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Reimagining Digital Transformation with Industry Clouds

Ranganathan Rajkumar

June 7, 2022

If it weren’t for competition, companies would likely be resistant to transformation. Because we have to keep up with competitors, we’re almost forced into brainstorming new ways to improve our ROI, looking for innovation at every turn. Digital transformation is a massive component of helping us to innovate at an exponential rate, and we’re often looking to the competition to see which step we should take next.

One of the most significant challenges businesses face today is the pursuit of digital transformation. It’s a never ending battle, typically uphill, and in this case, speed matters. Just because digital transformation is complex doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Companies of all shapes and sizes are successfully implementing digital transformation measures by focusing on five imperative components:

When organizations across the board use this type of fundamental framework, it gives everyone a decipherable language to encourage collaboration for strategic transformation.

Enter: Industry Clouds.

 

The Adoption of Industry Clouds

Industry clouds can help advance the five components listed in the framework above. Cloud-enabled business solutions help businesses standardize the important modernization aspects of their competitors. This comparison allows them to focus on which capabilities their business has that differ from the competition.

Industry clouds can allow businesses to adapt to emerging cloud and digitization conditions continually evolving by establishing scalability, nimbleness, and options. Industry clouds present the possibility of collaboration when companies struggle to find the right solution.

Hyperscale companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google embrace the concept of industry clouds. The market is quickly gaining traction, and, at this point, all enterprises must know what industry clouds are and why they’re important to the future of business modernization.

Understanding the Industry Cloud

You know by now that industry clouds are essential for collaboration, competitive advantages, digital modernization, and preferred by hyperscalers, but what are they? Developed by cloud vendors, system integrators, and software providers, industry clouds are the building blocks that speed up the development of digital solutions specific to an industry niche.

When businesses use industry cloud services, they’ll have access to continuously evolving digital capabilities. Industry clouds provide a necessary blueprint for transformations specific to a particular industry. They allow for organizations of all sizes to innovate and modernize slowly, making for a more agile and sustainable modernization. Companies can focus on their digital modernization in increments instead of a risky and expensive replacement of existing legacy systems.

Changes can focus on the user experiences that matter the most, such as what matters most to consumers. In addition, businesses can take advantage of advanced technologies from industry clouds, including AI and machine learning (ML) models.

The industry cloud makes it possible for companies to stay in line with the competition without building a digital revolution from the ground up. Industry cloud solutions continue to emerge and evolve within every industry. They’re making the latest digital capabilities accessible to businesses everywhere, adopting a more flexible way of working.

Defining Your Industry Cloud Strategy

Though it might not seem apparent from here, the industry cloud can help your organization’s ability to pull ahead of the competition. The industry cloud concept indeed provides the exact solution to everyone, and it’s up to businesses to figure out how to differentiate, which is difficult, but by no means impossible.

The best way to help a business to the forefront of its industry is to select the technology in the industry cloud that suits what the company currently needs to move forward regarding technological advances. Once it’s established what will work as far as modernization is involved, it’s up to the company to fine-tune and maintain them. How can these innovative solutions and insights work in the long run, and how will we continue to apply them?

The industry cloud is something that we can upgrade whenever we want. A competitive edge while employing the cloud will come from how we focus the application of the services. Quick learners may gain advantage more quickly, but that doesn’t mean others can’t or won’t catch up.

However, those within an industry that has successfully deployed digital modernization in addition to the industry cloud will likely be more competitive. There’s no doubt that the industry cloud presents an issue for some organizations when adopting outside technology and the attempt to layer industry cloud innovation with a unique take.

The industry cloud is about establishing a balancing act. Strategic implementation of the industry cloud will focus on ROI and opportunities to drive demand, accelerating development far beyond what would be possible without turning to modernization.

Using a well-defined strategy to define top use cases will assist in the acceleration of development. When using the industry cloud, a piece of internal resources should focus on how businesses plan to differentiate from similarly-focused companies using the same technologies. This is the part of industry cloud utilization that companies will have to build themselves, so while some reliance on the cloud is acceptable, additional digital modernization tactics are essential.

Accelerating Change

With the industry cloud, organizations can shift and switch resources to focus on the strategies they plan to use to move ahead of the competition, which is a fantastic perk. However, the correct implementation of the industry cloud can allow an organization to embrace and actively seek out change.

The speed at which change happens will vary by industry and from company to company. The industry cloud can provide building blocks for redesigning business processes and introducing technology capabilities to keep companies ahead of the game and working toward the consistent innovation that the cloud can help them achieve.

The Shift to the Industry Cloud

Shifting to the cloud became inevitable for many businesses during the pandemic. Almost overnight, there was no choice other than embracing technology and updating legacy systems that had worked internally for years. Still, most organizations have barely scratched the surface of cloud adoption, at least publcially.

Though it seems odd to resist technological advances, the war between traditional on-premises data infrastructure and public cloud providers isn’t over. While some organizations stick to Dell, others explore options like Microsoft Azure. Industry clouds are a great place to meet in the middle because they provide direction but push for creativity and innovation.

The foundation to digitally modernize data exists, even for companies that have yet to take the plunge, because industry clouds are essentially collections of tools, cloud services, and applications pre-optimized for use within an industry. It’s almost like having a modernization freebie, but if businesses cannot apply the use cases to their own evolving needs, the industry cloud won’t be of much help. At least not in the long run.

When making the shift to the industry cloud, it’s crucial to understand that the cloud must meet the industry’s requirements. In healthcare, for example, there’s a high priority placed on improving patient experience, but the need for data protection, privacy, and security measures are extensive. If healthcare practices do not have security measures in place, they directly violate HIPPA compliances.

There is a high value placed on analyzing data and utilizing AI for customer insights and brainstorming product development in different sectors, like financial services. Like healthcare, financial services is a highly regulated industry, so the industry cloud must cater to those regulations just as it should the healthcare industry.

On another note, the retail industry cloud should address the need to collect and analyze large data sets to improve inventory management and all-around customer experience. When businesses genuinely grasp what utilization of the industry cloud means for them, the desire to make the switch becomes imminent. However, they cannot complete that switch without a concrete plan to differentiate from the competition and build their basis of digital modernization on top of the tools utilized within the industry cloud.

We cannot stress enough that for some industry requirements, like privacy and security regulations, the industry cloud is a fantastic place to start but might not be enough. The fear of needing more and a general lack of knowledge on how to migrate to the cloud continue to hold businesses back. Companies within competitive industries fall behind in the race to the cloud, mainly because they fail to recognize the value that public clouds can lend to their internal technology infrastructures.

A New Way to Digitize

Industry clouds offer a new way to digitize without dismantling old systems completely. Industry clouds are still in their early days, and some aren’t as valuable as others. In some cases, industry cloud providers can come off as more of a marketing service than a SaaS offering substantial change for industry-specific businesses. However, that will likely change.

In the meantime, companies who are seriously evaluating industry cloud services from public providers must do so with care. It’s crucial to compare the cloud offerings from varying providers and the general-purpose solution. What is the goal of the service, and how can it help the business? How much will we have to layer on top, and can we make our company stand out with the tools available?

Asking the right questions will help you find the right provider for you.

By

Ranganathan Rajkumar

Vice President - Intelligence

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