NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This paper is a wakeup call to traditional enterprises. It is meant to serve as a warning of what will, in the very near term, characterize the competition. The time cushion to identify and validate a market need, and garner first-mover benefits before the competition, is evaporating. Within the year, Stratecast projects that a new form of business will arise: one that appears as fast as a niche market need does, and then disappears when the need has been fulfilled or when the market sees additional competitive entrants. Conventional businesses that aren't prepared for this new form of hyper-competition will be at a severe disadvantage when confronted by the new totally virtual businesses.
Why have an office building? For that matter, why even have a manufacturing facility, dedicated distribution channels, or dedicated IT capabilities like ERP, CRM or billing? In fact, why have any long term, dedicated business infrastructure at all? Imagine, instead, a business that is defined simply as a good idea and a series of contractual arrangements. Such a business would not have employees in the traditional sense, nor would it have brick-and-mortar facilities. It would instead have intellectual property, and would purchase everything else on a demand basis. Technology is on the verge of delivering the completely virtual business: nothing except good ideas and contracts. This will enable a totally new class of competitor, in every market vertical. It will be characterized by startups that appear overnight, exploit a market niche and then disappear. This new environment will be business at "warp" speed, and will be like nothing major market participants have ever seen.
What has changed?
New technological and business approaches like cloud computing, crowd sourcing, and digital service platforms are enabling a new kind of business service portal where capabilities like CRM can
be up and running by clicking a few keys. Combine this with supply chain and delivery chain services, manufacturing and prototyping services, all available on the Web; and the components are there to define a business simply by going to a portal where all of those functions are available, and selecting the ones that are needed. Stratecast has written on numerous occasions on the subject of business process virtualization, and on the characteristics of service delivery automation that can track the transactions through a series of providers.
However, these papers described the component pieces of a business process, not the entire business. Now, however, it is possible to talk in terms of a completely virtual business, as the enabling technology has caught up. This paper is a wakeup call to traditional enterprises. It is meant to serve as a warning of what will, in the very near term, characterize the competition. The time cushion to identify and validate a
market need, and garner first-mover benefits before the competition, is evaporating.
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