The rise of industry cloud platforms

Industries from healthcare to retail have unique requirements for managing and securing their content. With 60% of corporate data now stored in the cloud, as companies worldwide turn to cloud solutions for their data management, many find that general-purpose cloud solutions don't fill industry-specific needs. That's where an industry cloud platform gives organizations the solutions they need for their most important use cases.

The rise of industry cloud platforms makes it possible for companies to benefit from an industry-specific cloud platform while minimizing the risk of migrating to the cloud. Switching to cloud storage purpose-built for your industry may help your company find new solutions to move your business forward.

What is an industry cloud platform?

An industry cloud helps organizations manage content and meet their unique needs

An industry cloud platform is a collection of cloud solutions and applications designed for a specific industry, like healthcare, retail, government, or life sciences. Industry clouds provide solutions for various industries' unique needs, use cases, and content storage, processing, auditing, and securing requirements. Industry clouds can also help enterprises meet regulations specific to their geographic location.

Industry clouds aren't a new solution to industry-specific content management needs, but their popularity has steadily increased. As the major cloud service providers rose to the top of the cloud industry, smaller cloud providers became industry-specific, tailoring their services to the challenges and use cases of particular verticals. Now, the major cloud service providers also offer industry clouds as a solution designed for specific types of enterprises.

An industry cloud platform includes specific tools designed for the challenges enterprises in those industries face. For example, financial service companies need AI and advanced data analytics to gain insight into customer behavior. The financial services sector is also highly regulated, with specific mandatory information security measures. A cloud provider for financial services companies must meet these requirements for data protection and compliance.

When major public cloud providers offer industry clouds, they typically provide industry-specific applications and layer capabilities as well. A company or organization may also be able to customize its industry cloud through workflow and data-model modifications and application programming interfaces (APIs).

Why are industry cloud platforms becoming so popular?

Industry clouds are becoming more popular as organizations and companies see the benefit of having industry-specific content solutions. A recent worldwide survey found that 50% of enterprises have workflows in the public cloud and 46% keep information there. Many of these organizations haven't realized the full potential of an industry-specific cloud solution.

For companies and organizations that haven't yet moved to general cloud operations, the move could take effort. Industries with complex legacy systems likely have homegrown applications and software designed for their industry and might find that a general-purpose cloud solution doesn't meet their needs. A strategy of "lifting and shifting" applications to the cloud might result in sub-optimal performance, while optimizing applications for the cloud could be costly. These organizations, already feeling the pinch from cloud-native competitors, need a cloud solution designed for their specific requirements.

Industry clouds cater to the precise needs of various industries to help organizations meet their workloads. Different industry cloud platforms include the features and tools an industry needs and none of the ones they don't. There may also be an opportunity for customization, allowing enterprises to further streamline their cloud solutions.

An industry cloud helps organizations align with demands of geopolitical regulations, compliance, and protectionism

A few other factors motivate enterprises to consider industry clouds. According to research firm Gartner, increasingly diverse geopolitical regulations, a higher need for industry compliance, and a rise in protectionism are driving the adoption of vertical cloud solutions. Essentially, companies and organizations are looking for ways to mitigate risk and keep their content secure. Industry clouds help solve the problem by providing security analytics, threat detection, and prevention.

Industry cloud obstacles

When an organization or company sees that general-purpose cloud services don't provide efficient tools for their industry, they slow their adoption of cloud services or stick with their legacy systems instead. Yet, in today's efficiency-driven economy, falling behind in cloud adoption could mean companies can't realize their full potential.

Industry clouds offer solutions to help companies meet their requirements, maintain compliance, and ensure content privacy. Consider a few issues that keep industries from using general-purpose cloud services and how industry cloud services combat them.

Compliance regulations

Organizations use industry cloud features to govern the flow of information

Ensuring compliance with industry regulations is a top concern for companies across sectors. For example, healthcare organizations must meet the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards to protect patient information. Many general-purpose cloud services can't provide the solutions these organizations need to ensure compliance with HIPAA, so the organizations maintain their legacy systems instead of switching to the cloud.

Industry cloud platforms go above and beyond by providing powerful tools for governing the flow of information and ensuring compliance. Companies use industry cloud features to access and collaborate on documents while securing protected information and meeting industry-specific requirements.

Handling of sensitive information

Protecting sensitive information is vital, whether it's customer or organizational content. Financial records, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other information could potentially be advantageous to hackers and industry competitors. General-purpose cloud services might not provide the restrictions enterprises need to regulate who has access to sensitive information.

Industry clouds protect sensitive information and provide access permissions and threat detection. Security and compliance controls also enable better data protection.

Security concerns

Industry clouds have tools like file encryption and password controls to secure content

Cybercrime is a significant concern for all businesses, especially those in specific industries. The healthcare industry has the highest average worldwide data breach cost at over $10 million, and the financial sector comes in second with an average cost of $5.97 million. Limiting the risk of a cyberattack is a high priority, and general-purpose cloud services might fall short when keeping bad actors out of a company's information.

