Those who are not aware, GP Bullhound is a boutique investment bank focusing their efforts on technology deal making, i.e. investments, mergers and acquisitions. And once a year, they share their research by predicting how the year will pan out.
I’ve just attended their Manchester briefing, which was held at Barclays Spinningfield’s offices, and here are the top 10 predictions for 2016:
- Virtual Reality Becomes Reality
- “Quantified Self” Transitions from Niche to Mainstream
- Automotive Industry Ripe for Innovation
- Alternative Lending Continues to Shine Brightly in Fintech Sector
- Gaming Giants Fortify Positions in Top Grossing Charts
- Digital Video Becomes More Measured to Keep Growing Up
- “Deskless” Workers Come to Forefront in Enterprise Mobility Shift
- Cybersecurity Continues Soul Searching
- Drones Will Fly Into Headwinds of Uncertainty
- Unicorn Hunting Now in Season
From all the 10 predictions, what’s most relevant to UnifiedVU and its ecosystem is No.7, which in fact recognises a number of key developments:
- More and more people will be working away from the office, some of whom would be home office base.
- SaaS is maturing, yet not fully adopted by the enterprise.
- Security is still a concern for the enterprise.
- Business apps are now available on the mobile and tablets.
- Bring your device to work is now accepted.
Below is an extract from the report on No. 7.
The enterprise has experienced some seismic technology paradigm shifts in recent years. Cloud computing gave rise to software-as-aservice (SaaS) products and services that have become increasingly embraced and adopted, while the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept and “consumerization” phenomenon have forced enterprises to reimagine collaboration and productivity among their respective workforces. Today’s workers – many of whom are now tech-savvy Millennials – demand access to critical business information within a moment’s notice, whether they are in the office or not.
The next paradigm shift currently taking place is making the enterprise more mobile. Research firm Gartner suggested that market demand for enterprise mobile app services will grow at least five times faster than the supply of available mobile solutions from internal IT departments by the end of 2017. This strong demand is creating a new generation of high-growth companies focused on enabling enterprise mobility.
One of the darlings to emerge within the growing enterprise mobile app ecosystem is Slack, which has successfully created a viral and sticky solution reinventing rigid enterprise e-mail and messaging tools. Slack has enabled more cohesive communication and increased productivity within the work environment, and its rising popularity and rapid growth allowed the company to complete a $160 million investment last April at a cool $2.8 billion post-money valuation. The common denominator among successful enterprise mobile app companies is an obsessive focus on creating simple and intuitive user experiences that closely resemble those found in consumer apps. The list of enterprise mobile app companies and venture funding into them continues to grow, and most are taking an industry-specific, vertical approach rather than a cross-industry, horizontal approach taken by the previous generation of SaaS pioneers.
As the evolution towards mobile continues, one of the more promising opportunities within the enterprise is in “deskless” industries, primarily those in healthcare, construction, retail, transportation, and field services. Google estimated that 80% of the global workforce (approximately 3 billion) is performing physical or deskless work daily. This group includes those working on their feet in settings such as a hospital, farm, or warehouse. These workers typically do not have a computer issued by their employer and are left to work with antiquated technology solutions and processes. However, many of these workers are now carrying mobile phones and an opportunity exists to create enterprise-grade mobile apps that cater to their day-to-day functional needs in their respective industries to maximize flexibility and productivity. Emerging companies such as PlanGrid are coming up with mobile solutions for construction professionals to better manage their ever-changing blueprints and drawings, while ServiceMax is automating tasks and processes for service technicians and field workers.
We expect more enterprise mobile app companies to emerge. Those leveraging top notch mobile development prowess with deep domain expertise in the specific industries they seek to serve will become the leaders that help extend the enterprise’s digital reach beyond its corporate front and back offices.
The research has not picked up on the growing market of application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaaS) businesses, which focus heavily on integrations. And UnifiedVU is focusing on the next evolution of integration, i.e. integration on-the-glass. Would be interesting to see how the markets pan out in 2016.
Access presentation: http://www.edocr.com/doc/5/tech-predictions-2016-gp-bullhound