2015 saw a rise of the ‘Sharing Economy’. In this context, the ‘sharing’ aspect refers to enterprises that enable users to share goods or services across a peer to peer platform. Over the past 12 months we have experienced disruptive enterprises appearing everywhere from the taxi industry to hospitality to handymen services. However, this concept of sharing goes far beyond the core services these enterprises provide to consumers. This model, fuelled by the flexibility of the cloud, is on-track to fundamentally change the nature of business competition this year and beyond – encouraging the ‘sharing’ model across enterprises. Enterprises that would traditionally be seen as competitors, are increasingly collaborating across cloud services – investing in highly specialised services that enable them to operate a streamlined, efficient business. That’s not to say that tech corporations won’t be looking to stimulate fierce growth and market dominance in the future. Their competition points will simply shift. Rather than attempting to out-do competitors on the efficiency of their tech solutions, corporations will increasingly outsource services to specialists (even if that means collaborating with competitors) – freeing them up to focus on competing on the core service they provide to customers.
With this, the demand for niche cloud services is set to soar. New market entrants in this space will no longer be focusing solely on their business idea, but the strength of their implementation and technology, which can be outsourced. Start-ups will be thinking microscopic – seeking out the minute niches that they can own. New business models will be born from specific inconveniences and frustrations within B2B processes that can be streamlined across the cloud. Venture Capital investors, who are aware of the huge growth potential within this sector, will be more than willing to back new entrants to the space this year. As consumers become increasingly accustomed to instant services and transactions, they are going to take these expectations with them into their corporate lives and demand for these emerging niche providers will continue to grow. The B2B and consumer spaces will therefore be self-perpetuating. These emerging businesses will likewise fuel the growth of the on-demand and sharing economy even further. B2B enterprises that can ensure each individual process completed by ‘on-demand’ services is streamlined, instant and flexible, will be the enablers of this growing sector.