Why The Most Innovative Enterprise Tech Solutions Are Being Created Outside Silicon Valley By Emmet B. Keeffe III

This week's opinion piece is by Emmet B. Keeffe III, founder of Insight IGNITE at Insight Partners, he is passionate about helping large global companies cross the Digital chasm by delivering insights from the firm's investment process.

Enterprise Tech Solutions

If there’s ever been a time to diversify visibility and access to the world’s fastest growing tech companies solving today’s biggest enterprise problems, it’s now. While Silicon Valley maintains its position as the leading consumer tech hub of the world, confidence is dwindling. In Q4 of 2018, the Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index, a quarterly survey of 28 Bay Area VCs, fell from the previous quarter’s index reading of 3.52 to 3.2 on a 5 point scale—the lowest point since the end of the financial crisis. The report cited “political uncertainty” as the catalyst.

Add this to talent migration away from the Bay Area, due to skyrocketing housing costs, it seems venturing to cities outside Northern California for tech solutions is the most logical move. However, aiming for geographic and cultural diversity in sourcing technology should be anything but a byproduct or last resort. It’s quite the opposite, as some of the world’s best enterprise technologies are emerging in the most unforeseen places.

For as much attention as major ecosystems like Silicon Valley, New York City, Tel Aviv and Berlin get, the innovation economy isn’t exclusive to a specific group of cities. Innovation is bigger than geography. It’s a mindset. That’s why at Insight Partners, our analyst’s research and speak with 15,000 to 20,000 new software companies globally each year while tracking 100,000 to 150,000 companies in our database. This is how Insight IGNITE matches the best tech solutions across the globe with large enterprise needs.

Necessity Breeds Innovation

Due to the sell fast, fail fast, pivot fast, burn capital fast mentality permeating the most renowned U.S. entrepreneurial communities, many startup teams are focused on selling products rather than solving real problems. In short, they’re solutions looking for problems. However, companies in other pockets of the world are innovating with a much different ideology. Because many international companies located in off-the-beaten tech paths are often struggling and have to generate revenue quickly, they have to solve an immediate problem—not a hypothetical complication— in order to survive. Rooted in the mindset of solving validated problems, their necessity breeds innovation.

Take the Madrid-based data analytics company Devo, a portfolio investment of Insight Partners, for example. When the co-founder and CTO, Pedro Castillo, was working for a bank during the recession in 2008 to 2009, the organization’s funding for data infrastructure froze completely. So he and his team invented a next-generation data platform. It was their lack of resources and their need for a viable solution that drove them to create a product that is now massively disrupting the data space.  

AI & Automation Solutions For Today’s Problems (Not Tomorrow’s Hypothetical Issues)

As companies and entire countries are racing to lead the AI and automation revolution, Insight Partners has invested in AI services critical to current digital transformation needs of key industries and large global enterprises.

The UK company Tractable has leveraged AI to transform the auto claims insurance business. Through a photo capturing app, when drivers get into accidents, they can photograph the damage and send the images to Tractable for analysis.
After the damage is estimated, a report is sent to the body shop and a repair is scheduled.
If the customer doesn’t want the car repaired, a check gets cut automatically. An example of measurable transformation, Tractable has made the bureaucratic claims process simple and elegant.

PrecisionLender, founded in North Carolina, provides commercial bankers with insights and coaching, so they can structure the best deals for clients and their bank. The company’s virtual insights analyst Andi® gathers data on what’s working and what’s not and delivers real-time advice to help craft winning, profitable deals.

Meanwhile, in Vienna, the software testing platform Tricentis accelerates the testing of costly digital transformation initiatives through automation. Across the globe in Vietnam, the agile software company QASymphony provides enterprise test management and testing solutions. Insight Partners merged these two companies, and they’re now the dominant players in the next generation, continuous testing market.

Opportunities to collaborate with leading software companies like these aren’t hard to come by if you know where to look. Just as successful digital transformation calls for a broad organizational purview, it requires a broad worldview. When the two intersect business acceleration is measurable, and solving problems takes precedence over selling products.