Millennials are believed to be spearheading what some call the sharing economy. Even a few years ago, ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft weren’t really something people would choose for their daily commute, let alone renting and sharing clothes and handbags. However, this “renting” trend is perfectly acceptable to millennials. According to a recent Business Insider article, their tendency to rent instead of owning or buying could upend the retail industry. A survey by Zogby Analytics commissioned by CALinnovates reveals that more than half of millennials use shared services like Uber, Airbnb, Sidecar, and Lyft. According to Forbes author, H.O. Maycott, “Millennials are Driving the Sharing Economy.”

This generation of 18-to-34-year-olds is drawn to all things on-demand. In fact, it’s the millennial consumption behavior that has sparked the popularity of on-demand services over the past few years. And, this is what makes them the perfect candidates for cloud services. “How?” – I hear you ask. I’ll answer that but first, let me talk a bit about the sharing economy and how millennials are propelling its growth.

Millennials Drive the Sharing Economy

First of all, what is a sharing economy?

In the words of Jeremiah Owyang, business analyst and founder of Crowd Companies, a collaborative or sharing economy platform, it’s “an economic model where technologies enable people to get what they need from each other—rather than from centralized institutions.” Services like Uber and Airbnb fit perfectly into this new business model.

The millennial’s love for simpler and faster service models lies in the heart of their preference for on-demand services. For them, buying consists of adding a payment type and pointing and clicking. Service providers such as Amazon, Apple, and so many other brands are making this a reality. This is why millennials are increasingly comfortable in the concept of a sharing economy.

However, there’s also a deep-seated psychology behind this behavior. This generation has seen economic downturns, which have not only killed their faith in traditional setups, for instance, 9-5 jobs, but have also taught them to be more frugal. Renting is a low-cost alternative to ownership, and therefore preferred by most millennials.

Millennials and the Cloud: The Perfect Match?

With their desire to do everything easily with the push of a button, or the click of a mouse, millennials have opened up the world to an on-demand consumption pattern. This type of spending makes cloud services perfect for millennials. Cloud-based markets and solutions prove to be fast, easy, hassle-free, and in some cases, cost-effective—everything the millennial buyer values in a service provider.

When it comes to business, cloud services win the hearts of millennial business owners and employees. Today cloud services encompass almost all business operations. A recent survey by Xero, an online accounting software company, shows that 55 percent of millennials run at least one-fourth of their business in the cloud, compared to just about 20 percent of the total respondents. Because cloud-enabled services such as CRM, ERP, social media, and enterprise collaboration tools, etc. satiate the on-demand consumption habits of the gen-Y workers and business owners, millennials are quickly adopting these services for their business needs.

Considering how well cloud solutions are aligned with the millennial mind set, it’s safe to assume that millennials will quickly become a dominant factor in driving the growth of cloud-based services, both for business and everything else.

Additional Resources on the Topic:

The Future of Cloud: Everything as a Service

GOLDMAN: Here’s How Millennials Will Completely Change the Economy

The Cloud and Millennials

Image: Creative Commons

Daniel Newman
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Daniel Newman

Founder and President at Broadsuite, Inc.
After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change the way business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 4x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the co-founder of V3B [Broadsuite], a marketing firm specializing in the digital space, helping companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world.
Daniel Newman
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