The Numbers Don’t Lie: 3 Big Lessons from $272 Billion

The Numbers Don’t Lie: 3 Big Lessons from $272 Billion

$272 billion. That’s a big number! In fact, it’s more than the GDP of Finland. But, according to a new report from Salesforce and IDC on “The Salesforce Economy” (PDF), Salesforce and its customer and partner ecosystem (which we’re a part of!) will deliver $272 billion in value from 2014 to 2018.

While Salesforce can’t compete with Finland in terms of wife-carrying or heavy metal, it’s a valuable company that’s a leader in an even more valuable revolution in cloud computing. While media attention often turns quickly to flashy, cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence or virtual reality, getting the right operations moved to the cloud remains a top priority for many companies.

And as companies move to the cloud, they’re able to do much more with the resources they have. They can connect with other applications, take business operations digital, and expand their research and development into innovative new areas. They can refocus employee attention on more mission critical tasks, and stop doing so much manual work. This increases revenue, creates jobs, and expands industries of all kinds.

Salesforce is a prime example of this happening, and its recent report highlights several ways cloud computing is really helping grow business for its customers and in areas beyond. Here are some of the key points we pulled from the report.

The cloud creates jobs

Connecting applications can eliminate manual work, like moving data between systems, double checking information, or preparing reports by hand. But in doing so, it also creates new work. People have new insights they can gather from data that’s connected to analytical systems, and new projects they can work on because they’re not spending time on other tasks.

Likewise, moving to the cloud creates opportunity as well. The Salesforce/IDC report expects that 1 million jobs will be created in the Salesforce ecosystem (including customers and partners) from 2014 to 2018, and another 1.5 million indirectly related jobs will be created as well. That’s more jobs than U.S. presidents were credited with in some terms (though the Salesforce total is global and not a net figure).

As the report notes, “The leverage from cloud computing comes from the fact that so much of traditional IT is tied up with maintenance of legacy systems and routine upgrades… By outsourcing these routine, low-value-add tasks to cloud providers, IT organizations can shift some of their budgets and personnel to innovation to support new business opportunities.”

No matter how you measure it, the cloud puts more people to work, and keeps us working from anywhere. Additionally, many of the jobs identified by the study will be in developing countries, helping build much needed opportunities in various regions.

Everyone can benefit from the cloud

While SaaS applications (56%) and infrastructure (15%) still lead infrastructure- (15%) and platform-as-a-service (14%) offerings in terms of spending according to the report, companies are spending on all different types of cloud projects, benefiting all departments. Just as Salesforce itself offers more than another CRM, overall cloud spending is distributed fairly evenly between four major project types:

  • Customer-facing CRM projects

  • Operational improvement

  • Productivity improvement

  • Innovation

Often, success with a project in one of these areas can cause a company to explore expanding to the cloud with another project as well – something that’s much easier if applications from each type of project can connect with other apps and data sources, including legacy ones.

The Salesforce Economy study also found that cloud projects extend across departments, and that Salesforce customers are consistently more likely than non-customers to deploy cloud, regardless of department. Whether it’s IT, marketing, support, operations, or another area, the cloud offers a key tool in streamlining and modernizing operations no matter your core job.

The cloud is a major multiplier

Even beyond this report itself, IDC says its “research shows that, for the most part, every cloud subscription is accompanied by other products and services. These can include additional cloud subscriptions, such as for storage or security; additional software, such as for cloud services management or other add-on applications; or even hardware or networking, especially for private cloud computing implementations.” Just 7 percent of companies studied don’t add products or services to their Salesforce cloud implementation.

That expansion means the Salesforce ecosystem currently generates 2.8 times the revenues of Salesforce itself and is expected to grow to 3.7 times as large as Salesforce. It’s possible for companies to expand their investment in the cloud like this because it pays off. Cloud computing increases revenue by expanding customer base as well as customer retention, making it a multiplier of revenue in more ways than one. That’s why its power continues to multiply.

Are you part of the Salesforce economy? Do you need to connect other applications to Salesforce? Get started fast with tips from Jitterbit customers, available in our Salesforce Customer Success Ebook:

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