Last year, I anticipated collaborative businesses to flourish rapidly. Airlines collaborating with hotels, which in turn would collaborate with car rentals, and they in turn with the insurance companies. The customer benefits through the enhanced experience of seamless service. There are two major movements/trends in this area:
- Customer Collaboration. Customer collaboration is based on corporate customers who collaborate with one another in the process of buying/procuring products/services. Increasingly, through Web Services, customers are collaborating with each other as much as with vendors by forming electronic consortiums to procure wholesale goods, services, utilities, and so on. This will continue to lead to many-to-many electronic transactions resulting in a true oligopoly.
- Business Agility. Business agility is an important new trend that rides on the back of cloud computing. The Cloud enables a business to shift all its non-core IT functions outside its organizational boundary. In the coming two to three years, we will see no airline, hotel or insurance company with an IT department per se. The Internet-based, high-speed, increasingly-reliable wired/wireless broadband communications networks have enabled businesses, particularly large and global businesses, to become lean and agile.