Here’s a new advantage to add to the already impressive list for cloud computing. Yes, you still get scalability, flexibility, reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness. The bonus is equality. While this characteristic might not leap out at an enterprise using the cloud purely for its own requirements, it can be the factor that makes or breaks an initiative that involves several enterprises at the same time.
Sprucing Up a Spotty Success Rate
The cloud could be the way to improve what seems to be a mediocre success rate in business joint ventures. One survey from 2001 of over 2,000 such partnerships showed that only about half met expectations and could therefore be considered a success. The other half, according to an article about the survey in the Harvard Business Review, suffered from poor goals definition, weak management, ineffective launches, and joint venture partner misunderstandings. Many of the problems stem from an underlying lack of good communication, which then breeds suspicion and fosters mistakes.
One Truth, One POV
If joint ventures use the cloud to host their business data and applications, then access can be granted easily to any authorized user. That includes the managers in the joint venture organization itself, plus representatives from different companies participating in the project. Having ‘one truth’ for all and open communication is a big improvement on the kind of silo management that goes on elsewhere. The sharing of information between those who need to know, instead of hoarding it, is the way to get a net positive result out of a joint venture, rather than a negative one.
Nobody Hogs the Project
Cloud hosted applications are also opportunities to provide a neutral platform for operations, one that is not owned or controlled by any one partner in particular. Joint ventures should be joining to fight competitors, not fighting among themselves. As an additional advantage, joint venture partners do not have to let other companies into their own internal system. This can make things doubly good, because cloud security often exceeds the level of precautions taken in individual enterprises and organizations, making the whole joint venture project more secure into the bargain.
Partnerships and Supply Chains in the Cloud
Partnerships are not always organized as individual joint ventures, and sometimes one partner will provide and control particular resources used by others. The cloud approach still has significant benefits however. Supply chains for example depend on the right visibility from one end to the other, in order to optimize their activities and prevent wastage. When resellers, distributors and manufacturers cannot properly see what is going on, phenomena like the bullwhip effect occur, in which unnecessarily large and costly stocks of products are built up as safety measures against the unknown. Cloud working that brings all supply chain partners into one central application with end to end visibility can prevent that.
New Ways to Do New Things
The Internet changed the world forever as information became accessible from anywhere and commerce went online. Social networks have already had a major effect on the way customers interact with vendors, and in increasing the contacts between customers themselves. In the same way, the advantages of the cloud go deeper than just its computing power and storage capacity. Smart organizations will spot the opportunities to use the cloud to both do things better and to do better things.