The tech selloff earlier this week heightened concern about the sector's outlook as the vaccination rate climbs, states begin to loosen COVID-19 restrictions, and Americans anticipate spending more time outside their homes.
But a survey of more than 900 leaders in technology and communications released by Pew last month found that over the coming years people will rely even more on tech, since consumers and businesses alike have shifted norms around remote work, e-commerce, and telehealth, among other advances.
In a new interview with Yahoo Finance, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker pointed to a type of enterprise software that has emerged as a key part of business administration: contract management.
Pritzker, who recently joined the board of enterprise software company Icertis, touted the data and efficiency gains made possible by the technology, adding that contract management software brings a central part of business into the digital age.
"Contract management is in my mind the next big enterprise software category, marrying data insights [and] risk management," she says. It "allows companies to optimize their business decisions and creates tremendous efficiency for enterprise companies."
"Contracts are at the heart of all things commerce," she adds.
The worldwide enterprise software market is expected to exceed $575 billion by 2024, according to a report released in January by India-based iGATE Research.
Samir Bodas, CEO and Co-founder of Icertis, said in December that the market for a type of software known as common license managers — which allow vendors to oversee contracts and licenses — already amounts to $20 billion. The company currently has 10 million contracts under management with a total of roughly $1 trillion in contract value, Bodas said.
"Think of this as a very horizontal category," he says. "Every industry vertical, in every geography, and every company does contracts. And you need a software system to manage those contracts."
Asked whether Icertis is considering going public, Pritzker said, "the company has a lot of potential options."
"Right now, we're really, really focused on our customers, and making sure that we're delivering for the customers on a day-to-day basis."
"But we're continuing to develop our governance and our capabilities so that we can take advantage of many different potential options for the business."