With more than 8,000 attendees and 50 countries represented, Dublin Tech Summit is considered one of the world’s top B2B tech events. Keynote speakers include tech leaders from companies such as Stripe, Zoom, Spotify and Google, to name a few.
For many, the highlight was reconnecting with old friends and colleagues, elbow bumping with new acquaintances and catching up on two years lost. B2B SaaS veterans, founders, investors, subject matter experts and end-users alike attended for the dynamic content and emerging trends, and the event did not disappoint.
Four key themes emerged to me from the sessions, show floor, and in many, many vendor meetings. Here’s a recap of what I saw and heard at #DTS22.
“The true challenge comes not from building the first product, but what comes next.”
David Singleton, Stripe
Cybersecurity takes centre stage
You could call it a sub-track at the event. There were countless speakers, sessions and vendors focused on enterprise SaaS cybersecurity. Forecasts indicate the security market will reach £275 billion by 2028, driven by an explosion of IoT devices, eCommerce platforms and increased expenditure on virtual private networks (VPNs) to accommodate hybrid working.
“We are fighting with gangs, sophisticated businesses and nation states.”
Ben Jenkins, ThreatLocker Inc
Security breaches are highly costly and, at this point, table stakes to business resilience. As data and services move to the cloud and employees move to home offices, the “castle and moat” model is no longer effective. There are new unique challenges as remote creates a larger penetration surface. The device endpoint or the data itself is the new arena.
Splunk recently released some interesting research around this topic that states:
- 78% of security and IT leaders say that remote workers are harder to secure
- 65% of organisations reported an increase in attacks during the pandemic
- 73% within the industry reported colleagues quitting due to burnout
“I can tell you with a lot of confidence that remote and hybrid work is the future. This is a one-way train, it’s left the station.”
Prashanth Chandrasekar, Stack Overflow
‘Cyber hygiene’ will become a core competency for CIOs going forward. RingCentral’s Trust Centre provides more information on potential disruptions to organisations, and lists recent security innovations including dynamic end to end encryption for video meetings among other features.
Our pick for security SaaS vendors to watch: Check out Irish-founded Evervault whose mission is to encrypt the web by giving developers simple, powerful APIs to put data encryption infrastructure in front of their applications. “When a company encrypts with Evervault, they could put their database on a billboard and no one could get at the data,” says founder and CEO Shane Curran.
Low-code / no-code shows up in every app
Multiple SaaS suppliers demonstrated how users can easily create workflows without the need for programming skills. Low-code / no-code tools have grown steadily as they effectively address businesses’ most complicated challenges: the need to enhance customer and employee experiences and boost commercial and operational efficiency.
One of the best examples of no-code efficiencies is with RingCentral Add-ins. It’s now easy to add your must-have tools such as Jira, DocuSign, Trello and more to the RingCentral app. Once installed, users can take third-party app actions, such as signing a DocuSign document, updating the Jira status of a project or tagging a teammate, or receiving BI notifications within team chat messages. RingCentral Add-ins allow you to automate and customise workflows with no coding needed.
When you watch a quick demo of how easy it is to add in low-code / no-code tools, the lightbulb goes off that anyone can create a basic workflow, despite a lack of technical chops. Expect to see even more demos of low-code / no-code at Dublin Tech Summit 2023 as vendors continue to drive the adoption of these tools.
Our pick for no-code SaaS vendors to watch: Tel Aviv based demostack, a no-code tool to create a carbon copy of your software demo environment to deliver a risk-free, fully customisable demo in minutes. Just log into demostack to instantly clone your app’s demo environment and create customised demos that convert. Send a link to your buyer (or post it on your website) to self-educate at their own pace and on their own schedule.
Web3 and crypto are alive and well
Despite recent turbulence, cryptocurrency and blockchain made a big splash at Dublin Tech Summit 2022. Dare I say that none of the founders, investors or participants in the Web3 space seem phased by the last 60 days?
Blockchain, DeFi, crypto and the greater world of Web3 all began with an overarching purpose: to place the centralised power of tech giants back into the hands of creators and everyday people. This new blend of technology, finance and community initiated a world of eCommerce where creators can forge meaningful relationships with fans and sell their work in more secure ways. Fast forward to 2022, and the use cases for blockchain technology have exploded well past the creator economy.
What’s next for Web3? From what I heard, here are three key trends to anticipate:
- DAOs (decentralised autonomous networks) will reshape eCommerce and the creator economy at large
- NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will mature, ushering in new transactional infrastructures and ecosystems
- Old models of work life will change. Web3 will offer a more inclusive work life, making it possible to employ people across time zones in a freelance or fully employed capacity
“As an entrepreneur, your mindset always has to be optimistic.”
Michele Romanow, Clearco
It’s clear Web3 will continue to grow, despite the current downturn. The question today is not, “When will Web3 take off?” but, “What will our Web3 powered future look like? What are we growing into? What are we leaving behind?” It’s exciting times, and big changes are coming.
Our pick for Web3 SaaS vendors to watch: In an effort to decarbonise bitcoin mining, Renewal Box aims to be the world’s first 100% renewable Bitcoin mining farm that will be tokenised on the Ravencoin blockchain. The 100% renewable power will be sourced from a combination of solar power, via a large array of roof-mounted panels across several farming buildings, and the farm’s anaerobic digestion (AD) tank.
Sustainability goals push us to rethink product design
From consumer to business tech, sustainability was a huge topic at DTS22. The key takeaway was that every enterprise is on the path to net-zero whether they have decided this for themselves or not. The only choice they have left is whether they want to lead, follow or be a noticeable laggard on this trend. BlackRock, one of the world’s leading investment firms, is pushing its companies to have net-zero by 2050 targets, and has indicated it will divest from those that don’t.
A key trend worth calling out was an increasing number of businesses that are interested in the extension of the product lifecycle via a circular economy. In our current economy, we take materials from the earth, make products from them and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, by contrast, we avoid discarding materials as waste by finding other uses for them.
The circular economy is based on three principles, driven by design:
- Eliminate waste and pollution
- Circulate products and materials (at their highest value)
- Regenerate nature
Business leaders are exploring how to incorporate a circular economy into software, such as ways to innovate product design. In particular, CIOs are paying more attention to the end-of-life aspects in how they build IT systems. You have to go back and start looking at strategy, architecture and vendor choices in terms of the end-of-life disposal process. If they are to take this seriously, business leaders will need to develop ways to measure what percentage of e-waste is reused, recycled or disposed of.
Our pick for sustainability SaaS vendors to watch: Check out female founder led Supercritical whose software enables you to measure, reduce and offset your climate impact in weeks without the need for a sustainability team. Once you have measured your carbon footprint and want to buy high-quality carbon removal offsets to help get to net zero, Supercritical sells high-quality carbon removal, because it’s the only legitimate route to net zero.
DTS22: What’s the verdict?
Dublin Tech Summit had a great range of engaging speakers and gave tremendous insight into the fastest developing technologies in the world today. Next year’s event is bound to be fascinating to anyone interested in future trends in technology and I would definitely recommend going in 2023.
In the meantime, how is technology helping people cope with work and life? How is your business supporting employees so they remain focused, motivated and productive? There’s a bunch of ideas around how to set up your business for hybrid work, right here.