I recently had a discussion with attendees at a Salesforce.com administration module training course. It struck me that many of them commented on and were excited with the prospect of extending the CRM functionality or simply creating new custom objects for other purposes.
What was more surprising was that such a topic was discussed at an administration training session rather than a development course. This implies that extending the platform, at a basic level, can be relatively easily achieved at the admin level or through clicks rather than having to resort to code.
I wonder how this will play out at the interface between traditional IT teams and those business users who have knowledge of business requirements and processes? I think there is going to be a big shift towards business users doing rapid prototyping-type work while the formal implementation may be left to the developers. Having said that, a number of quick and dirty functional enhancements could easily remain as enhancements.
So it would appear that what is happening in the internet consumer space is beginning to happen in the internet business space on the back of the growth of cloud service providers. Platforms such as force.com are driving this shift in behaviour and are therefore exceedingly well placed to benefit from this including in regions such as South Africa and the rest of Africa.