Salesforce.com President and COO Bret Taylor believes the SaaS vendor has made \u201cprobably the most significant technological shift\u201d since its CRM platform first launched 21 years ago.\nBut Taylor wasn\u2019t talking about the company\u2019s agreement to acquire enterprise collaboration hub Slack for $27.7 billion: that came the day before.\n\n[ Learn the 8 CRM implementation practices and how to tell your CRM system is in need of an overhaul. | Get the latest CIO insights direct, with our CIO Daily newsletter. ]\n\nRather, he was talking about Hyperforce, the fruit of a two-year project to re-architect the Salesforce platform from the ground up to work on public cloud infrastructure all around the world, enabling enterprises to choose where their data is hosted.\n\u201cThere\u2019s a ton of really cool technical details that I\u2019d love to get to right now, but I want to focus on how it\u2019s going to help you, our developers, our admins, and our customers,\u201d Taylor told viewers of the company\u2019s Dreamforce online customer event on Dec. 2.\n\u201cWhether you\u2019re a small business or you\u2019re a multinational in a heavily regulated industry like financial services or the public sector, with Hyperforce you can make Salesforce your engine for growth,\u201d he said.\nDaniel Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research, put it more succinctly: \u201cSalesforce is finally saying, \u2018We know the world is hybrid, and we are going to enable our users to embrace that.\u2019\u201d\nSalesforce, as a CRM software-as-a-service provider, has hosted its customers\u2019 data about their customers in its own cloud for years.\nOver the years that has spared enterprises a lot of worry about managing data centers and network infrastructure. But as governments around the world tighten up data protection legislation and make data sovereignty an issue of national security, knowing their data is in the cloud is no longer a reassurance for many enterprises. They want more control over which portions are hosted on premises, which in the cloud, and which in both, according to Newman.\nFirst mover disadvantaged\nBeing one of the first companies into the cloud left Salesforce with some disadvantages, according to Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research. Its choice of Oracle\u2019s database and its own APEX programming framework made sense at the time but lack flexibility today, he said.\nSalesforce had to build its own cloud infrastructure because infrastructure-as-a-service players such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform weren\u2019t around back then.\nWith Hyperforce set to enable the move from its own infrastructure to IaaS, Salesforce can switch much of its cost base from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, leaving it better able to respond to the ups and downs of its customers\u2019 businesses, Mueller said.\n\u201cMoreover, modern application architectures need the cheap compute and storage in the cloud to allow to run AI\/ML and big data processes,\u201d something not possible on Salesforce\u2019s first-generation infrastructure, he said.\nThe devil in the details\nMueller and Newman are still waiting for Salesforce\u2019s Taylor to get to those cool technical details he hinted at.\nNewman noted, \u201cThey haven\u2019t announced which clouds they\u2019ll run it in yet.\u201d\nFor Mueller, \u201cA lot more information is needed, like what products run in what country on what IaaS, so Salesforce has to communicate a little more.\u201d\nSalesforce\u2019s Taylor did offer a few snippets, including that Hyperforce will enable customers to choose where they store their data and to access compute capacity flexibly, according to their needs. \u201cIt's live in India, it's live in Germany, and we're rolling out in 10 countries next year,\u201d he said. He also referred to partnerships with \u201call of the amazing public cloud companies around the world\u201d that would allow the company to deliver service in every region.\nIn addition, every Salesforce app, customization, and integration will run on Hyperforce, regardless of cloud, he said: \u201cIt\u2019s 100% backwards compatible. Your apps will work with no changes. You can benefit from all of this automatically.\u201d\nThe security of apps running in the public cloud can be a big source of worry for CIOs, but Taylor said that with Hyperforce, \u201cWe built trust right into the platform.\u201d In practice, that means that there will be limits to the data users can access, and that data will be encrypted in transit and at rest.