“Unlike the technology revolutions of the 1990s and 2000s, this time around the basis of competition will be set bythe companies that embrace and deploy digitization in the right places at the right time… The judgments thatcompanies make now will largely determine their relative competitive position for the foreseeable future.” – The Next Wave of Digitization. Setting Your Direction, Building Your Capabilities, Booz & Company, 2011 The huge opportunities opening up in developing countries (such as India, China, and The need for IT responsiveness grows daily as across Africa) require a radically different product life cycles are shortened from years to mobile-driven approach to service and product months, and as the predictability of mass delivery. Supporting systems need to be built to markets is replaced with the uncertainty of a manage this increasing complexity of offerings - global real-time economy and rapidly evolving generic solutions won’t work. consumer preferences. All of this is on top of the already burgeoning Businesses have no choice but to build backlog that exists in most organization. All of applications or enhance existing ones to these applications require a focus on time-to- leverage new (and ever-changing) value and a never-ending process of being technologies such as mobile and social nimble, experimental, dynamic, and continuously networking. As more and more work is being iterating. This is in complete contrast to traditional done outside the organization, specialized IT, which is “project focused: do it and forget it.” solutions need to be built to accommodate the It is obvious that there is no way for IT to succeed unique needs of a wide variety of outside using traditional approaches. partners. With different kinds of customers looking for slightly different mixes of products and Innovative companies need tools that fit their fast services, the ability to make money by being pace, their work-anywhere mentality, and their responsive to custom needsare exploding. collaborative instincts.
If IT doesnt add value, business units will simply work around it, and that would lead to a much smaller and lessimpactful corporate IT resource. On the other hand, by working with users to provide them with an effective way todevelop and deploy solutions, IT can greatly expand its reach and enhance its value.IT will never have enough resources to address This makes it possible to address areas thatall these needs. And even if they did, the changing were previously unaffordable or of low prioritydemographics in the workplace means that for the IT department.tech-savvy users, exploiting cloud computing,increasingly have the ability and desire to build The potential benefits of harnessing the ITtheir own solutions – without any or minimal IT capabilities of users are enormous, and it isinvolvement. becoming more and more critical for the success and very survival of the organization.Many of the solution needed are in areas of theorganization that are on the forefront ofcompetitive differentiation and innovation —where they support and retain customers andpartners, minimize risk, and maximize profit.It is therefore critical for IT to provide a betterway to build these applications.The only way to do this is to give employees thetools and support they need to serve themselves.“Self-service” does not mean turning businesspeople into programmers. It means giving theright set of tools and support to the peopleclosest to the problems, so they can buildpowerful software solutions on their own.Thegoal is to enable workers to quickly put togethersoftware solutions to solve specific problems,significantly reducing or even eliminating thetime and coordination needed from IT.
Force.com provides a set of building blocks that networking functionality into an application. In addition to eliminating the time and effort thattogether form a powerful platform. The building Chatter-enabled applications let end users would be necessary to construct solutions fromblocks are designed to work together, each one collaborate privately and securely by “following” disparate vendors working together, having aenhancing the capability of the others, resulting each other, data records, and groups, and by single platform provides many other benefits:in the whole being much greater than the sum of sharing files and status updates. Rather than licenses costs are spread across multiplethe parts. For example, the workflow building building and maintaining all this complex logic applications; the database becomes moreblock can work directly with the database. yourself in your applications, you simply use complete and reflective of the organization;Updates to the database can automatically be Chatter when you want to integrate social a cadre of experts in the platform will emergebrought into the social conversation. Applications functions into any of your applications. faster; and the organization can focus on providingcan be mobile-enabled with little additional Force.com provides a set of building blocks that everyone with the same training and support.effort. There is no need to deal with different together form a powerful platform for building Building and deploying small applications islogins, different user interfaces, or integration business applications. The building blocks are accelerated if a common platform is used,when using any of the building blocks. designed to work together, each one enhancing because everyone can share the platforms the capability of the others, resulting in the whole database, authentication, permissions,Force.com provides the user with a ready-to-go being much greater than the sum of the parts. workflows.system, and eliminates the time and effort thatwould be necessary to construct solutions from Force.com provides organizations with a The ultimate goal is to provide a single platformdisparate vendors working together. consistent approach to applications, and the that provides out-the-box functionality for organization benefits from reuse across multiple building typical business applications acrossFor example, one of the building blocks is the projects - reuse of processes, technology, and the enterprise.Force.com social network Chatter, which, with people and their skills. The value of thisminimal effort, lets developers embed social increases rapidly over time.
