Business life in the city has developed around a strong service sector in a variety of enterprise segments. As the global market is reshaping the future of businesses in general, with advanced ecosystems and strong niche players, local city life will also change. So how does and will the cloud, collaboration and connectivity contribute toward creating competitive companies in cities?
The digital or networked economy is thriving on advanced ecosystems, with market makers and contributors all playing key roles. Large global players focus on providing powerful business platforms, to be broadly exploited. Local, niched companies focus on the segment that can be supported over the platform. As we move forward, technology will become essential in a variety of non-tech companies and here cross-company collaborations will be key.
A networked collaboration environment allows the service sector in a city to expand its collaborations beyond companies within or even close to that city. As a city business, you can collaborate with peers in other cities facing the same challenges. You can link up with niche specialists in other cities to address the missing links for your proposition. You can leverage best practices globally from leading niche providers. Last but not least, as a leader in your city, you can expand quickly.
With a complex ecosystem and many niche contributions, you are unlikely to meet many of your business partners in real life. You will instead meet them through networked brainstorming sessions using virtual whiteboards. You will meet them using videoconferencing tools in order to give your partnership a face. With fewer/vaguer borderlines between companies, you will see rapid adoption of video communication/collaboration with integrated project management tools – all enabled and powered by applications in the cloud.
My predictions for the future of cloud collaboration are:
– Cloud-based communication and collaboration will be mission-critical infrastructure for competitive companies in cities.
– Advanced ecosystems and niche players will create the foundation for your company’s expansion of offerings beyond your core skills.
– In addition to niche companies, the collaboration opportunities will open up new opportunities for young “cityzens” to collaborate as individual contributors in early stages of their careers.
– Video and shared whiteboards will move out of conference rooms and become basic tools in any collaboration room/screen.
– The collaboration needs will quickly move beyond rooms to contributors’ personal screens.