A new era — Humans in the Clouds

The world is a connection – a force of energy – that is driving simultaneously in multiple directions.  While every part of the world is struggling with different aspectsof change and technology – and at their own pace  –  one thing is for sure.

Technology is creating the ability to have less physical things – or material possessions unlike ever before.  This is what the Cloud has done – and its beginning to change how we experience life  – our storage, our data, our memory, and information.

So why carry a physical book with you?  When you can access it over the Cloud – anytime of the day – and at any location.  Why bring a suitcase of legal documents to a meeting?  When you can access it and read it over with your associates at the meeting in sync.  These are some of the amazing changes we’ve experienced with the developments of cloud technology.  Although we may have gotten used to reading our news on our smartphones – making purchases – and finding locations of places on it – it wasn’t too long ago when most of us read a physical newspaper and carried a real briefcase to a meeting.

Let’s have a little fun with a weight analysis:

1)      The average weight of a Sunday’s edition of the New York Times is 4.2lbs (1.9kg).

2)      A briefcase full of documents for a meeting can be 10-20lbs (4.5kg – 9kg).

That’s close to carrying 25lbs (11.3kg) to do a process we can now do with an iPhone 4S that is only 140 grams (4.9 ounces).  With just 4.9 ounces, you can pack all the information you need to execute a business meeting and read the newspaper while riding in a taxi.

But maybe I’m still a bit tech-drunky from the Salesforce rendezvous trip I just experienced where I had the opportunity to meet and hear Marc Benioff – CEO of Salesforce who discussed how the Cloud is continuing to change the future and it being the best future to move forward with.  In the last month – I’ve been to two major Salesforce conferences 3,000 miles away – from the California coast of San Francisco to the now flooded streets of Manhattan (missed the storm by a week).  What I learned is that Marc Benioff has successfully created an environment like how the AppStore is for the Iphone – but exclusively for Salesforce.  If you weren’t aware about what I’m talking about, what’s occurring is that thousands of companies are creating apps to be able to integrate on the Salesforce platform with all kinds of features and tools – just like you see for the iPhone.

I would confidently argue – as many people would — that Salesforce has successfully created a dominant position on the Cloud market for business and data management – by being one of the first pioneers in this movement and by being able to set the terms while they do it.  The future of Cloud really is on Marc Benioff’s fingertips as was the smartphone was with Steve Jobs.

However – one of the most interesting developments with Salesforce that I observed was their integration of the “Social” component in their platform.  The ability to analyze each customer’s behavior by having access to their Facebook status updates, their twitter feeds, and their purchasing behavior – is bringing a whole new layer of information on consumer behavior to the companies marketing to them.

One of the presentations by Marc Benioff at Cloudforce in New York City showed a video of a customer walking into a store – and having their iPhone greet them by name and telling them what’s currently on sale based upon their past interest and purchasing behavior – all collected by the Salesforce platform.

It’s technologically impressive how their doing it.  And marketing and sales departments are probably high fiving each other with the amount of customer data they can play with – but from a privacy standpoint, I can see how a lot of people can find it alarming.

As the internet has grown in its reach and strength – the truth is that more of our personal information has become more publicly available.  Unless you became a hermit 25 years ago and are still riding that wave in a secluded Rocky mountain forest, then you should be quite fine.  But for the most of us – we’re playing in the internet game – the Cloud.

Samuel Vengrinovich is Marketing Director for WalkMe –the world’s first GPS-like guidance tool that gives you step-by-step instructions by allowing you to create customized pop-up balloons that can be overlaid on any site to guide users to perform any task you want.  He is also editor of SaaSAddict.  Follow him on twitter at @samwalkme

Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.