The cloud platform (as a service) will become the new business network – not vice versa. And this will include procurement platforms as well. Note, we chose our words carefully here – for example, e-marketplaces are not cloud platforms that support “business networks.”
In reality, true business networks will be supported by a cloud computing stack that features a PaaS (Platform as a Service) that will allow more seamless integration of various services (e.g., the applications, data/content, integration, etc., that could be offered by e-marketplaces and individual participants) and the lower level infrastructure, all served up in application/technology marketplaces that allow an ecosystem of partners to be built.
So, tech vendors are either building their own (i.e., the mega vendors) or aligning themselves with others (e.g., Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, OpenStack-related). Technology buyers are getting smarter with cloud computing, but there will still be a fair amount of cloud-washing. Just because a solution is (often tenuously) classified as “cloud,” doesn't mean it is innovative, low cost or flexible. Conversely, a procurement PaaS approach will become increasingly productized and prevalent in 2015.
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