Well, we might not have won a Crunchie on Tuesday night — congrats to Dropbox, which cleaned up, winning best cloud service and best overall startup — but we’re not hanging our heads. We were thrilled to be one of six finalists in a stacked bracket, and we’re even more thrilled that enterprise software’s gone mainstream, maybe even sexy.
PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy commented on enterprise software’s newfound street cred at the Crunchies, pointing out that the category we were nominated in (“Best Cloud Service”) was the most exciting of the night.
The enterprise category was the sexiest one. ... Sure they called it the “cloud” category, but that’s just packaging. Most of these companies aren’t building the next great consumer brand. They sell software to companies.
Lacy lays out several reasons for the shift in enterprise software's fortunes, the iPad’s effect on IT among them. But she also points out a fundamental change that’s underway: There’s so many cool business-focused companies because the cool kids are starting to move away from the consumer world and are building great tools for our working lives. Lacy writes:
The consumer kids have finally started to take over the category. The previous generation of enterprise software companies championed software-as-a-service and intuitive interfaces and the cloud, but they were mostly built by people who came from the old guard like Marc Benioff, Zach Nelson and Dave Duffield. ... This new generation– possibly the only people to start enterprise companies that have never worked a day at Oracle– are dramatically changing the game from a product point of view.
Spot on. Forget the consumer realm; there’s a huge opportunity in the enterprise, one that entrepreneurs should be looking to exploit.