Salesforce has had many phases of growth in its lifetime. These phases include: CRM in the cloud, social media monitoring, and the social enterprise. Salesforce is great at discovering the Next Big Thing. After discovering the Next Big Thing, Salesforce educates its clients and followers what it is, instructs how to best tap its potential, and provides the tools to do so on its platform. If you’ve listened to Salesforce at its recent conferences, you’ll know that its Next Big Thing is mobile.
Salesforce has always been mobile by nature, since it is a cloud-based application. However, this new mobile evangelizing is about teaching and enabling its clients and followers to utilize the mobile web and mobile apps. Salesforce is leading the way, practicing what it preaches, by announcing touch.salesforce.com, a specialized mobile-friendly interface that provides easy access to a Salesforce org through a mobile device’s browser. This UI takes advantage of touch-screen swipes and uses larger buttons and tabs, ideas that are core to proper mobile app development.
In the next stage, to motivate and enable its clients and partners to join the mobile revolution, Salesforce released the Mobile SDK to give developers a standard starting point that rockets them past the standard plumbing development to enable fast production of mobile apps seamlessly connected to Salesforce orgs. The Mobile SDK is really wonderful, enabling all types of app architectures on both iOS and Android platforms (more info on these types in an earlier blog post).
In the coming year, expect to see Salesforce promoting the mobile web and mobile platforms. Expect to hear more about writing mobile-ready Visualforce pages and HTML5 apps that enable “responsive design” geared toward smaller and touch screens. Expect to hear more about how your business can become more efficient with intuitive mobile apps for employees in the field, or for customers to interface with your business’ services through their always at-hand smartphones.
There are so many consumers of the internet now: mobile native apps, mobile browser apps, desktop browser apps, and even other business partners, and they all want to interface with your business and its data. Providing an easy method of accessing that data may be the core to keeping your data and services agile and flexible during the twists and turns of mobile revolutions. I suggest you continue to consider ways to enable your business and keep it flexible.