Desktop Virtualization, App Security, MoreBy Elizabeth Millard Print
The economy may be tanking, but venture capitalists are still digging deep into their pockets to fund technology ventures.
According to Justin Perreault, general partner of Commonwealth Capital Ventures, the area of desktop virtualization is speeding ahead faster than some experts have predicted.
"I've been shocked by the level of interest we're seeing from very large corporations moving ahead with desktop virtualization stations that are, on one hand, pilots, but on the other hand are pretty aggressive in terms of the scope of the rollout," says Perreault. Because of this, the amount of development and number of startup firms could increase sharply in the year ahead, as VCs try to fuel more opportunity in the sector.
Anything security related -- particularly technology that might stand out in a very crowded market -- is likely to be heard in more than an elevator pitch, and this year's darling is application security, notes Perreault. IT managers are urged to put a multi-layered defense strategy in place, which is driving development of different levels related to servers, desktops, and networks. And if you can secure all those, why not applications?
"Application and data security is seeing strong corporate emphasis and spending, and application security in particular is getting a lot more momentum," says Perreault. "It's been around for a while, but we're seeing more interest lately."
The convergence of technology and healthcare has been intriguing to many VCs, particularly as healthcare organizations demand cutting-edge gadgets, better data storage, and compliance-friendly online applications.
In the near future, look for even more expansion around diagnostics and alternative therapeutics, notes Christopher Greendale, general partner at Kodiak Venture Partners. Most notably, drug development is heavily accompanied by diagnostics, he says, and the advances in technologies servicing these sectors takes the guesswork out of prescriptions and how they work.
It's tough to build the next Amazon, but it's possible that shoppers aren't looking for another way to buy books, tools, and housewares all from one site -- they could be searching for diamonds and furs instead.
"We're seeing significant growth opportunities in these [sites]," says Greendale. Kodiak recently invested in an online luxury retail site called Ideeli, a members-only site offering premium products at a reduced rate. The company generates revenues through a business model that combines online sales with a premium subscription service, he adds.
Software as Service
The SaaS model has been around for years, but it could get kicked up in the near future, notes Don Caldwell, founder and CEO of Cross Atlantic Capital Partners.
"Enterprise-wide systems tend to be yesterday's news," he says. 'Companies don't' want to invest any more than absolutely necessary in plumbing. It is a necessary evil to be done as inexpensively as possible, hence SaaS: little upfront investment, ease of install, and variable expense."
So, the economy may be making the average Joe and Jane fret over home values and job security, but just like during the dot-com bust, investment in good ideas rolls on and on.
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