Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Peter Levine: There’s An Enterprise Renaissance Going On

Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Peter Levine took the stage at the Defrag conference today and said what has become pretty apparent these days: There’s a renaissance happening in the enterprise and the change it brings will go deep and see the emergence of a new generation of creativity that will change the way we live and work.

Ian Glazer of Gartner Research interviewed Levine about similarities of today’s new enterprise disruption. And, Levine said, there is lots of proof that the renaissance is underway — well illustrated in the shift from the personal computer to mobile. The infrastructure has to change in this shift; the applications will have to be built natively to the mobile device. Services out of the back-end will need to be secured. The devices are getting more powerful and will have to integrate with distributed infrastructures around the world. Data platforms are just emerging. The development is just starting.

Levine compared this new “golden age” of the enterprise to the creativity and innovation that emerged in the city states of Italy.

Before the Renaissance, monarchs controlled the kingdom. In the old world of the enterprise, the monarch is the CIO. But no longer do business people need the seal of the CIO. They can buy direct from the developer.  Small businesses, medium-sized businesses and departments in large companies are the new patrons for this new renaissance age. They need to get their work done, and the tools they use in their personal lives are the models.

Guilds, such as Github in its own way, are emerging in the communities where developers gather, learn and collaborate.

Now, of course, Levine has a lot at stake here. Andreessen Horowitz has a number of investments in enterprise startups. The firm invested $100 million in GitHub for its enterprise play. Nicira, one of his investments, sold to VMware for $1.2 billion.

But beyond that, the renaissance is apparent: Innovation is necessary; the old ways are no longer suited for the new demands that come as PCs go away and touch replaces the keyboard and the mouse.

(Image via Wikipedia)