chain infrastructures. Paul said, “Now we’re looking at disrupting ourselves and being our own worst enemy!”
We say: disrupt away!