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Role of CMOs to go at Par with CIOs
Karan Mehandru
General Partner-Trinity Ventures
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Established in 1986, Trinity Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm devoted to partnering with potential start-ups. The Menlo Park, CA based firm has its focus on Cloud/Mobile Infrastructure, Software-as-a-Service, Digital Media, Social Commerce and Entertainment.

The proliferation of cloud infrastructure and the move from IT have been heralded as the new age start ups that are quite different from their predecessors in leveraging computing in order to provide better tools for developers to do their job. The proliferation of SaaS in all verticals is driven mostly by consumerization of the enterprise where lines of business users and people in the front office, are able to buy software without involving IT, and this has impacted the enterprise.

Mobile as a platform in general is enabling a plethora of mobile services because of the collaborative function and the economies involved in its development. Most of the budget will move towards online marketing technology, social marketing, automation, business intelligence and more. The last most significant of observations taking place is that the rise of the CMO as far as the buyer of the technology is slowly eclipsing with the CIO and the CTO. This is a trend which is here to stay and by 2016, the technology budget of a CMO will rival that of the CIO and the CTO.

Areas to Focus

In terms of technologies in markets such as cloud security, the market has evolved from security vendors to most of the data residing in the cloud; most of the mobile access to cloud. The bigger question still to be answered is how to enable companies and their employees leverage the power of mobile and cloud without sacrificing security in the enterprise.

With the conversions of wireless and internet with data communications and analytics bypassing human to human and human to computer interactions, the task ahead is to favor the ecosystem that has been developing and link them to the right companies that are presently driving the trend of the Internet of Things.

Entrepreneurs have to Adapt to Fundamentals

One of the bigger problems right now is that there has been a rise of seed and angel funds and companies have access to technologies like Amazon, interact space and cloud infrastructure and this has created a vast number of startups and has created some level of traction. The bar has been raised for quality in future rounds and entrepreneurs need to be aware of the macro environment but also need to build businesses by focusing on fundamentals as opposed to hype. Finally they need to pick partners, whether it is co-founders, investors, acquirers and believing in them in what they are trying to do by naturally aligning with their vision which is only possible by adapting a greater disciplinary approach and self awareness. This is where entrepreneurs should focus more on.
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