If we’ve spoken recently, or you’ve been anywhere within earshot (both IRL or virtually) of our team, you would have heard us mention how the workspace tech sector’s rapid growth is creating the desperate need for an entirely new data infrastructure for platform integrations and industry-specific synchronization.
However I wanted to take a few moments to share why now is exactly the right time for this kind of data infrastructure to be developed and illustrate just a few of the benefits its already bringing to first-movers.
A glimpse of the commercial real estate (CRE) tech landscape.
Back in August 2020 Nima Wedlake put together a market map of the CRE Tech landscape.
It listed 220 solutions across 5 top categories and 19 subcategories. Take a look, it’s glorious. 👇
Since August 2020 there’s been many many changes.
A fair few of these have folded, merged, been acquired, or acquired others and may now span across multiple categories and subcategories.
P.S. This M&A activity kicked up a whole other set of questions for the operators using those solutions, which we’ve covered in a previous post here.
Regardless, this ever-growing variety of CRE tech solutions & providers is driving drastic changes in how technology is being picked, evaluated and implemented.
Operators are leaning from monoliths, and towards modular stacks.
Operators of commercial real estate in general, and flexible workspace in particular, are increasingly asking for whatever systems they use, to connect easily and “talk” efficiently with every other systems in their operational stacks.
This means that integrations are going to be a critical part of all sales conversations for tech companies, both initially and every renewal to avoid customer churn.
From a tech perspective, integrations need to be planned, implemented and then maintained. All whilst still fixing issues and building core features for existing customers.
Just how big is the integration problem, and resulting tech debt?
So let’s for a second assume that there are just the 220 solution providers in Nima’s diagram.
220 companies - 20% (removing direct competitors) = 176 companies.
Setting up 176 integrations =
176 API docs to study
+ 176 planning sessions
+ 176 development sprints (at least)
Managing 176 integrations =
176 changelogs to monitor
+ 176 integrations to manage & maintain
Even with unlimited budgets, building and managing that number of integrations, schemas and changelogs will quickly become a huge distraction of resources, in what is already evidently an ultra competitive multi-trillion-dollar market.
Luckily for our integration partners, Syncaroo’s unified API handles security, authentication, normalization and other computational functionality before giving each platform the data and functionality they need to “talk to each other” – regardless of what language (or schemas) each company “speaks”.
Our aim is that eventually, the number of integrations any CRE technology or company will need to setup and manage can go from 176 integrations to just 1.
Can you imagine the boosts to innovation, R&D, new features and UX we’d see if thousands of hours per company could be diverted away from never-ending integration planning, setup and management?
Of course, there's also far far more than just 220 companies.
To help illustrate just how many platforms, providers and services exist here’s a few more proptech numbers and market maps from around the world:
The Unissu property tech directory lists 2,071 companies in the ‘manage‘ and ‘commercial‘ categories.
And CRE Tech isn't slowing down. It's just getting started.
If 2020 showed the CRE industry anything it’s that tech can be developed and deployed rapidly to replace all the manual, tedious, error-prone yet frustratingly important tasks that go into setting up, managing and operating any commercial real estate project.
Want to learn more about what we're doing to help?
Developers & platforms are invited to request API access, and workspace operators can learn more about the benefits of using Syncaroo to automate their tedious (but important) workflows.