In a recent interview with CNBC technology reporter Jon Fortt, Salesforce co-CEO Keith Block shared his views on how cloud adoption and digital transformation are still in their early days, and that the full commitment of a CEO is needed for an enterprise’s digital transformation to be successful.
Block also shared why the recent acquisition of Mulesoft, provider of a platform to build application networks, is playing a key part in Salesforce’s strategy to help companies digitally transform themselves.
“Cloud adoption is in the early days. What we are seeing right now is this incredible wave of the phenomenon called digital transformation,” Block said. “Think about this perfect storm of cloud and mobile and data science, and AI—it is giving companies the opportunities to reinvent themselves, to reinvent their business models.”
Block continued, saying that the cloud brings enterprises the ability to be agile, nimble, and flexible. “It helps bring what we call a ‘beginner’s mind.’ How do we reinvent, innovate? How do we go quickly? Because of the technology that is available today, you can go far more quickly than you could in the age of the legacy systems,” he said.
Block added that a successful digital transformation consists of three attributes: understanding how to communicate with your customer, having a trust-based relationship, and, the most important of them all, having the CEO’s full commitment.
Helping enterprises better understand their customers was what drove the Mulesoft acquisition, Block said. “Mulesoft helps companies get closer to their customers, have a 360-degree view of their customer,” he said.
This spring, Salesforce acquired MuleSoft for $6.5 billion—its largest acquisition to date. “With MuleSoft, Salesforce will accelerate customers’ digital transformations, enabling them to unlock data across legacy systems, cloud apps, and devices to make smarter, faster decisions and create highly differentiated, connected experiences for their customers,” the company stated at the time.