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July - 2013 - issue > CEO Spotlight
Working With "Consumerization of the Enterprise"
Anil Chawla
Founder & CEO-ArchiveSocial
Monday, July 1, 2013
ArchiveSocial is a SaaS solution provider that allows organizations to sign up online and start archiving for records management, regulatory compliance, and e-discovery. Founded in 2011, the company has received funding from Triangle StartUp Factory and NC IDEA.

There have been a numerous hot trends in the industry these past several years related to software-as-a-service, social networking, apps, cloud computing, and mobile devices. These trends are now converging in a manner that is disrupting the enterprise. Analysts and industry thought leaders have labeled this disruption as the “consumerization of the enterprise”. Whether it is a file syncing service, social collaboration software, or a cloud analytics dashboard built for mobile devices, the line between consumer web and enterprise application is blurring.

What I find most interesting is not just the consumerization of the enterprise, but the trend emerging in reaction to it. A business is still a business, and enterprises must continue to address issues such as regulatory compliance, legal risk, security, privacy, and policy enforcement as they embrace these shifts in technology. We are now beginning to witness innovative software solutions and services emerge to counteract governance challenges created by the consumerization movement.

As the line between enterprise and consumer technology continues to blur, so will the distinction between B2B and B2C companies. Many companies created with a consumer focus have migrated up-stream because of the rapid adoption of their offerings within the business realm. The emergence of Google Apps out of Google's consumer services foreshadowed this trend many years ago. More recent examples including business-oriented versions of services such as Dropbox and Evernote. The technology industry has long operated in a cycle; a proliferation of niche offerings followed by mass consolidation. We are currently experiencing a proliferation of consumer-oriented point offerings that are being pulled in the direction of the enterprise. These types of offerings must eventually adapt to meet the needs of the enterprise, and address issues such as data security and information governance -- if not organically, then via integration and consolidation.

The Challenge of Today

As demonstrated by these rapidly evolving trends, entrepreneurs today benefit from an incredibly low barrier of entry when it comes to technology. While this is a net positive for the industry, a level playing field means that it is harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. A low technology barrier also makes it easy to create a false sense of progress when moving in the wrong direction. It is critical for an entrepreneur to continually test the market and iterate to find the right opportunity. You never want to end up with the right solution to the wrong problem.

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