When the history of cloud software is written its beginnings will be traced to 1998 and the founding of NetLedger (Now Oracle-owned NetSuite) an accounting app. Over the course of two decades companies like Salesforce.com, Workday and Concur would follow, upending old assumptions about business applications, and creating a marketplace where the public companies alone are worth a combined $175 billion.
Today pretty much any new business app runs in the cloud because it’s what the marketplace has come to expect. And for the most part, these apps have have been successful because theyre horizontal: They solve universal problems that every business must cope with. They track sales leads and deals, streamline human resource processes, or ease the annoyance of submitting expense reports.