Technology Record - Issue 23: Winter 21/22

36 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om Cloud computing has become an integral part of business technology worldwide. According to Statista, spending in the sector has significantly increased in recent years, with forecasted figures suggesting $1,191 billion in 2021 and $1,294 billion in 2022. As organisations realise the value of digital transformation and undertake migrations from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, Microsoft has been bolstering its efforts in the area with the launch of a series of sector-specific industry cloud platforms. “Over the past year, we’ve seen how resilience and agility play a substantial role in ensuring an organisation is able to endure challenges,” says Rodney Clark, corporate vice president of channel sales, and channel chief at Microsoft. “The intent for our industry clouds is to scale through partners and offer a value-additive platform for them to seamlessly integrate their solutions.” A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in business, particularly when it comes to the specific nuances of individual industries. “This is why Microsoft has committed to industry-specific cloud solutions for retail, healthcare, manufacturing, financial services, non-profits and sustainability, all of which are tailored to help customers address the unique needs of their industry, so they can act faster and make more intelligent decisions,” says Clark. “Customers will also benefit from the deep expertise that many of Microsoft’s partners have in specific industries.” But the greatest opportunity for partners lies in leveraging the common data model, according to Clark. “Service partners can better serve customers with a pre-defined architecture,” he explains. “There’s also room for other technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality to be built on top of the clouds to meet evolving business needs. “Additionally, services partners will be able to help customers address the most urgent challenges facing each industry today. They will be able to unlock new revenue and service opportunities, such as functional implementation, last mile configuration, and customisation to customers’ environment, business processes, and organisational change management.” There are many opportunities for independent software vendor (ISV) partners too. “ISVs can New offerings from Microsoft are bringing the cloud to every corner of business, from industry-specific platforms, to designated sustainability tools. As organisations begin to the make the most of the available technology, Rodney Clark explains how Microsoft is working to ensure it delivers on the promise of partnership BY E L LY YAT E S - ROB E R T S Partnering cloud in the COV E R S TOR Y