Cloud is the most significant trend dominating business value and modernization discussions.
Organizations are breaking away from traditional legacy approaches and leveraging cloud services to bring their business greater agility and flexibility, while lowering the cost and the risk of IT operations. Migrating from monolithic systems to hosted managed cloud native services allows these organizations to fully realize the benefits of cloud.
With increasing cloud maturity and a greater understanding of the art of the possible, there is now an expectation for industry-specific services: industry cloud solutions.
Conversations between an end user client and a cloud service or IT transformation provider will now focus on how to differentiate the business in the market via industry cloud, as well as accelerating cloud migration strategies.
“Each client is at a different stage of their cloud transformation roadmap and their cloud maturity levels are very different,” says Prabhakar Appana, Global Head of the AWS Ecosystem Business Unit at HCLTech.
To fast-track these cloud strategies, he explains: “Enterprises are turning to industry cloud platforms to accelerate time-to-market, meet compliance standards and benefit from continuous innovation”.
Standardized services falling short
In industries that must comply with certain governance, compliance and security standards, standardized cloud services fall short.
The compliance requirements of PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) for financial services, HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) for healthcare or CIP (Critical Infrastructure Protection) for utilities, are not baked into standard cloud solutions.
Industry-specific or tailored cloud integrations, interfaces and templates can offer a ‘plug and play’ flexibility to achieve competitive differentiation in the market, beyond a generic ‘lift and shift’ cloud infrastructure conversation.
Different requirements and use cases by industry
Each industry is unique, with its own set of challenges and industry standards. Appana describes several of these, highlighting how tailored cloud services can support the requirements of different industries.
In manufacturing, the focus is on hyper-automating operations across the value ecosystem, all the way from the design stage through to the supply chain.
“From a cloud perspective, manufacturers want the ability to detect anomalies in real time, improve plant efficiency with efficient smart factories and enable digital twins in a connected ecosystem,” says Appana.
In the manufacturing industry, HCLTech’s 1PLM Cloud solution, built jointly with AWS, enables mobility, reduces the total cost of ownership and improves engineering productivity for better scalability and reliability.
Financial services’ institutions are focused on delivering mobile-first user experiences and seamless digital onboarding in the cloud. This includes real-time transaction updates, intelligent document processing, access to receptive chatbots, personalized recommendations, fraud detection and security functions.
“Cloud services in financial services must enable hyper authentication and accommodate the ever-expanding rules and regulations in the industry,” continues Appana.
HCLTech’s Novus Payments helps financial institutions navigate the dynamic payments landscape. It serves as a central hub and enables straight through processing (STP) for accurate and real-time information availability and improved risk management.
Appana adds: “We have also worked with AWS in developing the cloud-based conversational banking assistant, Ziva. Ziva is an intelligent banking assistant, which provides a natural language driven conversational banking experience on demand. It’s an omnichannel, AI-based self-service conversational solution that banking clients can use to engage customers through voice or text.”
Life sciences and healthcare
In life sciences and healthcare, leaders are looking to improve operational and clinical efficiency, whether that is the speedy roll out of a vaccine, enhancing patient care, the digitization of patient records or the optimization of claim processing.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic these priorities were accelerated, and healthcare providers turned to the cloud to address these and provide remote consultations,” adds Appana.
Telecommunication (telco) organizations are prioritizing the next generation of connectivity, 5G and beyond.
The delivery of the 5G network is reliant on “an effective multi-cloud strategy, which ensures the provision of connectivity services and the delivery of new incremental value,” says Kalyan Kumar, Global Chief Technology Officer and Head of Ecosystems at HCLTech.
HCLTech’s Augmented Network Automation platform runs on AWS and helps telcos automate wireless network configurations and simplify network management complexity, which leads to faster time-to-market for new wireless services and 5G networks.
These examples of tailored industry specific cloud services highlight how distinct industry problems or ambitions can be addressed with razor sharp focus.
Appana concludes: "End user organizations can achieve their objectives with industry cloud by deploying the right design strategy with the right cloud services provider and proper workload balancing mechanism.”