2015: The Year of the Industry Cloud
Recently, Virtual Strategies Magazine asked Vlocity to look ahead to what 2015 holds for the Industry Cloud. I wanted to share those thoughts.
Over the course of this next year, the Industry Cloud will rapidly accelerate as companies of all sizes come to expect their cloud apps to both be tailored for their industry and to keep pace with rapid industry changes. But how will this transformation take place? Here are my top three predictions for the coming year:
1. Customer Demand for Industry-Specific Apps Will Grow Exponentially
Packaged Industry Cloud Apps — which include robust industry functionality, best practices, and a continuous stream of new features and updates — will become the gold standard for CRM and the front office. The mandate to deliver a superior omnichannel customer experience will drive this, where a company’s customers will expect to be recognized and treated in a manner that is unique to their industry. Custom apps or industry “templates” will increasingly be seen as short-term, tactical, or incomplete solutions that are unnecessarily difficult and expensive to maintain.
2. Growth in Mobile Apps that are Native, High Fidelity, and Industry-Specific
Delivering a superior omnichannel customer experience now requires mobile as the computing platform of choice. Industry Cloud Apps are ideally suited for enabling this omnichannel experience and they will increasingly include high-fidelity, native, business process-specific mobile apps as a defining feature. Examples include capturing the perfect order on a mobile device in the communications, media, and technology sectors; taking benefit applications in the public sector; and profiling clients in the insurance and health sectors to identify the best-suited policies and benefits plans.
3. End-to-End Integration Becomes the Norm
As the Industry Cloud takes center stage, companies will seek to move their front office to the cloud but also leverage previous investments in their older on-premise systems. Industry Cloud Apps provide seamless, end-to-end data integration that connects mid-and-back office systems through to the front office, as well as industry-specific analytics. Companies will come to enjoy the business agility that cloud apps provide in the front office, and expect open cloud architectures and pre-built, industry-specific connectors to the most common back office systems.
Industry cloud apps will save visionary companies significant time and money in 2015. They will provide them with unique omnichannel capabilities that enable them to be more responsive to their customers in a unique, industry-specific manner. The end result is a superior customer experience. That is the promise of the Industry Cloud and our focus at Vlocity.