Earlier, we shared our insights on Technologies that are empowering FinTech. Today we will talk about the new trends in enterprise software for 2015 and beyond.

Enterprise software seems to be back on the verge after a decade or so dominated by consumer software, started with the doom of the dotcom bubble (which was mainly enterprise driven) and reinvigorated by the advent of mobile with the IPhone revolution.

In the first phase, the focus has mainly been enabling communication among consumers, and the market showed a huge appetite for that. Microsoft Messenger (1999) has been extremely successful the first years of the past decade. Then came Skype, LinkedIn, MySpace and finally Facebook (to mention the success stories), but also others, less famous networks like Friendster, Hi5 (both still active BTW). Also “World of Warcraft” and “Minecraft” could be considered in this category and we all know how popular they still are.

The second wave of consumer-driven software was boosted by mobile which today is everywhere and it has affected consumers’ lives like only few other example of innovation did (no need to dig into this topic).

Nowadays enterprise solutions seem to experience a new youth, and this is strictly correlated to the disruption mobile has brought on us. Here are the trends that the new breed of enterprise software is riding.

1. User Experience and Gamification

Employees are consumers in the end of the day and they are used to engaging and intuitive interfaces. They expect the enterprise software adopted by their employer to offer a comparable level of design and experience, as well as being supported on mobile devices or new programming languages.

The mantra of enterprise software suppliers “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is coming to its last days. Now usability, design and experience will have a more marked importance in making buying decisions by enterprises, as the level of intuition employees experience and develop with mobile and other consumer solutions offer unprecedented opportunities for productivity optimization.

2. Data-driven solutions (or leverage of online knowledge) and App-store effect

Hardware and software is the past. Today, enterprise solutions are cloud-based and there is no turning back. Saleforce has been a pioneer in the field and opened the path to everything that followed. But the cloud hosting is only one of the benefits of this trend. There are at least 2 complementary outcomes of the online connectivity which are under our eyes and yet hard to see.

– The leveraging of online knowledge, which is a pure example of crowd-shared knowledge which keeps on growing at exponential rate. And we are still far from it’s peak, especially with the coming wave of innovation defined within the “internet-of-things”. Offering an enterprise solution able to filter and display valuable information to enterprises will simply be a new standard, as companies demand more and more real-time data about not only their own operations, but also those of other companies in their sector.

– The integration of multiple cloud solutions, which could be named the “app-store effect”. Compared to traditional enterprise software, today’s solutions are highly specialized (with few expectations) and are, more importantly, highly interconnected. Platforms like Salesforce for instance, are the “app-store” of add-ons of complementary and adjacent solutions, thus offer enterprises a higher flexibility in tailoring the perfect solution for their needs (like a consumer with a mobile device). At the same time, having multiple vendors offers more guarantees of constant updates and easier on-demand customization, compared to gigantic pieces of software like SAP or Oracle. Not to mention price advantages. APIs are and will keep on playing a crucial role in this highly interconnected scenario.

3. Commoditization of business services

Business services in the form of consultancy will be gradually replaced by enterprise platforms the more knowledge and expertise is available via them. The transition will initially work as collaboration, having consulting businesses engaging and delivering their services by online means (think about online book-keeping) at a flat rate, to then having enterprise customers internalizing the expertise and relying on software only. This will most likely affect low-end consultancy services, where little or no customer-specific work is required and it will be adopted from small businesses. We are already mid-way in this trend, as we experienced with book-keeping, HR services, or even marketing (think about HubSpot).

All in all, enterprise software (or better cloud enterprise solutions), will most likely have a predominant role in the coming years, and several B2B companies will get under the spotlight for financing rounds or IPOs. Moreover, the internet-of-things still has to show its true, disrupting power.

Equidam is of course looking at these developments very closely and works on integration of these technologies to improve our valuation service for all our users.
More on our tech stack and our future developments will be posted in the coming weeks, stay tuned!