The executive vice president responsible for running the App Cloud at Salesforce, Adam Seligman, recently shared his perspective on using information technology to transform your business with technology executives at BNY Mellon’s recent Technology Leadership Forum.
Technology is transforming expectations. We live in a time when we hold more computer power in our pockets than existed in the first rocket to the moon. The cloud, apps, mobile and artificial intelligence enable us to connect with each other in all new ways. Pacing your business with ever-changing client and employee needs requires creating a smart and connected experience.
Client Experience Focus
Salesforce is incredibly connected to its clients. When facing a challenge, they ask questions. What do clients care about? What is most important to clients? What are clients saying? They review the answers to better understand the client journey and evolve a platform that their clients will consume and use to do innovative things. As an example, a well-known global pharmaceutical company is one of Salesforce’s clients. Together they are developing a platform to transform the company, which was established in 1876 and whose sole focus was on creating high-quality medicines, to one that addresses the entire medical journey today. They are now placing the patient at the center, outlining the whole lifecycle that determines positive health outcomes.
Do patients know they have a condition? Are they educated on it? Have they talked with their doctor? Do they have a prescription? Are they taking the medicine? Are they complying with the guidelines? Are they getting cured? How are they managing? This company, nearly one hundred and fifty years old, is redefining itself, building wellness centers and apps and educating coordinators. The company no longer just represents the drugs ─ it focuses on the entire client experience.
While this is a radically different industry than financial services, the same scenario is happening today. It is one of the reasons why embracing digital transformation and selecting the right platform is important so that you can service clients and employees in a seamless, connected, transparent way through the channel of choice.
“What are you going to do to make your clients love you? Are you set up to invest your energy in understanding your clients? Focus on what the client wants and go incredibly fast in giving it to them.”Adam Seligman, Salesforce
In the cloud, we are always talking about the future. Clients and employees are not just buying the products and services offered today. They are buying into a living service that is going to deliver new capabilities in the future; they are buying the platform and ecosystem. The new expectation of normal is not the green screen system with inefficient interaction and processes. Old infrastructure was not designed to meet today’s minimal requirements in terms of client experience. It does not capture all of the digital signals that are key to understanding your clients, their needs, how they buy, how they respond and different inputs. Old infrastructure was built in silos, through integrations, without mobile apps or artificial intelligence incorporated. Today’s platforms, however, involve layers of artificial intelligence, mobile capabilities, chat-driven applications and more. So it is important to select a platform carefully that leverages the ecosystem.
Open to Opportunity
Despite the high demand for digital experiences and the incredible nervous system to back it up, there is a shortage of labor to quickly build the solutions. According to International Data Corporation, there are only 18 million software developers in the world and this number has not changed much over time.
To address this developer shortage, there is a trend to democratize the art of building things. How can we be inclusive and involve people with different skills, specialties and expertise? “There is a path forward,” said Adam Seligman from Salesforce. “There is a way to include more people in the software development process. The trend of low-code platforms is an incredible opportunity. I don’t want to build a platform where people have to know MISO and Kafka and Lambda and Python and Angular and all this stuff. If the bar is this high to ride the ride, most of your staff will not be able to ride it and you will have a hard time hiring people to do it.”
So Salesforce – with a half million developers in their ecosystem – took their great platform and built something called TrailheaDX, to train and create a world of citizen developers. As Seligman describes it, “We took all the learning, broke it up into chunks, made it more like a video game and put it online for free.” They have gamified the art of developing reusable apps and components and are no longer dependent on the limited pool of developers.
Forrester Research published a 2016 vendor landscape on low-code platforms indicating that this fertile space is a $1.7 billion business that will grow ten times in the next three or four years. “That is why BNY Mellon’s platform is incredibly important in giving you services you can use without having to build them yourself. It shows you a way forward to cross the divide and meet clients’ and employees’ needs,” said Seligman.
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