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Dreamforce 2011 Takeaways

Posted by Ron Snyder in Other | 0 comments

Takeaways from Dreamforce 2011

1. The Cloud is here to stay.

“The network is the computer” was Sun’s slogan of the 1980s- as Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, reminded us. The underlying concept of cloud computing is not new. However, the exponential growth in technology and the fact that it meets real needs is propelling it forward.

2. The need for speed.

Even in the 90’s, Cisco could close its books in 2 days while other corporations of comparable size took weeks. Speed is a competitive necessity. You must use the appropriate technologies to accelerate your internal processes, respond to buyer expectations and delight customers.

3. Geography no longer matters.

We can communicate with anyone, anywhere, any time.

4. Technology is breaking down walls.

Prospects, customers, suppliers, partners and even competitors all participate in forums and social media; making access to information and opinions ubiquitous.

5. “The Web is being built around people” according to Tom Campos, Facebook CIO.

It used to be built around companies and web locations. Facebook has led the way and this has driven their success.

6. Business is becoming “social.”

Actually, man has always been a social animal, however, the technology has made it easier to communicate. The “social enterprise” is happening- as Salesforce’s Benioff asserts. Businesses need a way to collaborate in real time with people inside and outside their organization. Chatter now has group capabilities and can include people (i.e. customers, partners, suppliers) outside the organization. Will it be the “facebook of business?” Obviously, Linked In has the lead, however, will there be a collaboration between Chatter and Linked In?

Challenges

1. As we rush toward “social,” we need to maintain the right balance! For example, we must:

  • Maintain some level of privacy in a world in which everything is becoming public.
  • Preserve the ability and opportunity to connect face-to-face in the “social world.”
  • Balance the need to act instantaneously with the importance of delivering the best work product and making considered decisions.
  • Find a way to stay on top of all this information and not get overwhelmed. We need better filters for all information sources.

2. If we were to truly embrace the “social” mindset (i.e. “we are the world” – really!), could we help the US and the world to get out of our current morass?

Web collaboration certainly helped in the response to hurricane Katrina and has made a huge difference elsewhere in the world (i.e. Egypt, Tunisia, etc.). However, we must recognize it has its challenges; for example, where do you draw the line between enabling this vehicle of free speech and having it enable anti-social behavior- i.e. the riots in London?

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