An industry cloud combats security concerns through its use of file encryption, password controls, and other tools to ensure only those with permission to view information can access it. Companies gain even greater control over their data security through industry cloud integrations that extend content security to other applications in their toolset.

Privacy concerns

Organizations and companies in healthcare, government, finance, and more adhere to data privacy regulations. A vital requirement for ensuring data privacy is having insight into how users store and use information. While general-purpose cloud services may provide some tools for data privacy, they might not meet the specific needs of particular industries.

Industry clouds enable data privacy through access controls, enterprise-grade identity management tools, and suspicious user alerts. These solutions give companies greater control over who has access to content and how they use that information. Industry clouds also provide security controls throughout the content and identity lifecycles.

Industry cloud solutions

Companies can benefit from the many uses of cloud computing in industry-specific use cases. Industry clouds can help companies meet changing regulatory requirements in their sector, streamline and modernize their operations, and achieve business outcomes. Ultimately, organizations that use an industry cloud to employ industry-specific digital solutions will likely be able to gain a competitive edge in their industry and drive profitability.

The variety of industry cloud solutions available demonstrates how vertical cloud solutions can transform nearly any business or organization. Take a look at how an industry cloud can help you overcome obstacles — whatever your industry.

Construction

Construction firms can use the industry cloud to centralize content management and collaboration

The construction industry faces demands for high-quality projects built faster, safer, and smarter. Construction firms need to use resources and labor intelligently through enhanced project planning and oversight to satisfy clients and keep every team member on track.

Digital tools in an industry cloud can improve engineering and infrastructure projects by increasing insight into project workflows. an industry cloud changes how construction, architecture, and engineering firms work by providing a single platform for content management and collaboration. Your team gains insight into each step of the project, from bidding and proposals to the job site. an industry cloud also maintains compliance with industry standards and keeps firms engaged with clients to improve secure collaboration.

Education

Collaboration is key to success for educational institutions and the students they serve. Enabling an improved flow of information between students, faculty, administrators, researchers, and businesses allows opportunities for educational institutions to thrive. Educational professionals benefit from streamlining access to information, whether it's in funding, research, or student lifecycle management.

An industry cloud digitizes workflows for educators and researchers, connecting great minds across campus to enable improved collaboration. Industry clouds empower faculty, researchers, and staff to work together on research, funding opportunities, and classroom presentations. Protect intellectual property with controlled access for users anytime, anywhere.

An industry cloud also integrates with your institution's current digital learning tools like Blackboard and Canvas to eliminate duplication and make content more accessible. And while an industry cloud integrates across other tools, your institution gains greater control over permissions with tools like remote logout and single sign-on authentication, so it complies with policies and data privacy regulations.

Higher education institutions also benefit from improved information security and stricter access controls. Securing private institutional content or personally identifiable student information is a top priority. An industry cloud provides admin controls and rich security features to limit access and proactively detect potential threats.

Financial services

The financial services industry gains improved communication in the industry cloud's interactive digital environment

Clients of financial services organizations expect seamless digital access to their account information coupled with robust security features. Finding the balance can be a challenge for financial service firms. It requires advanced digital tools and workflows that support protected content sharing to secure financial information.

Banks, insurance providers, and other financial service firms benefit from a specific industry cloud's single platform for collaboration across workflows. A financial industry cloud creates an interactive digital environment for document sharing, gathering signatures, and editing content. Financial advisors and other members of the organization's teams upload, share, and edit documents seamlessly in the cloud for improved communication, working more efficiently to collaborate on financial documents. That's the difference an industry cloud makes.

Managing customer and client relationships is also easier with the cloud. Efficient cloud platforms accelerate loan approval by connecting underwriters with customers. Financial service firms use an industry cloud to onboard new clients quickly and efficiently in the digital space, assigning tasks and editing documents from anywhere.

Data security is critical in the financial services sector, and a financial industry cloud provides protection. Even as clients, financial advisors, and other team members share financial information, the industry-specific cloud maintains rigid access controls. Secure client portals, file encryption, and threat detection help protect sensitive client, team member, and organizational information while ensuring compliance.

Healthcare

Every second counts in the healthcare industry, which is why efficient content sharing is vital. Healthcare professionals need powerful collaboration tools that enable swift content sharing, compliance, and strict security. Patients also benefit from digital tools like second-opinion management and patient education materials that enable them to sign documents from anywhere and gain insight into their health.

Delivering high-impact care and improving patient outcomes is easier with a healthcare industry cloud. Administrators, researchers, and healthcare providers use enhanced collaboration to share patient health records and gain access on the go. Centralized document uploads and content sharing improve care coordination and help providers offer higher-quality outcomes.

Security features are top of mind for any healthcare organization considering new digital tools. Protecting sensitive patient data and maintaining compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA is business-critical. Healthcare organizations need compliant and efficient solutions that protect patient information from compromise and keep unauthorized users out of patient health records.

