Behind the $272 Billion Salesforce Ecosystem Opportunity

It’s no secret there has been a tectonic shift in the enterprise IT market. Once considered a threat to tech jobs and even partner profitability, the cloud is now recognized as a global economic engine underpinning new innovations, new business models and even entirely new industries.

At Salesforce, we’ve been touting the benefits of cloud computing since 1999 — long before it was a common part of business vocabulary. And our thousands of partners have been instrumental in helping our customers grow and succeed via the cloud. Salesforce ISVs have delivered an incredible amount of cloud IP -- there are more than 2,800 apps on the Salesforce AppExchange today, in fact — and our consulting partners are helping customers implement these new technologies to serve their customers in entirely new ways.

Today, Salesforce unveils new research from IDC that analyzes the economic impact of the company, our customers and our partners to local economies in the United States and around the world. The results show that we’re just at the early stages of a massive economic opportunity driven by the cloud. Be sure to download the full report here, and here’s a high-level summary of the findings:

By 2018, Salesforce and its ecosystem of customers and partners will create 1 million jobs and generate $272 billion in GDP impact worldwide.

  • Cloud computing generates jobs by permitting an increase in IT innovation, which in turn supports business innovation and increased GDP in local markets.

  • Those jobs will engender another 1.5 million indirect or induced jobs, as customer revenue drives new positions in supply and distribution chains, and as new employees spend money in the general economy.

The Salesforce ecosystem currently generates 2.8 times the revenues of Salesforce itself and is expected to grow to 3.7 times as large as Salesforce.

  • Partners benefit from every dollar of Salesforce sold, as organizations supplement their Salesforce subscriptions with professional services from consulting partners (like Accenture, Bluewolf and Deloitte) and applications to extend core functionality built by ISVs (like Apttus, FinancialForce.com and SteelBrick) on the Salesforce App Cloud.

  • Many companies chose multiple types of add-on products and services from Salesforce partners (only 7% said they had none, according to IDC).

Customers report rapid ROI on their cloud investments, driven primarily from revenue growth and new innovations.

  • The average payback for a Salesforce cloud investment is approximately 13 months, according to IDC data in the report.

  • The IDC Salesforce Economic Impact model shows that over a four-year period, the return can be 4-5 times the original customer’s investment.

  • Sixty percent of customers using cloud computing report that the largest benefits come from increased revenue driven by the addition of new customers, as well as improvement in customer retention.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the IDC report is that, while public cloud spending surpassed $50 billion worldwide last year, it still represented less than 3% of total spending on IT. In fact, much of traditional IT (71%) is still tied up with maintenance of legacy systems and routine upgrades. That means we have a long way still to go — and much more opportunity ahead of us — which means even more job creation, positive GDP impact and customer success.

To review the full report, including data specific to the following countries and cities, please click here. To learn more about the Salesforce Partner Program visit: https://partners.salesforce.com/. Check out the infographic below to see the impact of the Salesforce ecosystem (click here to see full size).

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