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The promise of the ‘millennial’ generation

Technology has completely changed the way we socialize and the way we socialize and interact is influencing the way we develop and make use of technology.

It’s clear that the way we communicate, socialize and manage our lives at home and in the office has changed unrecognizably from a decade ago. That makes it really exciting to look forward to the next decade. It’s difficult for us to even conceive how we will live in 10 years’ time? ‘Millennials’, a term I’ll use for the new generation of technology savvy youngsters posied to join and affect the global workforce, have been born into this new digital world, and as such, their minds are digitally attuned. They just get it because they’ve grown up with it, and in 10 years’ time, they will make up a significant proportion (around 50%) of the population. The pace of cloud, social and mobile technology development will accelerate and innovation will proliferate.

Millennials only started joining the workforce in earnest over the last few years and have not yet had time to make their mark. What’s clear is that as they do, change will be rapid.

One of the most significant changes, driven by cloud and mobile technology innovation, our generation has seen is to the way we find, try and buy technology or apps, via app marketplaces. Salesforce reports almost 100 thousand AppExchange customers. With at least 1300 listed apps, it is clear that customers are already building out broad portfolios of apps on Salesforce.com’s cloud computing platform, Force.com (approximately 10 on average). We call this ‘free market ERP’ and it’s a complete departure from the ERP of the past. And salesforce.com just launched AppExchange Mobile to expand those apps onto the millions of mobile devices in the hands of business users.

In six years, the AppExchange has upset the closed world of on-premises based ERP and created a transparent marketplace where competition and collaboration drive innovation. Now, using Force.com-native apps available on the AppExchange, organizations can build a comprehensive, on-demand portfolio of applications that work together seamlessly. It means that organizations can better serve customers, differentiate themselves from competitors, and run a leaner, faster, more effective business. A no-brainer, but the pace of technological innovation has made it a reality only recently.

To millennials, who are used to instantly downloading an app to an iPhone, it’s become an expectation that innovative apps deploy easily and help people move their businesses forward. As the pace of technological change quickens and digitally-attuned millennials start to take the helm, imagine what will be possible in 10 years …

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