reasons to implement Force.com across your organization
1 You need to deliver solutions fasterForce.com eliminates most of the vast array of actions that typically need to be taken to bringan application to life – and keep it healthy in a rapidly changing environmentWith Force.com, there are no decisions to be without code, by a business analyst. The analystmade regarding what technology to use, there is can create the database, define validation rules,no hardware to procure, and there is no build the roles and profiles, develop the wizards,software to install. Force.com provides unlimited implement the workflows, write the reports, andcomputing power; guaranteed uptime and build the dashboards – all without theperformance; automatic scaling and performance involvement of IT.tuning; automatic backup and disaster recovery;a ready-to-go easy to manage database; roles All of these factors lead to a much faster time-and profiles for security and permission to-market for your applications.management; a point-and-click, easily modifiableworkflow engine; a point-and-click report writerand dashboard builder; a social networkingenvironment to facilitate real-time collaboration,recording, filtering, and rapid exceptionhandling; and the ability to quickly build, deployand manage mobile applications.The building of an application can startimmediately without having to think about all therequirement detailed above. There is no need fora lengthy design phase, because much of thebusiness logic can be built and changed,
2 You need to eliminate data silosHaving a single source of truth that solution builders can use as a starting point reduces time to market,prevents errors, and guards against silos and redundant data. Most user-developed applications are at the Users can still create their own databases with mercy of their underlying data sources. just a few mouse clicks. They can then easily link A “businessperson-friendly” database filled with their individual databases to existing data, reliable, complete, current and comprehensive thereby eliminating the need for data duplication. data is therefore critical to their success. This also allows the Data Cloud to evolve organically, based on actual need. In effect, Proliferating silos of data lead to significant the Data Cloud is “crowd sourced”. time-wasting and error-prone engineering to combine or extract data using cut-and-paste or By making data and services easily available to import/exports. Data is duplicated, often not business developers, they will be less likely to current, and many times inaccurate. Aggregation access data sources in ways that are less secure and reporting across applications is difficult. and less accurate, and will do much to ensure Calculations and other business rules, as well as that data silos don’t proliferate across the the type of user interaction taking place, are organization. often not transparent to the rest of the organization. Providing a self-service Data Cloud will allow IT to control data accessibility and security, including filtering or masking data that end users should not have access to. Rules are enforced automatically by the database for every query, freeing developers from having to code data security logic into each application they write against the database.
You need to improve collaboration3 across the organizationWith Chatter, the SalesForce.com enterprise social network, users can get help to develop solutionsfrom anyone anywhere in the organization.Chatter is designed to bridge the gap between Chatter is built into Force.com at every level:enterprise applications and the way people every application built on Force.com iswork. It does this by facilitating dynamic, informal, automatically Chatter-enabled. It allows workersand shared communication across an expanding to look up and use as a starting point a solutiongroup of individuals. Chatter can be used as the that was already developed by a colleague forconduit for moving information around the a similar application.organization, facilitating approval processesand workflow, and effectively providing Chatter also helps address one of the mostnotifications and reminders. vexing aspects of building applications: catering for exceptions. In many cases, instead of tryingWhen solutions need to be assembled or to anticipate every possible exception in thechanged on the fly, Chatter facilitates the rapid application, it often makes more sense to handleformation of small focused teams to build exceptions through Chatter. Chatter significantlysolutions, unimpeded by organizational reduces the amount of time wasted trying toboundaries. Developers, users and analysts can identify the correct people required to help findtap into the collective brain power of co-workers an answer. The added advantage is that theimmediately, find expertise and advice, provide resolution to these exceptions is automaticallyknowledge that carries far across the documented.organization, and get live feedback on planning,concepts and solutions.This substantiallyincreases operational efficiency and optimizesthe workforce.
