What can B2B learn from hybrid cars?
The most commonly used approaches to B2B integration are ’on-premise’ and ’cloud or managed services’ strategies. While with the first version you get to manage everything, but also do the heavy lifting by yourself, when choosing the second version you get all the benefits of having a B2B integration solution hassle-free, but with different financial implications. Clearly each version has its own advantages and disadvantages that sometimes take a long time to sort out.
At this point, it is natural to start thinking if there is a way to get the best of both worlds. In the automotive industry, it’s already been long since the idea of a hybrid car emerged to be promising, both in terms of gas mileage and energy conservation. So why not think of hybrid cloud solutions in the same way?
What could a hybrid approach to B2B integration strategies possibly offer? Technically, a hybrid vehicle brings to the table two power units, a petrol and an electric unit, one offering flexibility and the other offering smoothness. However, when you come to think of it a hybrid car can be pretty expensive and although it is better for the environment, it is not much more so than a regular one.
If we were to make this analogy when talking about B2B integration strategies, we would have the ’on-premise’ and ’cloud’ strategies as the traditional and the electric power unit respectively. But would companies get everything they need: accuracy, speed, reliability, robustness, best-in-class and above all at an affordable price? History tells us that with any other cutting-edge, ’hybrid’-type solution you can get an impressive amount of qualities from both worlds, but you would also have to face compromise and controversy down the road.
It has already been tested and proven that B2B managed services are very efficient especially for companies which deal with a high volume of transactions, while the cloud option may benefit more the smaller companies which deal with a supplier base that is constantly changing.
As some aspects may become incredibly attractive when choosing a hybrid approach, others may lag behind. What is certain is that a hybrid B2B strategy approach has tremendous untapped potential, being able to offer both flexibility and variety. This talk is still subject to debate and will definitely open numerous new roads in the world of B2B.