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If 2020 taught us anything on a human level, it’s that we need to be more agile and adaptive when it comes to facing life’s unexpected hurdles.
At the business level, the ongoing pandemic moment has forced us to reshape in similar ways our ideas about how we define, forge, and maintain customer relationships.
It’s no secret that doing business in the cloud has become central to how businesses are shaping those new ideas and approaches. As we’ll see, the impact of the cloud economy is translating to tangible economic benefit for South Africa.
And it’s easy to see why.
The Obvious Benefits of Cloud-Led Business Relationships
According to a study by MyBroadband, 77% of businesses in South Africa were using cloud computing in their IT departments in 2019, increasing annually.
As one of the largest cloud-based CRM tools, Salesforce has been the dominant player in driving adoption of cloud-based business in South African companies, bringing fantastic opportunities for businesses seeking to break past stubborn growth barriers to foster new client relationships in more innovative ways.
At ground level, cloud-based business platforms like Salesforce make it easier for small to medium-sized enterprises to take off with far lower startup costs and greater ongoing scalability.
The lower expenses, in turn, allow businesses to:
- Free up budget to reinvest in other key incentives
- Focus more time and energy on streamlining work processes
At the more sophisticated level, cloud offerings like Salesforce Marketing Cloud helps businesses develop a more focused 1-to-1 conversational relationship that builds the entire business model around the customer.
It’s partly thanks to cloud-based business platforms like Salesforce that many businesses throughout South Africa have been able to navigate the pandemic crisis and emerge in a reasonable position ready to resume growth.
Salesforce’s Market Share in the Cloud Computing Economy
Since its inception in 1999, Salesforce has reinvented itself into new niches, staying at the forefront of the industry it helped launch—despite the rapid growth and presence of other cloud-computing players in the space.
Fast forward to the present day, beyond Salesforce’s trading of public shares, several acquisitions, and accelerating cloud-based initiatives, Salesforce’s presence still looms large over the cloud.
With a staggering $21.25 billion in annual revenue in 2021, it’s easy to see why Salesforce still holds the lion’s share of the cloud computing economy, and with good reason.
While evolving and expanding through an array of industries, Salesforce has managed to do something consistently better than its competitors for the past 21 years: retain and build trust into ever increasing competencies and influences.
Zooming into the South African context, it’s clear that the biggest player in cloud CRM is bringing exactly that trust, influence, and economic impact to the South African market and economy.
Salesforce for South Africa: Looking Ahead to 2024
South Africa is one of the fastest-growing regions for Salesforce. According to research from the IDC, cloud computing annual subscriptions will grow from $370 million in 2018 to $1.7 billion in 2024 in South Africa. Salesforce will be a key player in facilitating this surge, with plans to generate $2.1 billion in business revenue through its network of partners and customers.
What’s more, 5240 new jobs will be created directly as a result of Salesforce’s expansion into the South African market. These 5240 new jobs are expected to create a further 6900 jobs through supply and distribution chains. Clearly, the potential for cloud computing is immense in the South African business scape. Salesforce’s plans for current and future expansion in the South African market are a response to how South African companies are signalling their cloud-readiness and appetite for future-proof scalability.
Salesforce’s South Africa Ecosystem: Assisting Growth
A big part of Salesforce’s expansion-success in South Africa will be in how big a role its implementation partners are able to play in educating and enabling businesses regionally.
Where Salesforce are providing the relentless innovation, its partners are relentless (and will need to continue to be unrelenting) in finding ways of connecting the different parts of South Africa’s enterprise economy to those innovations; something CloudSmiths and other Salesforce partners have done well in recent years.
In 2019 alone, the IDC estimated that for every $1 of Salesforce’s South African market revenue, the ecosystem made $4.75, with that figure set to increase, thanks-in part to the likes of CloudSmiths.
We’ll be keenly observing developments in how well Salesforce continues to make positive inroads into the South African economy during a time when economic stimulus is much needed.