You need a robust backend for4 your mobile appsThe ability to build, deploy and manage mobile apps will become a rapidly increasing needfor business developers. Mobile devices will soon be the primary the need to run apps with minimal disruption for mechanism through which users conduct all users and guarantee transactions in an business. occasionally connected environment, dealing with multiple potential security points-of-failure; A mobile-enabled enterprise opens up an the need to easily extend mobile apps to millions exciting array of opportunities for businesses to of users and transactions across the globe and improve the ways in which their workers the capability to manage application communicate and collaborate, increase responsiveness and network latency. efficiencies in common business tasks, and engage and interact with their customers more Mobile applications can be built quickly only if effectively. With mobility, organizations can the backend and administration needs are instantaneouslypersonalize speciﬁc services already take care of, and the developer only has used by customers, vendors, and employees, to function on the user interface. Therefore, a who can be individually identiﬁed and located successful mobile strategy begins with a through their mobile devices. Mobile can common platform for integrating and managing accelerate business processes by providing a mobile devices and the corporate assets that are user experience that combines real-time stored on them. Force.com enables companies interaction with relevant, accurate, and timely to standardize on a common framework to information. Mobility can introduce new ensure rapid deployment, consistent quality, business processes altogether and obviate and end-to-end security. the need for antiquated ones. Mobility brings everything together in a meaningful, relevant The services provided by Force.com shield the way and enables employees to work smarter complexities of mobile from the enterprise, and faster than ever before. enabling developers to focus on quickly and easily delivering transformational mobile apps Going mobile is complex. Challenges include to customers, employees, and partners. responding to ever-changing device technology and user trends; the ability to easily publish and distribute apps with flexibility and tight control;
You need a way to entice5 Shadow IT into the lightPeople naturally do things that are in their own best interest. It is therefore imperative that you make iteasy for them to do the right thing.Shadow IT is inevitably plagued by problems This way, instead of feeling threatened, they canand missed opportunities. Governance is use their expert status in yesterday’s tools tonon-existent, systems are inadequate and become Force.com evangelists.unsecured, and data silos spring up all over theplace. The benefits from reuse across multiple The natural tendency will be for employees toprojects - reuse of processes, technology, and want to stick to what they know. Therefore, youpeople and their skills – are mostly unobtainable. need to make it easy for employees to learn to use the platform. The establishment of aIt is therefore critical to get as many users as resource center early will help users feelpossible on to the enabling platform. confident as they move forward. The availabilityAs experience has borne out, attempts to of a self-service Data Cloud and social networksuppress Shadow IT won’t work, and neither will will also be enticing. Departments that don’tissuing edicts that everyone must get with immediately see the light will do so over time,sanctioned program. Enticement is the only as they start to see actual results.alternative.The first thing to do is to build credibility. Thisincludes getting some quick wins on the boardto engender confidence and conviction in theuse of Force.com in your enterprise, and will givethe skeptics pause.Probably the most critical action to be taken is toturn yesterday’s gurus into todays evangelists.Employees who are experts in the current toolsbeing used, like Notes and Access, are likely tofeel threatened by the advent of new technology.Seek these employees out and turn them intoForce.com experts as early as possible.
You need to facilitate increased agility,6 productivity and innovationOne of the less obvious advantages of implementing an enabling platform is the wide range of continuousadjustments and enhancements to business operations it provides out-the-box. By generating a steady stream of savings and Improve decision making new revenues that may sometimes seem The platform can improve decision making by insignificant from one month to the next, as increasing the speed by which workers receive years go by they become analogous to the information through the use of Chatter; delivering growth of capital over time due to the humble the right information to the right person at the but powerful effects of compound interest. right time through workflow; provide shared, The profits generated this way can be thought of common access to the latest information at all as the “agility dividend.” times through a common enterprise database; automatically consolidate information from Organizations can find hundreds of ways to multiple sources in an enterprise database; make small, continuous adjustments and isolate the specific information each worker provide value-added services that will increase needs so they don’t have to look for it and extract their proﬁts and decrease their costs every day, it themselves through task- and role-specific every week, every month. Force.com can provide mobile apps; reduce errors by providing a many of these enhancements with out-of-the- central shared database to ensure everyone is box, or near out-of-the-box functionality. working from the same data at all times; Here are some examples: decrease miscommunication by increasing visibility into processes that impact the customer Improve exception handling using Chatter. Exception management through Chatter gives workers clear insight for handling exceptions; viewing and monitoring interactions and necessary actions taken to resolve exceptions can lead to better implementation, revisions, or training on these systems, and increase productivity throughout the enterprise.
