Dhillon: That's a very good question. We don't distinguish. I would say we're almost 80 percent process and about 20 percent data, because, look, the Internet does away with the quaint distinction of app integration versus data integration. You're basically connecting things together.
Knorr: And in the cloud, the need to connect things together seems to be growing. Lately I've been hearing more and more about a rising level of interest in the public cloud.
Dhillon: This is the year of the enterprise cloud. I would boldly proclaimed from any rooftop, if they would let me, that 2012 is the year the enterprise cloud.
Knorr: What exactly do you mean by that? Public cloud? Private? Hybrid?
Dhillon: I mean the first time enterprises use the public cloud in a big way. And therefore, by definition, it's hybrid, right? Because up until now they've been holding back.
Knorr: Why now? Why not last year or two years from now?
Dhillon: My take is that it's a wisdom-of-the-crowds type thing. It's a human psychology thing. Two years ago you have a dinner with a bunch of CIOs and they're all trying to see who had gone to the cloud first -- because none of them want to be first: "Well, what are you thinking about? Well, maybe I'll do CRM this year. Maybe we'll move that helpdesk ticketing system." But nobody was doing anything in a big way.
But now, your dinner with maybe six or eight CIOs, they don't want to be the last one to do it.
Knorr: Do you think there's an economic imperative as well?
Dhillon: I think that's a very good observation, because it is now three years since the downturn of 2008, and a lot of things were deferred. In an economic downturn, everybody freezes up. Some things got freed up so there was a little bit of a spree. Now some of the longer cycle investments are now coming -- that were delayed or people weren't really thinking about it hard.
But also I'm just seeing IT budgets being slashed across the board, because people expect everything to get faster, better, cheaper. And you know what? Everything does, except enterprise software.
It may not be too complicated. It really comes down to very basic fact that using the cloud itself to build new cloud solutions -- to build robust, mission-critical, enterprise-grade stuff -- is faster, better, cheaper. Salesforce has demonstrated it, Workday has demonstrated it, and I believe we have the potential to demonstrate that.
This article, "Interview: Gaurav Dhillon, cloud entrepreneur," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.