Industry clouds promise a digitization boost for companies with special requirements. Read what’s behind it. […]
Data and its analysis in real time have created exciting opportunities to optimize processes, generate customer knowledge and better adapt your own solution offering to the needs of the market. However, with the significantly increased pace of innovation, the requirements for IT infrastructures are also changing. At the same time, industry specifics require differentiated approaches. Last but not least, innovations develop from concrete business cases; departments should therefore be able to use appropriate solutions for implementation even without IT support.
Companies therefore need IT systems that are highly flexible and user-friendly, ensure legal and data protection compliance and are connectable to important industry systems such as core banking solutions, but also to platforms and ecosystems. From this mix of requirements, the Industry Clouds the “next big thing” for experts in the cloud industry. This is a combination of industry-specific products in the cloud and industry-specific ecosystems whose APIs, data models and workflows are tailored to the specific requirements.
Since industry clouds take important industry-specific requirements into account, they open up the possibility for highly regulated industries in particular to exploit the potential of the cloud to a greater extent. For example, healthcare providers are increasingly optimizing the patient experience. At the same time, they also need a high level of security, privacy and privacy. For this combination of requirements, general cloud solutions are often not enough. Industry clouds have the potential to massively drive cloud use and thus digital innovations – at different levels, and in virtually all industries.
The implementation of this trend has only just begun – but the big top dogs are all already equipped. All major cloud providers such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM or Oracle have already developed a broad portfolio of industry-specific cloud solutions. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella confirmed at the end of February 2021 that his company now has an “industry-first focus”. And after the official launch of its Industry Cloud at SAPPHIRE NOW Reimagined, SAP has now launched an “Industry Network” that is intended to provide open data ecosystems to all stakeholders along industry value chains.
The advantages for the players of the respective ecosystems are, for example:
- More efficient processes (e.g. supply chains), needs can be predicted more accurately and activities can be coordinated more specifically;
- Improved customer satisfaction;
- Closer cooperation based on the same data has the potential to achieve far better results than entrepreneurial solo ventures – provided, however, that certain rules of cooperation are observed.
However, regional specialized players are also well positioned for the industry cloud boom, who have been pursuing an industry focus for a long time, thus have a lot of technical expertise, and who have implemented important industry-specific processes “out-of-the-box” in their solutions. They can be a natural partner, especially for companies from regulated industries. Typical examples of this are the insurance and healthcare industries, whose regulations can vary considerably from region to region.
In concrete terms, an industry cloud for the development of digital customer relationships could look like this:
- A CRM system provides a 360° view of the data;
- The CX solution offers a data-driven, automated customer experience;
- Standard connectors ensure easy connectivity to industry-standard platforms such as core systems from banks, but also to the systems of external providers for supplementary services.
Example: Industry Cloud for the insurance sector (c) BSI Business Systems Integration AG
Industry-standard templates and processes are preconfigured and run automatically: in retail, this would be, for example, the returns process, in banking or insurance, the classic onboarding. In the insurance sector, solutions for the PSD2 directive or digital distribution could be added. Processes based on industry regulations are preconfigured in the system and ensure legal and data protection-compliant communication. In addition, the possibilities for integrating other “out-of-the-box” services are almost unlimited. Obvious examples would be newsletter and survey tools or patterns for concrete customer journeys.
In this way, companies receive solution packages that make processes more efficient, offer legal certainty, optimize the customer experience and promote innovation. We have not yet solved the cultural challenges of digital change – but technologically, the door to new industry innovations via industry clouds is already open today.
*Markus Brunold is CEO of the software manufacturer BSI. He is passionate about business innovation, customer experience management and technology trends. Customer proximity is his top priority for his entrepreneurial activities.