SAN FRANCISCO: Businesses are failing to adjust their IT strategies to deal with the post-PC world, according to Salesforce chief executive officer Marc Benioff and executive vice president Vivek Kundra.
Benioff said companies must adjust their strategies to use new technologies, such as smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, to engage with their customers if they want to survive the Internet of Things movement, during a keynote at its Dreamforce 2013 conference.
"Today we know everything is going to be on the net. We also know all these new devices are going to have social and cloud elements. Currently, two thirds of companies aren't prepared for this new interconnected world," he said.
Kundra mirrored Benioff's sentiment, arguing that most businesses are still relying on outdated marketing and sales models that are ill-suited for the digital age. "Most companies don't know their customers. I know 66 percent of companies lack an in-depth knowledge of who their customers are," he said.
"Customers are looking and moving to a connected future and the majority of companies aren't prepared for this. They aren't prepared for social and mobile, they're not ready to help their customers with this journey."
Benioff said that while it is challenging, the interconnected world will also offer businesses the potential to engage with customers on a more personal level.
"There has never been a more important time to listen and interact with your customers. The first wave of computing was the mainframes, then we moved to the second wave where Microsoft and company moved in," he said.
"Now we're in the third, most exciting wave and it's not about computers, it's about the next 50 billion connected things. Everything is on the net and there is always a customer behind every action on the internet. It's an internet of customers and we have to reassess how we work with this."
Kundra added that the need to embrace new technologies is doubly important as the proliferation of smart devices has empowered customers. "Customers are everywhere, whether it's store fronts, emails, social media or SMS," he said.
"This has empowered customers so they can share experiences, positive or negative. This means the customer can fire everyone from the board of directors and CEO down."
Salesforce unveiled its new Salesforce1 cloud platform earlier in the week. This is a mobile and Internet of Things-focused upgrade to Salesforce's older cloud platform designed to try and help firms move into this new internet era.
Primary upgrades include new application programming interface (API) support and an improved AppExchange enterprise app store.
The calls from the Salesforce chiefs come as the latest V3 Tablet App focuses on the Internet of Things as a potential game changer in the technology market as tech giants ranging from Intel to Cisco and now Salesforce move to position themselves for this web revolution.
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