The financial services industry in certain countries has a regulatory mandate to ensure that the sensitive data of their customers must reside in the country itself, even if it is on the public cloud. There are other industries such as telecom and pharma which must comply with regulatory mandates across data and adhere to defined processes.
Several nations have put data localization and on-soil restrictions and norms to ensure that they govern the data and cross-border data flows do not impact the economy.
These factors could have a major impact on the adoption of the public cloud. Let us look at the evolution of the public cloud to understand this.
Evolution of the public cloud
While Cloud technologies have been in existence for a very long time, they were essentially a great tool to optimize the IT infrastructure spends and rationalize the IT Infrastructure. However, the cloud has provided platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service options to enable business teams to leapfrog the IT pitstop and go to market faster and accelerate innovation. In the process, the cloud has enabled to optimize the cost of innovation and provided a secure and stable framework on which digital transformation can be implemented.
While COVID-19 may have accelerated the adoption of the public cloud, there is still a long way to go. Many organizations have applications that would require significant modernization before they can be migrated to the cloud. Every application must be checked for functional and technical feasibility before moving to the cloud. The costs and timeframe are often deterrents for organizations to move their critical applications and workloads to the cloud.
What else stops organizations from embracing the public cloud?
Organizations must comply with industry-specific data localization and data sovereignty norms. While the public cloud is built to be flexible and scalable in terms of consumption and “as-a-service” usage, it is largely industry agnostic. If cloud service providers can create the required domain expertise and build a layer that can enable the cloud to be customized to specific industry requirements across regions, it can largely enhance the adoption of the cloud. For example: If the cloud can curate and provide for the requirements of a financial services provider in terms of processes, controls, and security features, then it could enhance the adoption of cloud by specific industries and it can enhance the overall adoption of the cloud.
What is the solution?
The requirement or demand is for industry-specific cloud platforms that can bring applications, processes, compute, and security together. While such cloud platforms can extend the benefits of the cloud to the customers, they can also ensure that industry and domain-specific requirements and processes are weaved into the cloud offering.
This is an evolution that would be keenly watched, and it will not be surprising to see cloud service providers coming with industry-specific public and hybrid cloud solutions in the years to come. Hybrid cloud may score over public cloud in such cases as they may enable more scalability and portability across the generic aspects of the cloud and the specific processes and applications that cater to the industry requirements.