The Next Enterprise Technology Wave Will Require Hardcore Developers

Enterprise software technology is evolving faster than ever before but is also becoming more complex. While previous inflection points in enterprise software were driven by technologies such as web, mobile or cloud computing now we are entering the era of artificial intelligence(AI), blockchain technologies and the internet of things(IOT). From that perspective, the level of complexity and sophistication of the skills required to build solutions will these technologies is exponentially higher than previous trends. As a result, the new wave of enterprise software solutions is going to require some hardcore engineering skills.

The increase in complexity and sophistication of enterprise software technologies can have a profound impact across different areas of the ecosystem from venture capitalists to large organizations looking to onboard talent in these areas. The priorities in the enterprise software space are starting to shift from mobile and web solutions that were created by mainstream developers to IOT, drones and AI solutions that are likely to require deep knowledge of computer science and, in some cases, even hardware engineering.

No Clear Transition Path

One of the aspects that makes the shift to this new wave of enterprise software technologies so challenging is the lack of a clear transition path for the mainstream engineering talent onto those new technologies. A few years ago, when enterprises started to embrace mobile technologies, web developers and devops were able to adapt their skills from the web world because of the many commonalities shared between the two technology stacks. Something similar has happened with cloud computing platforms that have been embraced by enterprise developers and IT professionals reusing skills from previous waves. In those cases, developers were able to make the transition to new technologies by reusing skills they have acquired from previous technologies. Those types of transition paths are not clear when we start talking about technologies such as IOT, blockchain or AI. Consequently, the adoption of the new technology wave is likely to pose major challenges to mainstream enterprise software developers.

Professional Services Firms are Hot Again

The increase in the complexity of technologies is likely to increase the demand for high-end professional services firms specialized in areas such as blockchain technologies, IOT, AI, etc. Don’t be very surprised if we start seeing boutique professional firms raise institutional financing rounds from venture capitalists looking to get their piece of the next wave of enterprise solutions.

The VC Angle

Venture capitalists(VC) funding enterprise software companies in areas such as IOT or AI are likely to seen an increase in the price of early stage rounds driven by the cost of hiring hard core engineering talent.

The Startup Angle

Enterprise software startups in the new enterprise technology areas should experience longer time to market and sale cycles than the current generation of enterprise technologies. Finding and attracting engineering talent is also likely to become a constant challenge.

The Enterprise Customer Angle

The friction between the need to embrace new technologies in order to stay competitive and the talent gap in IT departments could become a challenge for most enterprises. Recognizing that the new wave of enterprise software technologies will require a new type of engineering talent and implementing the strategies to hire or nurture that talent will determine front-runners from lagers in the next phase of enterprise software solutions.

CEO of IntoTheBlock, Chief Scientist at Invector Labs, I write The Sequence Newsletter, Guest lecturer at Columbia University, Angel Investor, Author, Speaker.

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