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How 4 Industries Embraced 21st Century Cloud Computing

Ryan Kroonenburg
Ryan Kroonenburg

Cloud computing is rapidly becoming the “new normal” foundation of today’s IT infrastructures. While few can deny its ascendance across the IT landscape, some industries have been more resistant than others to fully embrace it. Think deeply-regulated, steeped-in-tradition sectors like banking, healthcare, insurance, and public utilities. Thanks to strict regulation and cultural resistance to change, these industries have historically been slower to adopt new technology and make major changes to their IT infrastructures.

Nonetheless, as cloud computing gains more momentum, even these risk- and change-averse industries are beginning to embrace the cloud for its lower operating costs, improved security, and high availability. Transitioning from antiquated, labor-intensive IT infrastructures to the pay-as-you-go, self-service world of public cloud has created an era of modernization for many of these industries, one that improves customer experience, achieves better outcomes, and allows them to thrive in this new digital world. 

1. Banking

Banking has undergone a transformation in the last five years. Financial technology companies and financial service apps have been disrupting the market and putting pressure on banks to expand their in-house capabilities and develop new digital offerings.

Forward-thinking banks have responded to these pressures by embracing new cloud-based technologies that enable them to better engage and serve customers digitally.

Biba Helou, Managing Vice President of Cloud Services at Capital One wrote:

‘’Our decision to move to the cloud did not happen overnight, it was part of broader changes we made to our technology operating model that started back in 2010. 

As digital innovation has disrupted the banking sector and given rise to a host of new channels and customer experiences, we recognized that to win in the future of banking we needed to re-imagine our IT organizational model, development approaches, and delivery processes.’’

100% of Capital One’s mobile banking traffic is now handled by applications running on Amazon Web Services.

Cloud deployment has allowed banks to achieve digital transformation over a short period of time, while at the same time streamlining and optimizing business processes and providing the agility necessary to continue innovating.

2. Healthcare

Few industries have a worse reputation than healthcare when it comes to outdated business processes and technology. If you’ve ever sat in a doctor’s office and filled out form after form with the same information, you’ve felt the pain of its historically disconnected systems.

But recently, leading healthcare providers and hospitals systems have transitioned to the cloud to achieve cross-platform integration and interoperability. Cloud-based applications are being used to aggregate fragmented data across disparate systems and multiple locations and quickly organize it into a usable format.

Cloud has become widely adopted in the healthcare field for better collaboration, easy and safe storage, and improved data analysis. With the global healthcare cloud computing market expected to rise by 21% by 2022, you can expect to see rapid cloud migration across every sector of healthcare in the next few years.

3. Insurance

Insurance companies have moved to the cloud to improve the customer experience and meet consumer expectations, like on-demand services, typical of other industries. Cloud-based systems have allowed insurance carriers to improve efficiencies, create mobility, and increase flexibility for growth and integration.

Instead of spending so much of their time maintaining complex, mainframe systems, IT departments can shift their focus to improving business processes, which is felt at the consumer level, specifically through claims processing.

As Celent Analyst Tom Scales was quoted in a ClaimVantage article, “running a data center is not a core competency of an insurer. Moving to the cloud from a legacy system can revolutionize insurance processes, and in turn, improve product offerings and customer service.”

Cloud technology is allowing the insurance industry to throw out old business models dictated by legacy systems, improving the customer experience and making customization to changing consumer needs more achievable.

4. Energy and Utilities

Energy and utility companies are facing increasing pressure to perform flawlessly, avoid blackouts and comply with tough federal and regional regulations.

While cloud adoption in the energy and utilities industry is not as widespread as some of the above mentioned industries, the transition is beginning to gain momentum as companies look to outperform their competitors.

A 2017 report from Navigant Research says the global smart grid as a service market, focusing on data services, cloud-based software, and fully managed services, is expected to leap from $1.3 billion in 2016 to $6 billion in 2025.  

According to the Navigant, “utilities are increasingly turning to service-based delivery to help them take a more flexible approach to business processes, mitigating technology risks, and reducing costs while staying ahead of the competition.”

Utility and energy companies are recognizing cloud computing as the key to enhanced performance, reliability and regulatory compliance.

These examples demonstrate how embracing the cloud can revolutionize entire industries. As Hank Marquis, Practice Director at Global Knowledge puts it, “don’t think of the cloud as a technology, think of it as a business model enabled by technology. Top cloud benefits are efficiency, agility and innovation.” If your competitors are more efficient, agile and innovative than you are, not being fully in the cloud could leave you in the dirt.

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