A recent question on Quora concerning Enterprise 2.0 got me thinking about the attractiveness of the enterprise as a target for investment.
I’m not exactly sure what Enterprise 2.0 means, but if it connotes helping the enterprise do stuff better – communicate both internally and with customers, store, retrieve, display analyse and monetise data, etc. – while leveraging the latest in distributed and cloud computing and advances in database architecture, then I view this as an extremely attractive space and incredibly fertile ground for investment.
WIth all the focus and hype around the consumer and social media, the enterprise has, at least from a PR perspective, been sorely neglected.
We at IA Ventures view the enterprise as being ripe for disruption, and it is fascinating to see which enterprises are proactively engaging in “creative destruction” while others are fighting the inevitable until the bitter end.
It is our job as forward-looking investors to help the enterprise transition from old ways of doing business, both internally and externally, as seamlessly and painlessly as possible. Some will be willing and able to go through wholesale transitions – ripping out old databases and moving to the cloud, integrating social media into internal and external communications, breaking down silo’d data and creating a holistic data store that can be efficiently be mined for business intelligence applications, etc. – while others will stick their toe in the water until the tsunami forces immediate and dramatic maneuvers.
I think the enterprise provides a generational opportunity for the venture industry, but it takes a strong stomach and a comfort with longer sales cycles and the complexities of selling into hierarchical organisations.
It might also take more investment dollars to collect the necessary data to prove or disprove the investment thesis. This isn’t about lightweight web apps and rapid A/B testing with real-time feedback; it requires an entirely different mind-set. But if you can get your mind around this and the enterprise is in your DNA, it is an exciting place to be.
This post originally appeared at Information Arbitrage.
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