I want to get a jump on this prediction season with a few thoughts about things I think will be significant for selling to the enterprise in the year ahead.
- Protecting Corporate Data: There is an obvious and large need for better protections for corporate informational assets. Anyone who can address this need will jump ahead of their peers. This is not just a technology issue – better policies and procedures will be required to address the ever growing willingness of employees to share everything with everyone.
- Run Ahead of Expectations Transference: My favorite example of this is Mint vs Quicken. Quicken has been the market leader forever. Mint is elegant and easy to use. Quicken users did not even know they were unhappy until they started using other elegant and simple systems that do complicated things (online banking for example). They expected more than what Quicken was offering and as soon as they saw it – they jumped. That is why Intuit bought Mint for $170 million. This is going to play out in CRM and other legacy systems. Anyone not yet unhappy with enterprise CRM – will be soon. I bet the solution will look like Mint.com.
- Search/Location: Enterprise search is way behind consumer search and getting farther behind. We no longer have any patience for organizing things. Searching the enterprise for people, things, expertise, and trends is going to be gigantic. If you knew what your employees were searching for and if they found it – would that information be useful to you? Why are we not doing this right now? Google just put one of their MVPs, Marissa Mayer, in charge of its location based initiatives. Properly executed, location specific search will enable you to put “my house” in the search box and up pops your house. In terms of the enterprise, I will expand this to include context specific help. Being able to present different information to different employees based on their context will increase productivity and satisfaction immensely.