Business technologies have evolved quickly over the last decade. Tom Merritt takes a look at five of the top business platforms of the 2010s.
Your business platform probably used to be entirely in-house. Some people may have thought of the in-house platform as synonymous with the business. That's what makes the change to business platform providers so impressive. After the last decade, most businesses would probably answer the question of what business platform they use with some sort of phrase involving the word cloud. Let's take a look at some of the top five business platforms for the past decade.
- Office 365: Microsoft's shift as a company sometimes seems best exemplified by Office; instead of shipping boxed copies, Microsoft now prefers to provide you a service, and Office 365 is its most visible way of doing that. Businesses large and small think nothing of always having the latest version of Office for an easily budgetable yearly fee.
- Payments platforms: Stripe went from a dongle for an iPhone to a payments platform that runs all the hippest point-of-sale operations you see. PayPal stretches back to the decade before, but is now one of the biggest invoice processors and, through Venmo, a popular way for service technicians to get paid--I even paid my chimney sweep with Venmo. It's never been easier to figure out how to pay--or get paid--online.
- YouTube: Think about it--of course, there are creators and influencers building whole multimillion dollar businesses on YouTube. But almost every company you can think of is also operating a YouTube channel for marketing, training, or even service and support needs.
- Salesforce: SAP does well in this space too, but Salesforce dominates. According to Gartner, SAP had 8.3% of the CRM market in 2018, and Salesforce had 19.5%. This child of the dot-com era has gone from revolutionizing CRM to offering a whole suite to help you with customer service, marketing automation, analytics, and application development.
- AWS and Azure: I know it's a cheat, but despite different ways of getting there, these two are often mentioned in the same breath as synonymous with the cloud. Both services have changed the fortunes of their parent companies in this past decade. And don't forget that AWS and Azure finished out the decade butting heads over a government contract. Cloud definitely arrived this decade.
There are way more platforms than I can fit in five slots--even with me cheating there and shoving in two together at the end.
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