A study claims that organizations use at least one private or public cloud platform. 85% of them are expected to be ‘cloud-first’ by 2025. Industries have transitioned to cloud computing for managing their workloads and data. Unlike general-purpose cloud solutions, industry cloud platforms offer agility and more tailored solutions for the industry’s needs. Whether it’s real estate or finance, these sector-specific clouds help tackle your business’s unique obstacles.
This post will show everything you need to know about industry cloud platforms. Read on to find out!
Industry Cloud Platforms Explained
Before delving further into any details, gaining a solid knowledge of industry cloud platforms is crucial. Let’s learn what it is and how it works.
What Industry Cloud Platforms are?
Industry Cloud Platforms (ICPs), also known as vertical cloud platforms, are cloud computing solutions specifically designed to meet the needs of a particular industry or sector. ICPs are tailored to address specific industries’ unique challenges, requirements, and regulatory constraints.
Industry cloud platforms understand the business workflows and ensure compliance with industry-specific regulations and security standards. For example, ICPs for healthcare organizations might differ from logistics companies’ cloud platforms. These vertical cloud platforms help address issues that general-purpose cloud platforms failed to solve.
How do Industry Cloud Platforms work?
Industry Cloud Platforms (ICPs) employ cloud technologies to deliver specialized services, applications, and tools that help many organizations. To do that, here’s an overview of how ICP works:
- Understand your industry needs. ICPs start by deeply understanding the specific industry they are targeting. This involves extensive research into the industry’s workflows, processes, pain points, and regulatory requirements. This knowledge forms the foundation for designing and developing industry-specific solutions.
- Provide specific services. ICPs offer specialized cloud services and applications designed to meet industry-specific needs. These services can include industry-specific software, data analytics tools, compliance features, and more. For example, an ICP might offer electronic health record (EHR) systems, telemedicine platforms, and healthcare data analytics tools in healthcare.
- Secure your data while being law-compliant. Many industries, such as healthcare and finance, have stringent data security and compliance requirements. ICPs work by incorporating industry-specific security measures and compliance features. They ensure that data handling, storage, and transmission meet regulatory standards. This is essential for maintaining the trust of customers and regulators.
- Adapt to your existing system. ICPs are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing systems and technologies commonly used in the industry. By doing so, ICPs allow organizations to maximize their previous investments in technology while adopting new cloud-based solutions. It also reduces disruptions during the transition to the cloud.
- Offer scalability and flexibility. Like general-purpose cloud platforms, ICPs also offer scalability. They help organizations scale resources up or down based on the market needs. They also provide flexibility regarding deployment options, including public, private, and hybrid clouds. Worry no more about accommodating changing business needs.
- Assist you in the process. ICP providers often offer industry-specific support and training services to help organizations maximize their platform. This includes training staff to use industry-specific tools effectively and providing technical assistance.
Why are ICPs popular?
Industry cloud platforms have gained prominence as businesses increasingly recognize the limitations of one-size-fits-all cloud solutions. The evolution of ICPs can be traced back to the growing demand for industry-specific software. Every business needs a tool that seamlessly integrates with their existing systems, offers robust data security, and complies with industry regulations.
Industry Cloud Platforms Matter for Your Business
Then, why should you use industry cloud platforms? Do you need them? Here are the comprehensive answers for you.
1. Increase Your Operational Efficiency
Industry cloud platforms are designed to cater to your specific needs. ICPs introduce optimized workflows that reduce redundant tasks and eliminate manual data entry processes. This helps minimize the chances of errors and improves your overall operational accuracy.
Automation features within ICPs enable the automation of routine and repetitive processes, freeing your employees from tedious, time-consuming tasks. ICPs adhere to industry-specific best practices and compliance standards. This standardization simplifies processes and ensures consistent practices across the organization, leading to higher efficiency.
You can dynamically allocate resources on ICPs, scaling up or down as needed. This flexibility ensures that resources are optimally allocated, avoiding unnecessary expenditure. The time and effort saved through automation allow your organizations to shift focus towards core activities and strategic initiatives. This can drive growth and innovation within your company.
2. Think Different and Be Innovative
Industry cloud platforms stimulate innovation within specific industries. ICPs often come with industry-specific knowledge embedded in their solutions. This knowledge helps organizations make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
What’s more, the advanced analytics and reporting capabilities of ICP provide valuable insights from your data. These insights are instrumental in shaping innovative strategies, product/service development, and market differentiation.
ICPs cultivate a collaborative ecosystem, bringing together industry peers, experts, and partners. This environment fosters the exchange of ideas, best practices, and innovations. It helps provide valuable resources for organizations within your industry.
3. Cut Unnecessary Costs
Don’t bother about the costs when using industry cloud platforms. They often come pre-configured with industry-specific solutions. So, you don’t need to spend more money on extensive customization or developing custom software.
ICP providers typically manage platform maintenance, updates, and security, reducing the workload and costs associated with your in-house IT teams. You can allocate resources up or down based on your organization’s demand. Overall, ICPs eliminate the need for over-provisioning and optimizing infrastructure costs.
4. Gain Competitive Advantage
Leveraging an industry cloud platform can provide a competitive edge in various ways. ICPs allow your company to remain agile and adapt swiftly to changing industry trends and market conditions. This agility allows you to seize opportunities and give prompt responses.
Does your company have stringent compliance requirements? ICPs often come equipped with built-in compliance features, ensuring your business can maintain compliance effortlessly.
ICP providers continually update their platforms with the latest industry-relevant technology. This grants you access to cutting-edge solutions and keeps your business empire competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.
Industry Cloud Applications
The use cases of industry cloud platforms vary across multiple and diverse sectors. We’ve listed some common examples illustrating how industry cloud platforms work in different industries.
- Healthcare. In the healthcare sector, ICPs facilitate electronic health record management, patient engagement, and compliance with strict healthcare regulations like HIPAA.
- Creative industry. You can use ICPs for managing brand resources or social media content. They also help secure other creative assets of your business.
- Finance. ICPs in financial matters help enhance security, enable real-time data analysis, and support compliance with financial regulations such as GDPR and Sarbanes-Oxley.
- Manufacturing. ICPs help optimize supply chain management, improve production processes, and ensure product quality.
- Retail. In retail, ICPs provide personalized customer experiences, inventory management, and e-commerce solutions.
- Energy. The energy sector uses ICPs for grid management, renewable energy integration, and predictive maintenance of infrastructure.
- Agriculture. Agricultural ICPs assist farmers with precision agriculture, crop monitoring, and data-driven decision-making for higher yields.
Challenges and Further Considerations
While ICPs offer numerous benefits, businesses must also be aware of potential challenges. Managing sensitive data in the cloud remains a top concern and priority in any industry. You should ensure that your ICP providers have robust cloud security systems and comply with industry-specific regulations.
You need to know that adopting an ICP can lead to vendor lock-in. In some cases, it will be challenging for you to switch providers or migrate to different platforms in the future. Therefore, a well-thought-out integration strategy is essential to minimize disruptions. Also, note that there might be some limitations to meeting highly unique business requirements.
Embracing Industry Cloud Platforms
In essence, Industry Cloud Platforms address the limitations of generic cloud solutions. They offer specialized, industry-focused tools and services. From enhancing efficiency to reducing costs, ICPs help streamline your business workflow. Industry Cloud Platforms (ICPs) significantly shift how businesses approach cloud technology. While challenges exist, the future of ICPs looks promising. The sooner you employ these vertical cloud platforms, the better it will be for your company’s performance. ICPs will play a pivotal role in shaping digital transformations as industries evolve.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).