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Emergence Capital 2017 Predictions: Enterprise Software Trends to Watch

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by the Partners at Emergence Capital

2017 Enterprise Software Trends to Watch

Gordon Ritter, founder & General Partner


Industry Cloud

  • As horizontal software players continue to recognize the value of industry depth, the industry cloud acquisition spree will continue. Oracle's acquisition of energy-focused Opower and construction-focused Textura in 2016 will serve as the starting gun for this trend.
  • Non-software players will dive deeper into the software pond with both marquee acquisitions and acquihires, particularly in the industry cloud. GE's acquisition of field services-focused ServiceMax and Verizon's acquisitions of telematics-focused Fleetmatics and Telogis will similarly serve as the starting gun for this trend.
  • Industry Cloud companies will be among the best positioned to take advantage of advances in machine learning technology. They will use their "deep data" to deliver more relevant insights to their customers than their horizontal peers, bringing tangible value to the hype around this technology.

Joe Floyd, Partner



  • 2016 saw the release of the consumer versions of a couple major VR platforms (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR) but no AR platforms. Enterprise adoption is still in the early adopter phase where people are experimenting - hardware costs are preventing mass adoption. We predict 2017 will see continued enterprise experimentation in industry verticals with high value workers. We also predict that more adoption will take place in use cases where value exists on phone-based VR/AR so they can take advantage of mass distribution prior to dedicated headsets becoming mainstream.

Location Data

  • Given the increasing ubiquity of cheap sensors (mobile + IOT), we predict increasing importance of marrying location data with business logic/processes will drive automation and revenue opportunities for mobile workers.


  • Over the past 5 years, businesses have evolved the way they work in order to appeal and integrate millennials entering the workforce. Key trends that have resulted are consumerization of IT and employee engagement. Over the next 5 years, we predict millennials will start founding more companies that remake the future of work in their own image given they now have experience in the workforce. We will see more enterprise businesses led by millennials and they will focus on problems more important to them.

Brian Jacobs, founder & General Partner


  • Companies will use the most ubiquitous people sensor, the mobile device, to tailor physical environments to individual preferences. Buildings, which have always been static, will become dynamic to people as they move through them. Pioneers like Comfy are leading this charge in the office environment.
  • IoT-specific platforms like GE's Predix will play a more active role in the ecosystem. If done well, this could accelerate the development of IOT applications in a variety of industrial contexts, like factories, power plants, and more.
  • The commercial drone industry is poised to take off as hardware prices continue to drop and 2016 FAA regulations have made widespread commercial use legal for the first time. Off-the-shelf, prosumer drones made by players like DJI will dominate in most commercial applications. Software platforms like DroneDeploy will be key enablers to make these tools easy to use with minimal training.


Published Tuesday, December 13, 2016 9:01 AM by David Marshall
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