Now established as common practice for reducing operational expenditure, cloud computing has long been acknowledged as a technology game changer. It’s shaping up new business models through shared computing resources and propelling business innovation. Everything from taxis to handymen services are being streamlined across the cloud.

Businesses are able to design their operating models around technological capabilities thanks to the #cloud Click to Tweet

The Sharing Economy

In 2015 we saw the rise of the “Sharing Economy”. In the context of the cloud, “sharing” refers to enterprises helping users share goods or services across peer to peer platforms.

Businesses across all sectors are now able to design and build their operating models around technological capabilities thanks to the cloud. This is helping improve flexibility and efficiency to extend business reach into global markets, taking advantage of global value chains.

The “Sharing Economy” model, fuelled by the flexibility of the cloud, is on track to fundamentally change the nature of competition.

Boosting collaboration

With the rise of this “Sharing Economy”, cloud is turning companies that would traditionally see each other as competitors into partners, working together across specialised service platforms that enable them to operate a streamlined, efficient business.

The “Sharing Economy” model, fuelled by the flexibility of the cloud, is on track to fundamentally change the nature of competition.

Cloud-based software is helping companies automate their manual processes, configuring them to meet an organisation’s specific requirements. Moreover, in a world where customer demand patterns shift at a moment’s notice, cloud software is giving companies the agility to modify business processes or roll out entirely new ones much more rapidly than traditional approaches.

As such, businesses’ competition points are changing – shifting away from relying on the efficiency of operational technology as a key competition point, to focusing on boosting and refining their core offering.

The rise of the “super-niche”

As corporations increasingly outsource services to specialists, new business models are likely to emerge that focus more on the specific inconveniences and frustrations within B2B processes that can be streamlined across the cloud.

As a result, entrepreneurs will be looking out for minute niches to own. For example, Amazon Dash Button is a B2B initiative to get manufacturers of devices that use consumables, such as printers to build in sensors that gauge how much has been used up and automatically put an order in to Amazon when a top-up is needed.

With the rise of this “Sharing Economy,” cloud is turning companies that would traditionally see each other as competitors into partners

Consumers vs businesses

In the consumer space, cloud has completely revolutionised the way we think about investing in and owning physical assets. For example, we stream music and films, rather than investing in physical records, downloads or DVDs. We often talk about ‘consumers’ and’ businesses’ separately, forgetting there’s an important association between them. At the end of the day, businesses are run and managed by ‘consumers’ in another facet of life. This means that as we become increasingly dependent on instant services and transactions, business leaders are taking these expectations with them into their corporate lives, which is in turn translating into an increased demand for cloud providers that can offer this level of streamlined, flexible, instant access.

Cloud has revolutionised the way we think about investing in and owning physical assets Click to Tweet

As such, the demand for these niche providers will continue to soar across B2B, and these emerging businesses will likewise fuel the growth of the on-demand and sharing economy even further – creating a self-perpetuating cycle of growth and demand for the entire cloud industry.