B2B Up in the Clouds: How Cloud Computing Helps Business
In recent years the expansion of cloud computing has dramatically changed the face of both personal and professional computer use. With organisations as huge and varied as the NHS to the British Library digitising material and utilising cloud systems for storage and access between locations and devices, cloud computing is drastically bridging gaps in data access and communication. With communication and data access so vital to businesses large and small, it seems only fair that cloud computing helps B2B transactions.
It is no surprise that services such as Google Drive and OneDrive have been a hit for personal computer use by students: why spend money on a USB drive when you can store your work documents online for next to nothing? The same applies to businesses. Cloud computing typically reduces IT costs for businesses compared to traditional models, as changes can be made more quickly and with fewer staff, who are assisted by smart computing software to make small tweaks with big impact. Cloud computing also means that B2B is protected against physical risks - loss or damage to documents or property - which can be costly to repair and replace. Cloud storage and computing is already used widely because of its cost reduction potential - and because it is constantly expanding, there are services available for businesses of all sizes and budgets.
Access Anytime, Anywhere, on Anything
The beauty of the web is that it has literally shrunk the world. Online retail has changed the face of national and global commerce, “accounting for 23.4% of Christmas spending in 2014,” according to the Centre for Retail Research, due to the flexibility it offers for customers. Moving up the ladder to B2B, Cloud services allow for transactions to take place on a flexible basis for all parties, regardless of timezone or location.
Businesses no longer have to arrange for telephone calls or face to face meetings; but can collaborate through shared access to cloud-based resources and negotiate needs from anywhere, and on any internet-enabled device. McKinsey Quarterly conducted research surveying the effects of cloud computing on a variety of business networks - including the US Intelligence community – which suggests that cloud computing makes for better integrated businesses with more streamlined communication between levels and departments; thus allowing for smoother B2B communication.