Improve responsiveness Facilitate innovationMessages requesting action that languish in email boxes and on voice Force.com facilitates the kind of self-service, minimal startup, continuousmail systems can be eliminated by implementing Chatter; the chance of trial-and-error experimentation necessary to discover what works andthings falling through the cracks can be lessened with workflow; what doesn’t in manner that is low-cost and fast. Empowering users toimproved visibility of commitments through Chatter helps ensure that experiment on their own leverages their deep understanding of theirbusiness processes keep moving smoothly. environment and the opportunities that can be pursued. The Agility Dividend Agility creates a competitive advantage Ability to cope with disruption Insight Complexity of environment Orientation Harmony Corp. Corp. B Agility B Uncertainty Adaptability Incomplete Competitive data advantage Corp. Initiative Instability A Unpredictable Corp. events A Confusing information Reaction SpeedThe ability to cope with disruption in an increasingly complex world opens up a significant competitive advantage. Source: “Business Mashups or Mashup Business?” Peter Evans-Greenwood, Capgemini.
You need to orchestrate apps across7 the organization Instead of big-bang everything- and everyone- at-once implementations, the need now is to create large numbers of small services that can be rapidly orchestrated into selected processes, and equally quickly changed again. This allows solutions to be small, experimental, innovative, and locally relevant. Workflow is a critical ingredient as we move from a single application for many users to many applications for just a few users. The applications and the people using them need to be orchestrated to accomplish larger goals. Force.com includes a powerful set of tools to add workflow and business process orchestration to your applications. These include simple workflow rules, multi-person approval processes, sophisticated business processes that span multiple data sources and backend systems, and cross-functional work relay. Business users can design and deploy complex business processes on their own and adjust as quickly as their business changes. Developers can build new functions and capabilities by creating plug-ins that can extend the flow with new business services that act as integration points to other applications (e.g. SAP, Oracle Financials).
You need to exercise governance8 across the organizationIn its simplest form, IT governance is about How do you get control? By providing a singleunderstanding IT and technology-related risks platform, it becomes much easier to put controlsrelative to the business processes that IT and in place, and most of these problems can betechnology support. For many organizations, addressed effectively and efficiently – in onethere are areas of the company that this place. And it can be accomplished withoutunderstanding simply does not exist. hampering the efforts of users to get things done.Business groups using third-party web serverswithout security and backup, applicationsexposing credit card information, and usersignoring compliance rules are just the tip of theiceberg when it comes to company exposure.Proliferating silos of data that containcontaminated, inaccurate and out-of-date dataare common. Calculations and other businessrules, as well as the type of user interactiontaking place, are often not transparent to the restof the organization. There is no audit trail, and itis often difficult to prevent tampering withoutexpending significant effort. Integration amongmultiple environments is complex and is usuallynot audited. There is no version control andchange control. Licensing terms are frequentlyviolated.
You need to modernize your9 legacy applicationsUsing Force.com, you can breathe new life into and unlock the data in legacy applications. Enterprise level deployment of monolithic The implementation of a Data Cloud provides applications is giving way to the assembly of the opportunity to allow legacy applications to small, granular, highly targeted services like take advantage of the enabling platform without checking flight arrivals, looking for contacts, having to go through a time-consuming and tracking shipments, ordering spare parts, costly migration effort. Data synchronization can approving requests, or checking account allow the legacy database to refresh the Data balances. The objective is to provide simple Cloud as needed. When data is updated in the features and functions with pre-populated data Data Cloud, it can be synchronized with the that make it as easy as possible for users to legacy database. The legacy application can be complete specific tasks. re-built organically on Force.com in the new paradigm of small, orchestrated apps. So simply taking an existing application and moving it to the cloud is less than optimal. Translating the application into a hundred mobile screens with complex navigation schemes is also not going to work. Building small, on-demand, role-based appsthat allow users to use onlywhat applies to their particular situation is likely to bear more fruit. And because these applications often require a short time-to- market and ongoing modifications, they are better suited to business user development instead of IT.
