Join us on Thursday October 16, 2014 for the first ever tech conference in Harlem,...
One entrepreneur I spoke with who requested anonymity for fear of being ostracized by the community said she felt the problem was that there weren’t...”
Excellent article by the CEO of LatticeEngines about the importance of finding early customers outside of the Valley, helping to validate your product using more “real world” users (i.e. not early adopters).
Enterprise tech is another level of difficult. The deals are few and far between in the early days. You struggle to find anyone willing to listen to you. Then you have to fight through organizational morass that does not favor startups. But each deal makes your product story clearer and your sales execution sharper until you hit that inflection point where deals start to pour in.
In corporate IT, procurement processes have not traditionally been aligned with rapid development cycles and cloud-based services, which are easy to source and deploy. Developers that are accustomed to working in fast-moving environments with scalable, easy-to-implement products have long since been impeded by outdated procurement processes for new vendors, which slow down prototyping and time-to-market.
Frustrated by procurement, developers in corporate IT build and use solutions inside organizations without explicit organizational approval. This is known as shadow IT; they use the services they need when they need them, but this leads to the danger of teams and management losing control of deployed services.
This is analogous to the “shadow apps” used by business people (often in sales and marketing groups) to get things done. Sometimes I ask people in large enterprises if they use Dropbox or Evernote for work purposes, and sheepishly they will respond yes. Eventually the need to get something done outweighs the need to maintain corporate IT policies. That is the new reality of IT departments, the fact that it is users, and not their processes and rules, that are choosing the tools that the business will use.
Peter Thiel was not the only one inferring that certain tech company executives were taking illicit substances…
SAP Buys Concur Technologies for $8.3 Billion via The New York Times
In the olden days, technology companies that did not innovate simply went out of business. Now they just acquire other companies and sustain themselves on the largess of hefty maintenance agreements and annual recurring SaaS contracts. On the other hand, it does give smaller enterprise tech companies a convenient exit strategy, which is boon for the startup community.
Beginning of a Paradigm via CRM Buyer
Wearables could make sense in the enterprise when integrated with business apps like CRM. We are still very much in that awkward phase however where everyone is throwing spaghetti on the wall. What form factors and usage modes and user experiences will work are being developed now and some early solutions show promise. It should be noted however that enterprise mobility is in and of itself nascent, so there is a lot of time to see where things fall out in terms of personal enterprise tech hardware.
It is not the systems that are as important, but the data. As more functional business application and process engines migrate out to the business units, CIO’s will take on more responsible for ensuring infrastructure. Key to that is guarding over the data, especially as that data becomes increasing more important and strategic for enterprises.
Business agility is not just a cliche, it is the reality that is faced by marketers trying to identify new markets. And it is not only marketers, but agility is also crucial to product developers trying to build innovative products and sales trying to get an edge over the competition. While things are moving at faster cycles, our technology systems to support business functions are still stuck in the architectures and models of the 90’s. It is time for a new business technology architecture.
Even Apple, king of the consumer platforms, has shown reluctance to build an enterprise platform offer. One big reason for that, according to The Register, is the continuing presence and dominance of Microsoft.
In healthcare a platform strategy would mean a platform that embraces usability and attraction for patient, physician, nurse, other care providers, insurer, hospital, and integration with third party data providers, open APIs for analytics companies and so on.
There is no reason to believe or presume that IBM has the skill or goodwill to create such a platform, and in such a way that people would flock to it. Platforms with a consumer-centric flair (think Uber and AirbnB) are unpredictable beasts but they generally rely on globalization for scale, a missing ingredient in health.
Many people believe that this deal is going to spur IBM to become a credible mobile enterprise business applications software provider and flood the market with industry specific offerings. I think much nimbler startups that embrace mobile at their core are going leave IBM in the dust.