The announcement that Salesforce is integrating directly with cloud-storage Box.net is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the future of the cloud:
Techcrunch explains what Box.net is thinking:
CEO Aaron Levie says that this is the first step in Box.net’s plan to give businesses a secure way to share their files across multiple services on the web. He says that many of the cloud services geared toward the enterprise don’t work well together — oftentimes you’ll have to reupload the same content to multiple sites to share or edit it. Box.net wants to help unify these services by serving as the central hub for your uploaded files, which you can then access from these other web-based services. Levie hints that we’ll be seeing more integrations with other services in the near future.
What we are witnessing is the future of enterprise IT infrastructure. We have been talking about programmatic access through RESTful APIs for some time now. This move by Saleforce is an evolutionary step in how enterprise IT will manage its IT infrastructure – it will be a cross-cloud platform, with applications and open access to the storage cloud of your choice.
Security is not an issue, and the future is about cross-cloud collaboration.
Phil Wainewright says that Box.net wants to be the “Switzerland of Data” – he’s right and wrong. Cloud Storage, provided by the various service providers are going to be the “switzerland of data storage.” Vendor lock-in is going by the wayside.
ReadWrite is spot on when they say that “you can start to see how platforms will evolve into service networks – where enterprise users may subscribe and get access to applications that they pay for on a per use basis.”
The biggest threat then, is to traditional software vendors, and applications like Sharepoint. We will see heated debates on this very topic in the days and weeks ahead.