The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of public cloud but there’s still a long way to go. Many industries are still overcoming apprehensions with seamless movement to public cloud. Regulations, compliance, customer records management etc. are key concerns that are not making it easy for them to decide to move to public clouds completely.
Thus, organizations prefer to do a granular assessment of their application landscape to optimize and create a list of applications that are cloud ready. This is where legacy modernization comes in wherein, they decide to sunset some applications and move the technically and functionally relevant ones to the public cloud.
Is there a better way compared to legacy modernization?
The modernization drive is more complex than one thinks. The application landscape consists of standard off-the-shelf applications such as ERP and comprises custom applications built by the organization to cater to its technology needs and to enhance operational efficiency.
Many of these applications may be important but not ready for the cloud yet.
Is industry cloud the solution?
We are still far away from an only cloud-based model of existence. However, public cloud providers and OEMs have realized the need to combine forces and offer solutions that cater to industries and incorporate the compliance, customer data protection, data analytics, and security related needs for a particular industry. For instance, Microsoft and SAP have partnered to offer supply chain solutions through Microsoft cloud for manufacturing.
What does industry cloud offer?
Industry cloud brings the well-documented benefits of the public cloud and enables organizations to leverage ready applications that are almost customized to the needs of the industry they operate in. The applications on the industry cloud would have considered the needs of businesses from a specific industry and their compliance, regulatory, data analytics, and security requirements. They would also come with APIs, workflows, and components that can make the integration of the industry cloud with their existing IT landscape (even the one on-premises) a seamless affair.
While some of these solutions are in partnership with the OEMs such as Microsoft, AWS etc., they also enable organizations to derive more value from their existing IT infrastructure and spends made on products from these OEMs.
It is also a better option for companies which have their core business applications custom-built and reside on-premises. A simple lift-and-shift may affect performance and lead to a direct impact on their revenues and growth. The other option is to re-build the application for cloud, test it, and deploy it. The entire cycle can be time consuming, and the efforts and money spent may not count as core business investments. Further, the customized solution may need dedicated support for it to function properly and for enhancements to be made as the business progresses. In such cases, if there is a feasible ‘industry cloud’ solution available, it may be a smarter choice.
An industry cloud should also incorporate the necessary compliance mandates as per the industry in which the customer operates. For example, the banking industry is governed and supervised by the regulator, and they must be very careful while handling the personally identifiable information (PII) of their customers.
The industry cloud may also provide another advantage. Since they are more recent, they would have factored the need to incorporate AI-based innovation, micro-services, latency requirements etc. and would have considered such needs of the respective industries before building an industry cloud.
Industry specific SaaS options
With more start-ups focusing on transforming operations across select industries, the industry cloud offered in a SaaS option may be more customized for companies in specific industries. For example, industry SaaS option for technology companies may enable them to seamlessly manage invoicing, collection, receivables, and generate reports, and insights in real-time to make informed decisions.
A safer option?
Without industry cloud, the customers who wished to leverage cloud would have engaged local vendors to move their core applications to the cloud. There would be concerns of whether these companies would have effectively handled security, compliances, etc. while working on the migration to public cloud. Hence, industry cloud backed by established OEMs and reputed enterprise application companies working in tandem may seem like a safer option.
Industry cloud seems well poised to accelerate adoption of public cloud. It will be interesting to witness its impact on public cloud adoption in the years to come.