You need to do all this with10 limited resources By implementing Force.com across the organization and by taking advantage of its fully integrated extensive functionality, you are able to get the maximum benefit for the least amount of time and money. Force.com is a comprehensive, integrated, and The functionality provided by the platform is powerful solution that can be implemented designed to work together. This dramatically quickly and inexpensively. reduces the time required to build function- rich solutions, and eliminates the time and Building and deploying applications is effort that would be necessary to construct accelerated when a common platform is used solutions from disparate vendors. by as many people in the organization as possible, because everyone can share the This ability to create many solutions with little platforms database, authentication, code makes the functionality of Force.com permissions, workflows, etc. By providing a easily accessible to a broad range of non- consistent approach to applications, the professional developers, thereby broadening organization benefits from reuse across the number of people who can leverage the multiple projects - reuse of processes, platform. technology, and people and their skills. The value of this increases rapidly over time. The platform provides simpliﬁed security management and permissions. This Other factors that limit the amount of resources combination makes it easier and less that are needed include: time-consuming to enforce enterprise security and compliance. All the necessary functionality needed to build business applications is available as part of the platform – data, social, mobile, etc. This does much to obviate the need to look for tools outside the platform.
Conclusion: It’s time to embrace Force.com“… organizations across industries [need] to seriously re-think not only how they are organized and operate, but alsohow information technology should be utilized to unlock innovation that enables greater operational efficiency andbusiness effectiveness. – “The Future of Work Has Arrived: Time to Re-Focus IT,” Cognizant, February 2011In an era when change arrives without warning Empowering individuals and teams to take Once the enabling platform is in place, you canand threatens to eradicate entire companies responsibility for building solutions will produce set your employees free. The result will be aand industries overnight, organizations can the flywheel affect – each small push, taken peak-performing, robust and sustainablesurvive and prosper only by engaging the minds together over time, can have an enormous organization – based on the shared efforts ofand emotions of all employees, providing them impact through productivity gains, higher thoroughly empowered, energized, self-reliantwith the right tools and encouraging them to use customer satisfaction, new business employees working with the most powerful tooltheir initiative to adapt the organization to the opportunities, faster time to market and ever created!changes buffeting it. innovation.
Appendix: 5 key things to know about the Force.com platform The following key factors are often overlooked when evaluating Force.com: Clicks and Code work together1 It will remain true that it will often require some amount of coding to complete a robust application. Therefore, it must be easy for IT and business developers to work together collaboratively to achieve their goals. What’ s different is that the Force.com platform provides the ability for users, analysts and developers to actively participate in building of an application. The key is that in Force.com, each role owns its own part of the solution. Force.com manages the contract between parties to ensure neither side can break the other’s work. The result is that both are free to be agile in how they work together. This makes it much easier for the two groups to work together collaboratively to achieve their goals. No app is left behind2 Force.com continuously delivers the latest advances in technology (e.g., social networking and mobile) automatically – three times a year. When new functionality is provided by the platform, all the applications already built on the platform automatically and immediately inherit that functionality without doing anything. Previously built custom development is unaffected by system upgrades. This eliminates any concern about an application being on an older version of the software, or not being able to take advantage of new technology. Pre-tested architecture means less testing and faster delivery3 Force.com goes way beyond simply speeding up the development process. It has already built and tested the production environment, including database, database connectivity, application server, security protocols, and other application infrastructure items such as load balancing, scalability and performance, so developers will have to make far fewer technology strategy decisions and spend a lot less time on testing before moving to production. The capabilities of the platform are easily extended4 While a substantial percentage of a Force.com application can be built without coding, by simply using the powerful Force.com point-and-click capability, you won’t hit a wall when you want to build a complex enterprise app that scales to thousands of users. If you find the platform is missing a piece of the puzzle (i.e. does not have the functionality you require for your application), you can fill it in with solutions from the Appexchange or build whatever you need yourself or with a partner. The Force.com API’s make this seamless. Participation can be encouraged with work.com5 A critical success factor is the amount of participation and collaboration by the users. Therefore, the ability to encourage contributions, encourage all levels of participation, reward contributions, and make value explicit is critical to the success of citizen developers. These factors are well supported by the Salesforce application work.com, thereby making work.com a valuable addition to any Force.com implementation.
Further reading available at UnleashForce.com.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: (312) 283-4419