Bluewolf: Salesforce Customers Struggle for Maximum ROI
Salesforce.com customers are committed to cloud and social technologies, but they struggle to achieve maximum return on investment (ROI). That’s according to a new report from Bluewolf, a global agile consulting firm.
Its first annual “The State of Salesforce” review surveyed 300 Salesforce.com customers and also delved deep into intelligence from its own proprietary knowledge database that covers thousands of global engagements. Combined, Bluewolf discovered that 44 percent of Salesforce.com customers are embracing cloud and social, but they need help “bringing social to life in the enterprise.”
Bluewolf also found a lack of cloud governance that is preventing customers from achieving their maximum ROI from their deployments. According to Eric Berridge (pictured), Bluewolf’s co-founder and principal, the key takeaway of the review is “people over platform.” Whereas technology is just an enabler to the benefits of cloud and social, companies are struggling in part because they need to make a commitment to changing their overall business cultures to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities.
“Most companies aren’t structured that way, and they don’t know how to change or where to start. Their difficulty with social reflects a larger problem, which is that they’re not as agile as they need to be to take advantage of the cloud,” Berridge said in a prepared statement.
Bluewolf identified several key trends, including:
- The majority of customers expect to maintain or increase their budgets for ongoing Salesforce.com innovation through 2013.
- Many companies are moving toward becoming a social organization by integrating their customer service applications with Salesforce.com.
- Social media and mobile are coming together to help deliver on the productivity promise of cloud technology, as workforces become progressively more mobile.
- Companies increasingly are utilizing resources that can be “turned on” as needed, rather than hiring or training full-time staff.
- Only 20 percent of cloud transformation resources are allocated to data cleaning and adoption, reducing trust in the accuracy of employee dashboards and making it harder to drive uptake of cloud and social technologies.
As a technology-oriented business consultancy, Bluewolf provided a few recommendations to help businesses achieve maximum ROI from cloud and social investments:
- Companies must iterate their employee engagement strategies to accelerate cloud and social adoption.
- More work needs to be done at a department level to get executives to understand that at its core, social is about helping teams sell more, engage customers and drive demand.
- Employers need to provide incentives to drive adoption, and executives must have easy access to essential information.
- Companies must adopt a solid cloud governance strategy to keep pace with user requests, adoption, market shifts and new releases, and to ensure changes with clear business benefits are prioritized.
Although Berridge noted that cloud removes the burden of high self-hosted costs, businesses wanting to achieve maximum ROI need to need an elastic workforce while continuing to invest in resourcing, training and innovation.