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Industry cloud platforms to improve agility and customer experience

Cloud computing offers more than the straightforward and economical storage solution. Through high-performance computing, industry cloud platforms are boosting innovation, enhancing resilience, and fostering agility in businesses that are going digital.

Scale and capability are becoming vital differentiators for customer-centric businesses. Today in a post-pandemic market, leaders are adopting cloud-first digital strategies to strengthen their current competencies, create new revenue streams, and improve customer experience.

The move from CAPEX to OPEX expenditure saves costs and gives enterprises the technology edge to keep up with the rapid pace of change. IaaS nearly eliminates the need for large hardware, SaaS offers access to third party software over the internet, and PaaS offers tools needed to build applications over the internet. All this without the need for strong technical skills. Cloud has democratized technology and made cutting-edge computing power accessible at reasonable costs.

In 2022, enterprises both large and small, adopted a hybrid cloud approach for risk mitigation, smarter and faster operations, cost reduction, and scalability. A recent IBM research found that in India 85% of respondents have adopted a hybrid cloud approach to help drive digital transformation. In 2023, the trend is shifting towards industry cloud platforms and multiple clouds.

According to Gartner, industry cloud platforms specifically designed for the needs of vertical industry segments will be a strategic technology trend in the coming year. Gartner expects that by 2027, enterprises will use industry cloud platforms to accelerate more than 50% of their critical business initiatives, whereas, in 2021, it was less than 10%.

How will it add value?

The cloud is going vertical, and for enterprises to extract maximum value, they should start by identifying their north star and analysing which process can benefit from industry cloud platforms in their short and long-term strategies. Industry cloud platforms offer enterprises composability, giving them access to APIs, modular business processes, and adaptable industry-specific solutions as opposed to generic storage and computing facilities by the traditional cloud.

Modular technology allows enterprises to reconfigure and redesign processes using standardized configurations for continuous innovation. Industry clouds, for example, can be a research accelerant for healthcare and life sciences verticals, helping them improve the speed of vaccine and therapeutics development.

Logistics companies can add additional logistics-specific cloud services that specialize in supply chain, or retail companies can seek cloud services that enhance customer experience. All this in addition to traditional cloud services. An energy company can bring on board a cloud-enabled AI/ ML event prediction solution to prevent downtime, while in-house teams can focus on enhancing or building IP solutions. What industry cloud platforms do is enable future-fit enterprises to reallocate valuable resources to strategic capacities.

What does this mean for enterprises?

Enterprises can leverage industry cloud platforms to truly differentiate themselves by ‘being’ digital and not just ‘doing’ digital when the vision is clear. Future-fit customer-centric businesses are embracing the traditional cloud to catch up with the pace of digital transformation and using industry-specific cloud platforms to add a competitive edge. These cloud platforms are helping businesses build new capabilities, accelerate time to market, and create new business models.

The cloud market is maturing rapidly. Enterprises are looking beyond the obvious benefits of pay-as-you-go pricing and scalable infrastructure and looking at adding a layer of customization for differentiation. And industry cloud platforms, designed specifically for a particular industry, provide this customization.

Cloud ecosystem in India

India, with its talent, encouraging policies, and growing digital enterprises is perfectly positioned to be a cloud leader. According to a report by NASSCOM, large-scale cloud adoption in India can contribute $380 billion, and add 14 million direct and indirect employment opportunities by 2026. Additionally, the government’s commitment to cloud technology through programs like ‘Meghraj’ optimize ICT spending of the government and focus on accelerating the delivery of e-services in the country. While on one hand, we see enterprises looking at emerging cloud trends like industry cloud platforms to improve customer experience, we’re also confident that governments will start leveraging these platforms to improve citizen experience across healthcare, finance, education, transport, and other public sectors.

(The article is authored by Saravanan Shanmugam, VP – Infrastructure Managed Services, BCT and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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