In enterprise IT, things move so quickly that it’s often hard to keep up. But you can listen to industry leaders and learn what they’re seeing.
Tidemark CEO Christian Gheorghe is one of those visionaries. After successfully launching three startups, including his last one that sold to SAP for $US500 million, Gheorghe is now running a business analytics software company called Tidemark.
We caught up with Gheorghe this week to see what the latest trends are in business software. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Back office is the new front office. What used to be an isolated, IT-oriented, back-end management software is now sexy. It’s become easier to use, has better features, and targets a broader user base. It’s simplifying a lot of the complicated back end work, like payroll or employee benefits, and is reimagining the entire workflow process, Gheorghe says. And VCs are pouring their money into it. For example, Zenefits, which is changing the way HR is done (benefits, payroll, tracking vacations) has raised over $US83 million, and is expected to grow its user base 1,600% this year. Its CEO Parker Conrad claims Zenefits is the fastest-growing business software Silicon Valley has ever seen. “It’s leading to the grand disappearance of the traditional enterprise stack,” Gheorghe says.
2. Big data is moving to smart data. It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard about big data. In fact, most companies still don’t know what to do with all the data they collect. So there’s an explosion of software that promises to offer ways to extract real value from data. For example, Gheorghe’s company Tidemark allows finance people to ask any type of question, and it automatically answers with charts and graphs. Salesforce.com has also been making a move in this space with the launch of its big data analytics platform Wave, and the acquisition of RelateIQ, another big data startup. “How do you extract things from a sea of data? We answer things people didn’t even know they could ask,” Gheorghe says.
3. Security. This is a big brewing story in enterprise software, as hacks of major companies like Target and Sony are suffering huge exposure from recent hacks. There are a bunch of enterprise startups trying to help companies stop these attacks, like FireEye (which monitors networks for weird occurrences), Tanium (which lets companies look at individual machines), and Area 1 (which is trying to help crack down on social engineering). He also mentioned offhandedly that he thinks Amazon is a lot more secure than iCloud.
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