NEA Enterprise Summit: Predictions for the Perfect Storm in Enterprise IT

Oct 29, 2013

Today we welcome more than 100 technology leaders and visionaries to our NEA Enterprise Summit, bringing together some of our most promising enterprise technology companies—the future of enterprise software, computing, storage, and networking—with the CIOs and CTOs of some of the world’s largest corporations, cumulatively representing a stunning $900 billion in revenue and an estimated $50 billion of annual spend on technology.

We have been hosting these types of events for 35 years, but as a partnership it has been over 15 years since we’ve seen as much innovation, momentum, and disruption in enterprise technology. In this sector alone, we’ve had one of our most active years of record:

  • NEA has led or participated in 43 financings in the enterprise sector, raising over $2 billion in capital

  • 6 of NEA’s enterprise companies have been acquired for more than $3.3 billion in enterprise value

  • NEA has had 6 enterprise IPOs creating a combined market cap of over $20 billion (and 9 total IPOs year to date across all sectors)

Tectonic shifts in Silicon Valley are exciting opportunities to exploit, but Forest Baskett, one of NEA’s most prolific investors in semiconductors, storage, and software and a former Professor in Stanford’s Computer Science Department, has words of wisdom for entrepreneurs that enter the enterprise sector: “With Moore’s Law, the future is easy to predict, it’s the timing that’s hard…” Every year, we are constantly reminded that it is the entrepreneurs we back that play such an important role in imagining our future. And equally and arguably more pivotal, it’s the CIOs and CTOs of the largest technology buyers in the world that determine the timing.

Numerous widespread technology disruptions have now created the ‘perfect storm’ in traditional enterprise IT. Core applications are being re-written in an era of pervasive cloud computing, agile development, social networks, and mobile devices. The world is producing and consuming more data than ever before, and the relational database is under a multi-front assault from open source and NoSQL alternatives that are getting ready for prime time. Data centers and networks are now virtualized, storage systems will be replaced as flash becomes the new disk, and we all have to re-imagine and re-wire our infrastructure for the cloud. I don’t think anyone will argue that this is our future, though I am sure the timing will be a lively debate!

We are excited and honored to host two of the great entrepreneurs of this generation as keynote speakers at our event this year, Aneel Bhusri of Workday, and Christian Chabot of Tableau Software. We have enjoyed relationships with both for over 10 years, and have been privileged to work with such great leaders that are defining the future of software. Both have proven that it is possible for start-ups to unseat the largest 800 pound gorillas in some of the largest markets in enterprise software, riding the multiple waves of disruption previously not available to incumbents. They are an inspiration to us all and are the early indicators of the size and scale of the ‘perfect storm’ hitting the enterprise market.