A few years ago, citing the fall of the Soviet Union, an academic suggested we were witnessing the end of history — that is there were no more “-isms” left.

That is colonialism, socialism, communism and others had been vanquished.

In hindsight, of course, people continue to generate new ideologies.

Similarly information technology has gone from mainframes to client-server computing to software as a service. If you think that’s as far as it goes, you’re wrong, argues venture capitalist Brian Ascher of Venrock on Forbes.com.

The problem, he says, is that people still have to use applications for business to get value from them. But a new generation of apps are automating the analysis of corporate data.

“These solutions use algorithmic data mining on your own data and often on external third party data accessible by cloud ecosystems and APIs.” These co-called data driven solutions “make predictions about business functions, prescribe what to do next, and in many cases take action autonomously. Trained analysts are not required to query databases. Instead, business users get answers directly from the software.”

For example,  he points to 6Sense, a new SaaS company that analyzes B2B website traffic and third party data to predict which prospects are most likely to buy from you, what they will buy, when they will buy, and how much they will buy.

He cites a number of other next-generation software as a service companies — some of whom Venrock is behind — that he believes are the future of software. Admittedly, with the company’s investments he has a bias. You be the judge.

Read the full article here