Industry cloud platforms (ICPs) deliver industry-specific outcomes relevant to mission-critical priorities. IT leaders can use these platforms’ composability capabilities to gain the adaptability they need to cope with accelerating industry disruptions and unique requirements.
ICPs combine traditional cloud services with tailored, industry-specific capabilities to address hard-to-tackle vertical challenges and speed time to value. They do so by using composability to make differentiating innovations more readily available.
Enterprises are using ICPs to better address persistent economic and geopolitical uncertainty. ICPs’ clearly defined vertical value propositions enable enterprises to achieve tangible business outcomes. Gartner has found that close to 39 per cent of enterprises have started the adoption of industry cloud platforms, with another 14 per cent in pilots. Another approximately 17 per cent are considering deployment by 2026.
Gartner expects that by 2027, more than 70 per cent of enterprises will use ICPs to accelerate their business initiatives, up from less than 15 per cent in 2023.
How industry cloud platforms work
ICPs 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. ICPs combine underlying software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) with a set of innovative technologies and approaches.
ICPs also enable enterprises to rapidly adapt their processes and applications. Their 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 ICPs add value. Such a holistic but modular approach also makes it possible to more easily and quickly bring technical and business innovations from one industry to another.
Unlike community clouds, industry clouds are neither a copy nor a split-off version of cloud that needs to be maintained separately; they therefore offer the full set of capabilities of the underlying platform to industry users.
The emerging value of industry cloud platforms
ICPs use 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. ICPs turn a cloud platform into a business platform while also expanding a technology innovation tool into a business innovation tool.
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, enterprise use of ICPs requires a broad set of stakeholders both in IT and the line-of-business organization to use them.
IT leaders responsible for cloud and edge investments should formulate a strategy deploying ICP capabilities as offered to optimize existing processes and recompose them for differentiated transformation initiatives. Use ICPs to expand the organization’s existing portfolio with new capabilities that add significant value, rather than merely replace existing functionality.
Gregor Petri is a VP Analyst at Gartner where he covers industry cloud strategy. Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on industry clouds at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference, taking place this week in Las Vegas, NV.