A healthcare industry cloud solution delivers solutions that do both. Patient health records stay protected from file origination to storage using data encryption at rest and in transit. Audit trails enable insight into content use, while highly restricted user controls maintain security and HIPAA-compliant cloud storage.

Government

An industry cloud simplifies case management for government agencies

State and federal governments use document sharing and collaboration to power more effective services. Having remote access to information like unemployment claims, case claims, and applications for benefits is critical, whether in the field or the office. Government agencies also experience pressure to provide frictionless citizen portals through mobile and online platforms. Cloud services purpose-built for governments make these goals a reality.

An industry cloud simplifies case management and empowers government teams to access the files they need from anywhere and on any device. Case managers, field agents, and other department personnel use the cloud's single, streamlined platform to collaborate between departments and agencies. The cloud digitizes document editing and sharing to speed up case management, evidence collection, and inspections. Automated reviews also enable increased communication with stakeholders.

Compliance is another significant consideration for government agencies. an industry cloud enables enhanced data security that complies with regional, federal, and international data-security regulations.

Government-specific industry cloud tools also improve the citizen experience with online document submission. Governments use secure online portals to facilitate a smoother file-submission process, enabling citizens to upload tax and personal documents without compromising data protection.

Life sciences

Out-of-date technology and clunky tools keep life sciences organizations tethered. These organizations need collaborative solutions to power innovation across the value chain. An industry cloud built for life sciences organizations improves processes like research and development to help biopharma and life sciences companies speed up product development and regulate content from a central platform.

Exchanges between researchers and organizations happen faster in the cloud. Team members upload and edit biodata and other device data to an industry cloud to enable better collaboration between organizations. User access controls maintain data protection while allowing improved communication between clinical research organizations, marketing and sales teams, and other stakeholders.

Life sciences companies also rely on quality management throughout the product lifecycle. an industry cloud provides support for all content within the cloud, from document drafts to archival. Tools that support industry compliance improve content regulation and enable teams to create cohesive solutions.

Media and entertainment

Media and entertainment organizations power ever stage of production with an industry cloud

Delivering innovative solutions for an ever-changing industry is critical for the media and entertainment industry. Collaboration is key to success, enabling digital transformation and powering teams to create captivating content.

Organizations in media and entertainment use an industry cloud to store and collaborate on images, videos, and sound to speed up marketing campaigns and get to production faster. A media-specific industry cloud powers every stage of production, from onboarding production staff to managing contracts and launching campaigns.

Professional services

The professional services industry relies on close partnerships for success. Harnessing the power of technology enables experts to focus on their work, sustain professional relationships with clients, and collaborate to solve problems in new ways.

An industry cloud built for professional services firms increases productivity by centralizing content in a single, secure hub at any authorized user's fingertips. Professional services organizations can share documents with clients and manage transactions in virtual deal rooms, all while maintaining client confidentiality and data security. An industry cloud also streamlines project and case management for a more productive work environment and creates an audit trail for increased visibility into operations.

Retail

Retail businesses use the industry cloud to streamline collaboration and onboard vendors and team members

Delivering high-quality experiences to consumers requires evolving tools for staying competitive. Retail companies manage content daily, from designing ads to collaborating on product specs. Cloud solutions tailored for retail provide the innovation these companies need, enabling secure content sharing that speeds up productivity and powers businesses into the future.

Your retail company benefits from single-platform content sharing that enables vendors, team members, and contractors to bring product launches and marketing campaigns to life. An industry cloud enables seamless collaboration from anywhere so your marketing and legal teams can streamline content creation, editing, and approval. Onboard new vendors and team members, improve productivity, and drive improvement with an industry cloud specific to retail.

Nonprofits

An organized team on a mission is a powerful force for good. Nonprofits deliver valuable services, and digital tools in an industry-specific cloud help them accomplish even more. an industry cloud enables nonprofits to serve in new spaces and make a greater impact by connecting volunteers, administrators, and supporters.

Features like digital content sharing allow nonprofits to streamline their administration and collaborate on fundraisers, grant projects, and other programs. Nonprofits use an industry cloud's digital workspace to share content with volunteers and partners, keep supporters in the loop, and mobilize across departments.

Discover the power of the Content Cloud

With a single secure platform for all your content, Box enables you to manage the entire content lifecycle: file creation, co-editing, sharing, e-signature, classification, retention, and so much more. We make it easy for you to collaborate on content with anyone, both inside and outside your organization. Frictionless, enterprise-grade security and compliance are built into our DNA, so you get total peace of mind that your content is protected. And with 1,500+ seamless integrations — as well as a range of native capabilities, like Box Sign — the Content Cloud provides a single content layer that ensures your teams can work the way they want.

The Content Cloud is a game changer for the entire organization, streamlining workflows and boosting productivity across every team. Contact us today, and explore what you can do with Box.

Get industry-specific solutions with the Content Cloud

**While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blogpost is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.