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Institutional culture, not security, blocks cloud-based CRM

While the cloud-only CRM provider Salesforce makes cloud-based CRM seem like a no-brainer, not all companies have made the move, says a CIO at a Salesforce partner.

"Not all customers have yet to discover that the cloud is the place to go," said Glenn Weinstein, senior vice president of global services and CIO at Appirio Inc., a Salesforce consultancy. "In the greater world of IT, we're still seeing large companies that are just taking their first steps into the public cloud architecture."

Weinstein, while at this month's Dreamforce 2016 conference, said that although companies know they need to modernize their infrastructure and applications and get out of the business of maintaining their own data centers, some are tentative to move to the cloud. "That's a huge base of enterprise customers," he said, adding that cloud-based CRM is, therefore, still on the horizon for many customers.

Wave has come a long way since the initial splash.
Glenn Weinsteinsenior VP of global services and CIO, Appirio Inc.

Weinstein said that security is no longer the issue, but institutional culture and entrenched business process can stand in the way of change and moving to the cloud.

"[Security] is the red herring of the last decade," Weinstein said. "Many can see that cloud can be a more secure solution. There is still an institutional change element to this. Corporate IT moves kind of slowly. They are risk-averse. There are things that are working, and they don't want to break them. But over time, you have to modernize."

Weinstein also discussed the role of new tools like the Salesforce Lightning development platform, which makes moving to a cloud-based CRM far easier and more palatable.

"Lightning can give users comfort that that it's a familiar and easy-to-use environment," Weinstein said. "Developer tools are improving so that .NET or Java developers can embrace cloud development and use typical tools to make it easy for enterprises to adopt."

Weinstein also mentioned how Salesforce Wave Analytics Cloud is bringing customers to a new state of maturity as they peer into and try to understand their data. The Analytics Cloud is an application native to Salesforce that can help customers visualize, manipulate and understand the implication of data in real time.

"What we saw in the first year was that we could do the technical implementation, but it was harder to get users in the habit of using Wave Analytics," Weinstein said. "They were used to going back to their old reports and dashboards. Wave has come a long way since the initial splash."

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