Openness at Workday

Openness is the new black for forward-looking companies. While we have been using and contributing to open source and open standards since our founding, the Workday Cloud Platform has unlocked a new, unprecedented level of openness for our company and our customers.

The enterprise software ecosystem today is a very different place than it was when just a few large players—who could afford massive infrastructure, expertise, and budgets—dominated the industry. Today, we’re in the era of the enterprise cloud ecosystem—thanks to the rise of public cloud infrastructure, rapid innovation in open source software, and maturing open standards—making the barriers to entry for enterprise developers lower than ever.

Now, an enterprise developer anywhere in the world has instant access to the same global infrastructure as the world’s largest corporations. Anybody can identify a business need, build a solution using the latest technologies, bring it to market, and iterate on it—all within a short timeframe. This change has resulted in an explosion of enterprise cloud applications of every shape and size in the last few years.

It is exciting to see companies today taking full advantage of this new world order. The average large enterprise today uses a constellation of around 1,000 cloud applications—and recent IDC research predicts that this application portfolio will grow by 50% over the next two years.

While this explosion of applications in the enterprise is empowering and valuable, our customers have explained that this deluge creates a number of challenges. First, they must ensure that security, data access, and compliance are maintained across all of their applications—keeping in mind regulatory requirements such as the new GDPR regulations set to soon take effect. And second, customers are constantly seeking to reduce complexity and simplify the overall experience for their employees.

We believe in embracing innovation that is happening outside of our walls, where innovation takes place throughout the collective technology universe.

Our Open Approach

Innovation has always been one of our core values at Workday. From the beginning, this has meant innovating with the latest technologies and design approaches to build applications that solve our customers’ problems, focus on their employees, and help them to grow.

Today, we believe in embracing innovation that is happening outside of our walls, where innovation takes place throughout the collective technology universe. We continually strive to find new ways to allow our customers to leverage their Workday investments across their application portfolios. And, we incessantly focus on openness in our mindset and our approach.

In practice, this means:

  • Workday’s intelligent data is in context, for every application. The future is an interconnected, constantly evolving, diverse ecosystem of applications. Workday is the enterprise backbone and system of engagement for our customers—and through our open platform we’ll strengthen this foundation by extending data, context, processes, and intelligence to every application that our customers use for their business.
  • Our technologies will help to create a frictionless experience for employees. The new people experience in Workday, coming in limited availability this year, will allow any application to surface relevant data for employees through their Workday homepage. And our presentation services technologies, part of the Workday Cloud Platform, will allow any application to leverage Workday’s user interface standards and guidelines across both desktop and mobile.
  • We’re empowering the Workday developer ecosystem. We want our platform to spur new types of innovation using open standards and technologies, making it easy for our customers, partners, and the wider developer community to build robust enterprise applications and experiences that create deep business value in entirely new ways. Our reliable and scalable enterprise APIs make it straightforward to seamlessly weave together business applications. Webhook technologies enable the instantaneous transfer of data, creating real-time experiences. And protocols like SCIM allow for standards-based user context and identity to be securely extended to and from Workday.

Workday in the Natural Workspace

So what does the open enterprise look like in action? Look no further than the emergence of a new breed of modern communication and collaboration tools. Many of our customers are embracing applications like Google Cloud, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Workplace by Facebook to help fuel new ways of working and collaborating—and we are actively partnering with these companies to further the future of work.

As the collaboration landscape continues to evolve into the future, our underpinning open technologies mean that with Workday our customers will broaden and evolve, too.

To engage and empower people with actionable context and data, we believe that you need to meet them where they are—which increasingly means meeting them in their “natural workspaces.” Because of this, our upcoming collection of delivered integrations will allow employees to interact with Workday through conversational language with collaboration tools they’re already using.

Whether they want to request leave in Slack, find out a coworker’s office location in Microsoft Teams, or leave a colleague feedback in Workplace by Facebook, Workday will be there, through our open approach. And the employee’s context and identity will be seamlessly extended to the environments that they use every day, such as Google Cloud. As the collaboration landscape continues to evolve into the future, our underpinning open technologies mean that with Workday our customers will broaden and evolve, too.

This is the start of a new chapter for Workday. We have achieved massive scale, with over 30 million workers under contract globally. We have partnered with the world’s largest and most innovative companies to build intelligent applications that transform the enterprise. And, we have built a singular underlying platform that powers these experiences. By opening up our platform, our goal is to trigger a new era of enterprise innovation and experiences, and to make it possible for customers to leverage Workday’s context and insight for any of their applications. We are incredibly excited as we forge ahead with our customers and partners.