Running applications in the cloud will be an essential way to deliver software to a distributed workforce according to Zach Nelson, President and CEO, NetSuite who spoke today at the GigaOM Net:Work event in San Francisco. Nelson pointed out that “the acceleration of the cloud adoption makes a distributed enterprise possible.” He explained several myths about running distributed applications in the cloud that could also be applied to running organizations with distributed workforces. he also offered some compelling data about NetSuite’s operations, such as that it handled 1.5 million concurrent users logging in last quarter.
He explained how applications delivered as a service help deliver a democratization of data, allowing folks to access once remote data in the enterprise but also to aggregate information across an enterprise, or even, in the case of NetSuite, an entire industry or the applications’ entire customer base. For example NetSuite is looking at its customers’ information to develop a “Business Activity Index” that could presage demand and economic health. This is but one new business metric that distributed data in an application could enable. In a similar way opening up communication between distributed employees can unlock data across an enterprise. The parallels between the human cloud and software running in the cloud may not be many but the ability to share data is one that could provide incredible returns.