By Shrikant Navelkar
Cloud computing has emerged as the biggest enabler for the world economy, businesses and remote workforces during the coronavirus pandemic, and will continue to be an imperative for organizations looking for increased scalability, business continuity and cost efficiency in 2021.
According to Gartner, the worldwide spending on public cloud will grow by 18.4 percent in 2021 to a total of 304.9 billion dollars, up from 257.5 billion dollars in 2020.
The cloud’s ability to offer pay-per-use, scalable models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing an impetus for organizations to rapidly accelerate their cloud migration journey.
Further, a Gartner report states that the proportion of IT spending that is shifting to cloud has increased in the aftermath of rapid adoption of the “work from home” model, with cloud projected to make up 14.2 percent of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1 percent in 2020.
Although software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest market segment and is predicted to grow to 117.7 billion dollars in 2021, while platform as a service (PaaS) is anticipated to grow by a higher margin at 26.6 percent.
The increased consumption of PaaS is driven by the need to modernize the legacy applications and the underlying infrastructure to reduce latency, and achieve cost efficiency and better performance.
As expectations keep growing, the cloud will continue to evolve and innovate. However, the potential benefits of cloud haven’t been utilized by all industries uniformly, as some industries have unique demands in terms of data localization, protection or compliance laws.
For instance, the financial services industry is highly regulated and, therefore, requires a cloud partner that understands the nuances of security, compliance, edge computing, software-defined network functions, etc.
Hence, major public cloud providers are recognizing this need and investing in “Industry-Cloud” solutions to meet specialized business requirements.
What is An Industry Cloud?
Industry Cloud is when cloud service providers offer customized solutions to meet the demands of businesses operating in specific industries that have unique requirements in terms of data processing, regulation laws, efficiency of mission-critical applications and tailored infrastructure.
Leading cloud services providers are joining this bandwagon to provide highly polished and targeted features and support to different industries. However, not many are aware of its true potential across sectors.
Here we take a look at 3 benefits of opting for industry clouds:
1. Efficiency in operations: Sectors that are heavily driven by data such as healthcare and insurance to name a few, can greatly benefit from the services of an industry cloud. Since these sectors generate and work with copious amounts of data, the use of industry clouds can enable streamlined operations for increased efficiency.
For example, having a data-driven healthcare system can help serve patients better through digitalized records, which are easily accessible. In the insurance sector, data generated from IoT devices, can help providers determine the risks drivers could potentially pose on the road.
2. Ease of migration to industry cloud offerings: When the pandemic struck, digital transformation of operations gained momentum as several businesses adopted the use of cloud for business continuity.
Now, as we move towards industry clouds, public cloud vendors have taken cognizance of this, to address industry-specific needs that can be seamlessly incorporated by companies that have already migrated to the cloud.
3. Customized holistic solutions: Industry focused solutions extend way beyond Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings such as Human Capital Management (HCM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
They include Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to offer customized holistic solutions to different industries. So, the emergence of industry-specific cloud is a natural progression of cloud computing to meet the varying and highly personalized industry requirements.
By having several industry-specific features built-in as part of the cloud platform services, enterprises do not need to worry about the infrastructure management, platform modernization, and the associated regulatory, security, and compliance guidelines. These responsibilities naturally get transmitted to the cloud service provider.
When cloud solutions have these capabilities built-in, it addresses the problems of systemic risks that most organisations face with security and data privacy. This allows businesses to focus on creating value differentiating offerings and products in a cloud-native environment.
In the new digital age, such value differentiators born in the cloud will be key for businesses to succeed and stay ahead of their competition.
(The author is a director at Clover Infotech)