Given the Covid-19 pandemic situation around the world, the adoption of cloud technology by different enterprises is visibly accelerating. The adoption rate is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future. However, it has become evident that a horizontal cloud does not always meet the specific needs of certain industries, especially highly regulated ones such as banking or healthcare. This is where “Industry Cloud” comes in.
“Industry Cloud” explained
Techopedia defines Industry Cloud as a cloud system that has been heavily customized to suit the needs of a specific industry in order to accommodate the business, operatory, legal, regulatory, as well as security and other considerations. The main focus of Industry Cloud is vertical integration rather than horizontal one, which is the focus of general cloud computing.
There are industries that have been very resistant to the change that cloud computing has brought about because it does not provide the very specific needs that a vertical market organization such as a financial or medical institution needs. Such organizations need cloud infrastructure that is specifically tailored to their industries, and thus the term ‘Industry Cloud’ was coined.
An Industry Cloud focuses on specialised processes with tools and business services dedicated to a specific industry. Designed with industry challenges in mind, these clouds can enable organizations jump ahead and deliver value at record pace.
Advantages of Industry Cloud
The key advantage of Industry Cloud is that it addresses the problems of systemic risks that most organisations face with security, regulatory, and compliance. In addition, there are other advantages such as:
- Standardized configurations
- Improved operational efficiency
- Deeper customer engagement
- Focused spends
- Customized holistic solutions
How does Industry Cloud compare to general cloud computing?
It is worth stating that an industrial cloud is not a new type of technology or a paradigm-shifting concept or solution. It is simply a specific method or way of using cloud computing to handle industrial processes and challenges.
The major difference can be found in how they are integrated into business operations. The Industry Cloud is designed to create more value when managing systems within the boundaries of the industry it is applied to. The general cloud employs a more horizontal approach and is built to function outside the boundaries of a specific industry. Another difference is that the Industry Cloud is equipped with specific industrial features to manage data and schedule tasks which means they can determine what data is to be sent to the cloud and what data is not. On the other hand, general cloud solutions will struggle to handle these specific data requirements.
Overall, the industry-specific cloud has an advantage over the general cloud as it understands data, standards and regulatory policies associated with a specific industry. This helps the organizations in scalability as it occurs within the constraints set by the policies of an industrial niche. Thus, the emergence of the industry-specific cloud is a natural progression of cloud computing to meet the varying and highly personalised industry requirements.
The war between traditional on-premises data center infrastructure providers and public cloud providers is far from over. In fact, the cloud game has gone a step ahead wherein industries today require more than general-purpose cloud capabilities. They require industry-specific cloud capabilities. As cloud solutions continue to mature, major public cloud providers are investing in solutions to meet specialized industry needs. It’s still early days for industry clouds. Established companies in industries feeling the sting of competition from cloud-native disrupters are especially good prospects for these types of solutions.
By Shrikant Navelkar, director, Clover Infotech