The evolution of cloud: The growing use of industry-specific clouds
The value that cloud technologies deliver has grown exponentially over the last few years, providing greater business agility and new ways of working that have been greatly accelerated in response to the pandemic. Remote or hybrid workforces have become common, with people gaining access to real-time information from anywhere, anytime, on any device. Business teams are also gaining vital market insights and processing huge amounts of data, thanks to cloud-based applications, AI/ML platforms, and automation tools.
In this hyperconnected ecosystem, the increasing benefits of cloud as the transformational platform to build businesses are undeniably clear, and with cloud capabilities evolving, the business opportunities are expanding. For many enterprises, continuing this trajectory of growth requires finding innovative ways to stand out from their competitors and ensure they’re getting the most from their cloud investments. Due to increasing data loads, access to information, and the rapid pace of change in today’s volatile landscape, brands will have to adjust their cloud strategies and not remain locked into a static approach that will fail to deliver business value.
Industry cloud: The next wave of cloud innovations
Cloud advancements and a cloud development mindset have ushered in a new era, and among the new fields and advancements is the creation of industry-specific clouds. These custom-built cloud solutions are specifically designed to address unique industry challenges and nuances to provide greater advantages than standard cloud platforms, which are limited in their ability to provide industry-focused advantages.
The speed of competition and growing customer demand require that brands have a fast, scalable cloud platform that can handle the latest market trends and meet changing customer expectations. In response to these challenges, industry clouds provide opportunities to enhance workflows bespoke to the specific industry requirements, resulting in optimized processes, operations, and cost reductions. By adopting a full-stack, cloud-native platform custom-built according to industry needs, a brand can quickly build new data architectures and cloud-native applications, and for enterprises planning an end-to-end cloud transformation, industry-specific platforms provide an effective path forward. Whether an organization is looking to make its supply chains more resilient, its healthcare portals more customer-focused, or its retail operations more agile, industry cloud solutions can put these opportunities in reach.
Industry transformation: Driving new advantages
As organizations refocus their cloud operations with industry-specific strategies, they create a foundation for receiving new benefits from them. Becoming an intelligent enterprise is a primary goal for most businesses, and they can make progress toward achieving this with the range of advantages industry clouds put in reach:
- Strengthen data usage: An industry-focused platform allows teams to access, connect, and leverage their data, empowering them to quickly respond to the latest market demands and predict what future trends will look like. They can make more informed decisions based on real-time data and better meet customer needs.
- Create new revenue and digital value streams: Cloud-based business models help brands expand on the products they offer and stay aligned with customer preferences. Reimagined as-a-service offerings can create new business opportunities and enable a company to shift toward a digital-first business framework that opens new growth opportunities.
- Adopt advanced technologies: The technological landscape is unrecognizable compared with even a few years ago. High-tech platforms such as AI/ML, automation, and IoT are transforming supply chains, data analytics, and customer engagements. Pairing these technologies with cloud platforms results in automated processes and streamlined data management, all in step with industry-specific KPIs and new business models.
- Improve customer and employee experiences: With industry-specific benefits in place, teams can work with solutions customized to their day-to-day responsibilities with greater visibility into company operations and increased collaboration. Customers can receive frictionless engagements as they move from mobile to eCommerce sites and find personalized content across each touchpoint with the aid of new customer engagement measurement platforms.
- Responsibly secure data and systems: Protecting data and systems is an ongoing priority, and customized security solutions can be developed with industry threats in mind to minimize vulnerabilities. With a thorough assessment of a company’s infrastructure and digital touchpoints, an effective security strategy can be designed to meet granular industry concerns that generalized approaches can’t achieve, while still ensuring privacy regulations and thwarting cyber threats.
- Stay compliant: Industry compliance is among the top challenges for any enterprise, and an industry-specific cloud takes these specific requirements into account, enhancing an organization’s ability to stay compliant with regulations and ensure the health and safety of employees, as well as maintain trust with consumers.
- Improve sustainability: Environmental standards are now a major part of compliance regulations, and net-zero objectives have become common across most industries. Through industry cloud benefits, organizations can drive sustainability goals that results in effective energy usage and reduced carbon footprints.
- Become future-ready: Cloud technologies are key to developing greater resiliency, and ensuring that core business processes are built around distinct industry needs will provide the agility for enterprises to adjust to challenges in the near and long term. By being prepared for future demands, brands can improve their adaptability and leadership position.
Developing a strategy for cloud innovations
Putting these benefits in reach requires a business-led and technology-enabled strategy for adopting industry-specific solutions, and major industries have developed bespoke cloud strategies for realizing these advantages. Among them is the automotive industry, which is transforming its engineering processes to offer software-defined vehicles (SDVs) with embedded features built on AI, ML, and IoT capabilities. It’s expected that within the next decade fully connected SDVs will be what the majority of people are driving, and cloud technologies are powering these engineering breakthroughs. Cloud-enabled SDV algorithms can deliver valuable information to drivers and provide seamless software upgrades, allowing a next-generation driving experience while empowering an automotive cloud ecosystem. By adopting industry cloud solutions, auto brands can completely reimagine the possibilities of vehicle software and create opportunities for business growth.
The cloud is the center of any digital transformation, and now industry transformation is the next big driver for cloud as the essential component for business growth. While cloud has enabled companies to reinvent their operations and customer engagements, now industry cloud can go one step further to fuel new business value unique to the special needs of the most demanding industries. In today’s Industry 4.0 era, being able to thrive hinges on defining a cloud strategy and platform tailored to an organization’s needs and goals. Industry cloud expertise and solutions can evolve what is no longer the purview of IT executives alone, but a critical responsibility for most of the C-Suite, allowing enterprises to leave their legacy systems behind to develop a comprehensive strategy for driving innovation and positioning them to face the challenges of tomorrow.