Enterprise technology is the technology used in organizations, such as businesses, governments and non-profits. It’s different from consumer technology which is designed for individuals. The next wave of high growth companies will emerge from the enterprise technology industry, mainly because the market is mature – enterprise users are ready to use technology at work.
Consumer technology prepared enterprise users for automation technology. One of the most prominent consumer internet products, social network, automates our personal life. This past Thanksgiving I had a great time at my friends’ house in Tennessee, but unfortunately one of them fell off her horse and broke her wrist. She updated her family using a Facebook group of family members. By going to the group and posting the message, she mass distributed a message to a selected group of people, and those people can read it at a right time. Before Facebook, she would have to call or text each one of the family to mass distribute, and search in her memory to be sure to cover every one of this selected group of people, and think of a time that’s right for them. Facebook automated all those into a simple action, saving her time and energy. Half of Americans are on Facebook, and have experienced this form of automation technology.
It’s hard not to use the same concept at work, especially those that involve frequent communications. In a movie set for example, directors coordinate hundreds of people – cast members, sets, props, camera, sound, electrical, etc. getting a message across selected group of people at the right time can be challenging. If the director wants to shoot some interior shots instead of the planned car-chase, because the highway permit application was not successful, he needs to cancel the stunt drivers, get the extras for interior shots, and update the production office. Right now the work is done by associate directors calling and talking to the crew, but I have been working with a company trying to automate the process. The entrepreneur told me that movie producers and directors loved the product, because the concept is just the same as in social networks. Just as in film industries, companies are innovating in other sectors of our economy, such as advertising (sidecar), insurance (Compliance Assurance), and even law enforcement (Appriss).
The mature user base is not the only market driver for enterprise technology’s future growth. And automation of communication is not the only way it creates value. I will write more about the dynamics of the industry in future posts.