Industry Cloud – the trend to watch out in 2021  

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Industry Cloud – the cloud trend to watch out in 2021, according to Clover Infotech’s 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 organisations looking for increased scalability, business continuity and cost efficiency in 2021.

According to Gartner, the worldwide spending on the public cloud will grow by 18.4% 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 organisations to rapidly accelerate their cloud migration journey.

Further, a Gartner report states that the proportion of IT spending that is shifting to the cloud has increased in the aftermath of the rapid adoption of the “work from home” model, with cloud projected to make up 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020.

Software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest market segment. And it is forecasted to grow 117.7 billion dollars in 2021, while the platform as a service (PaaS) is anticipated to grow at a higher 26.6% margin.

The needs to modernize the legacy applications have increased consumption of PaaS. Besides the modernization, 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 utilised by all industries uniformly. 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 recognising this need and investing in “Industry-Cloud” solutions to meet specialized business requirements.

What is Industry Cloud?
Industry Cloud is when cloud service providers offer customised solutions to meet the demands of businesses operating in specific industries. They have unique requirements in terms of data processing, regulation laws, the 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 the benefits of opting for industry clouds.
1.Efficiency in operations: Sectors like healthcare and insurance are heavily data-driven 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 the cloud for business continuity.

Now, as we move towards industry clouds, public cloud vendors have taken cognizance to address industry-specific needs that companies can seamlessly incorporate and migrate 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 the industry-specific cloud is a natural progression of cloud computing to meet the varying and highly personalised industry requirements.

By having several industry-specific features built-in as part of the cloud platform services, enterprises do not need to worry about infrastructure management, platform modernisation, and the associated regulatory, security, and compliance guidelines.

These responsibilities are naturally 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.

(This article is written by Shirkant Navelkar, Director – Clover Infotech. The views expressed in this article are of the author.)

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