Individual Employee Budgets

The other day I wrote about the fast growing b2e2b business model where enterprise software companies make their product available (often for free) to individual employees. Then – after those employees love the product – they put pressure on their employers to buy the premium version or to buy the product for the entire enterprise. While I believe that this model is going to continue to grow at an extremely fast pace in 2013, there is no doubt that it’s inefficient – i.e. the employee has to go through a bureaucratic purchasing department to buy a tool that will make them better at their jobs.

That’s why I believe that, as we see b2e2b grow, I think we’ll also see this inefficiency addressed. That is, we’ll start to see more budgetary control put in the hands of the individual employee. Many companies – even large companies – already give their employees a cell phone budget. I think we’ll see this kind of control flow down to other productivity tools as well to the point that budgets won't be bucketed by division or group or team -- we'll see more and more money flowing into individual employee budgets.

Of course there are internal compatibility, security and scalability concerns that will slow down this trend, but I think this it's something for enterprise focused companies to watch out for in the coming years.