SmartSource Rentals Blog
The Sharing Economy: Leveraging Short-Term Technology Solutions to Drive Business
March-SharingEconomy
Mar 23, 2016 by B. Maitland

There has been a time-tested recipe for business growth.  By making cash-intensive investments, businesses have sought a defensible market position by leveraging anything proprietary they can develop or buy.

It has worked this way:

  1. Identify a market need
  2. Innovate or acquire
  3. Invest in the technology and capacity to produce the product
  4. Serve the market profitably, as only you or few others can

It was an approach that worked for a few decades, until the recession that began in 2007.  That period spurred an innovation in the way we do business, in our personal and professional lives, that is now commonly known as the sharing economy, or collaborative consumption.

It has changed the way we use transportation (see Uber). It has changed the way we live and vacation (see AirBNB). And now it has changed our approach to conducting business.

The sharing economy was first introduced to the business world through what is now known as cloud computing. Cloud computing is a new software model where software is available as a service (SAAS). It has been instrumental in allowing businesses to innovative rapidly with significantly lower upfront costs, compared to proprietary software solutions.

While computer software drove the first wave of this paradigm shift to collaborative consumption in business, a trend toward the same for computer hardware and office equipment is rapidly emerging.

It makes sense. Computer technologies are the perfect assets to rent versus buy. They depreciate quickly, there is a high upfront cost, and they require specialized labor to perform and maintain.

Renting hardware also enables entirely new business model opportunities – in the same way renting software does.

Just as the sharing economy reset the way people work and play, collaborative consumption enables organizations to innovate. Workforces that under traditional business models have been stuck in fixed office space are rapidly being replaced by remote deployment models of staffing, especially in the instances of product training or short-term project work.

Additionally, more and more we are seeing businesses deploy staff to remote locations for execution of services or assessment of market opportunities.

In instances like these, having consistency of equipment performance and equipment configuration, not to mention security, is essential. A professional temporary technology solutions company can fulfill this need by making access to the latest technology and software easy, consistent, and affordable.

Renting depreciating assets is simply too effective a strategy to ignore, and the applications are diverse.

Post-recession history is proof that once a market becomes sharable, it is unlikely to revert to the old paradigm. We can only anticipate the same will be true when it comes to computer and office technology as more companies move to leverage the advantages of the sharing economy by renting, and not buying, computer hardware and services, leaving only one question:

With scalable computer and office technology, accessible on demand anywhere, anyplace, without the typical up-front investment, what exciting new business opportunities will your company explore?

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