What are industry cloud platforms?

This article was written by Gregor Petri, VP Analyst on the Research and Advisory team at Gartnerand Lori Perri, Contributor. This article was originally published by Gartner.  You can find the original article here.
Industry cloud platforms are designed to meet the specific needs of vertical industry segments inadequately served by generic solutions. Here’s what to know.
Vertical cloud platforms combine software, platform and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities to provide specific solutions for different vertical industries. These industry solutions are mostly based on public cloud services but offer industry players a more agile way to manage workloads and accelerate change against the particular business, data, compliance or other needs of their segment.“In effect, industry cloud platforms turn a cloud platform into a business platform, enabling an existing technology innovation tool to also serve as a business innovation tool,” says Gregor Petri, VP Analyst at Gartner. “They do so — not as predefined, one-off, vertical SaaS solutions — but rather as modular, composable platforms supported by a catalog of industry-specific packaged business capabilities.”
During a recent Gartner survey among North American and European-based enterprises,  close to 40% of respondents had started the adoption of industry cloud platforms, with another 15% in pilots. In addition, another approximately 15% are considering deployment by 2026. Overall, a majority of the respondents familiar with the concept of industry cloud platforms identified themselves as adopters or potential considerers of industry-specific cloud platforms.Gartner expects that by 2027, enterprises will use industry cloud platforms to accelerate more than 50% of their critical business initiatives, whereas in 2021, it was less than 10%.

How industry cloud platforms work

Industry cloud platforms are a notable emerging trend because they create value for companies by offering adaptable and relevant industry solutions. They significantly accelerate cloud adoption by pointedly appealing to business consumers beyond the early users of cloud infrastructure and platform technologies.
Industry cloud platforms will enable enterprises to rapidly adapt their industry processes and applications. As the Gartner 2022 CIO agenda demonstrates, composability is an important enabler of both higher performance and better ability to cope with change. But this approach is also important for the efficient creation of industry cloud platforms themselves. While in addition, a modular and composable approach makes it easier for partners to deliver value-added capabilities through marketplaces and app stores. This greater richness of industry cloud ecosystems, with multiple independent software vendors and system integrators joining the cloud providers, is a key way that industry cloud platforms add value. Such a holistic but modular approach also makes it possible to bring technical and business innovations easier and faster from one industry to another.
Unlike community clouds, such as GovClouds, industry clouds are neither a copy nor a split-off version that needs to be maintained separately; they offer the full set of industry-relevant capabilities of the underlying platform to users.Industry cloud platforms add value by using innovative technologies and approaches, such as packaged business capabilities, industry-aware data fabrics and composable tooling to go beyond traditional cloud and create added value.To reach their full potential, industry clouds will need to evolve into something best described as ecosystem clouds. Enterprises can leverage these ecosystems by participating in shared (business) processes, such as procurement, distribution, payment procession, and maybe even R&D and innovation. But to capture this value, the use of industry cloud platforms by enterprises requires a broad set of stakeholders both in IT and the line-of-business organization.
In short:

  • Industry cloud platforms combine traditional cloud services with tailored, industry-specific functionality to address historically hard-to-tackle vertical challenges.
  • Organizations turn to industry cloud platforms to accelerate time to value and benefit from cross-industry innovations.
  • Industry cloud platforms add value by using innovative supporting technologies and approaches, such as an integrated data fabric, a marketplace with packaged business capabilities and composability tooling, to provide organizations the agility needed to respond to accelerating change.

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