Enterprise Software Has Peaked
I am not in the business of calling market tops and bottoms and please do not take my comments here in that context.
That said, I think the news that SAP considered selling out to Microsoft, which broke over the past 24 hours, is an important sign that enterprise software is no longer a growth business.
The first sign was Oracle’s efforts to acquire PeopleSoft which, incredibly, are still ongoing.
But this one is the big bang. Microsoft, which itself is the poster boy of slow growing tech companies, wants to buy SAP. It’s not surprising really. Each layer in the technology stack is slowly getting mature and commoditized. We’ve finally gotten to enterprise software. Ten years ago, it was the sweet spot of technology venture capital. Now it’s a mature business in consolidation mode.
This doesn’t mean that all enterprise software is slow growth. But clearly the big sectors that developed over the past fifteen years are mature. And so we need to move on to new areas in search of growth in the technology business.