Why It’s Time to Open Up the Workday Cloud Platform

“When will Workday open up its platform?”

This question is one of the most frequent ones we’ve received over the years from customers, analysts, and employees alike. And we have always been clear with our response: While opening up the platform was a likely possibility in the future, we needed to stay focused on more immediate priorities for our customers and the requisite needs of our application development teams. Indeed, we had to ensure our technology core offered rock-solid reliability and scalability as well as the flexibility to continually evolve with a rapidly changing business landscape.

Today, we are ready to take a big step forward on our extensibility journey by announcing our intent to open our platform to customers and a broader ecosystem of partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), and developers. The news was shared by our Chief Technology Architect Jon Ruggiero at Altitude, our annual conference for the Workday services ecosystem. This announcement followed an exciting platform hackathon that took place earlier at Altitude and validated that we are on the right path.

And like everything we do, we based our decision on customer input. Simply put, a growing number of customers have been asking for a more open Workday platform. They want to use Workday as a cloud backbone that supports cohesive, digital workflows across multiple business applications—reflective of how their people work and how their businesses operate in today’s hyper-connected, real-time world.

By opening up the Workday Cloud Platform and entering the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market, Workday intends to enable customers and our broader ecosystem to use our platform services to build custom extensions and applications that can significantly enhance what organizations are able to accomplish with Workday.

For instance, customers will be able to create new tasks and business processes to consolidate workflows and they’ll also be able to integrate external applications with Workday using new APIs. This is just a sampling of what will be possible when opening the Workday Cloud Platform, and we’re looking forward to exploring all the ways we can empower our community to develop solutions for more unique business needs, while continuing to benefit from Workday’s contextual data, robust security, battle-tested scalability, and engaging user experience.

While it’s still early days, I believe that opening up the Workday Cloud Platform will prove to be one of most important moves we’ve made since starting the company back in 2005. As a big fan of the Apollo missions, I have been fond of comparing Workday’s strategy to the process of sending a rocket to the moon. HCM was our first booster rocket that launched the company, international expansion was the second stage, Financial Management was the third, and the combination of Planning and Prism Analytics was the fourth and most recent step in our journey. Opening up the Workday Cloud Platform and entering the PaaS market will be number five—a major step for Workday as we continue to innovate and bring increasing value to our customers.

It’s an exciting time for the Workday community, and I look forward to sharing more about this next phase of our journey together in the coming months (hint hint Workday Rising in the fall).

—Aneel