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Cloud isn’t just for operational resilience - it can be a new revenue stream

It's getting a lot easier and more compelling to whitelabel cloud services for customers...

In the current economic climate, organisations should be getting creative to win and retain new business. From financial services and insurance through to healthcare and telecommunications, everyone is feeling the effects of the recession and its impact on their margins, constantly looking for new ways to boost revenue.

One area that businesses are turning to in order to drive new business is cloud computing. During the pandemic to ensure business continuity, many organisations switched to the cloud internally as part of a rapid digital transformation, writes Jason Rees, VP Technology and Cloud Engineering at Oracle.

Jason Rees, VP, Technology and Cloud Engineering, EMEA, Oracle.

Although they have felt the benefits of the cloud themselves taking advantage of more integrated data, agile working opportunities, and higher levels of data security, many organisations are now taking the plunge into monetising cloud services for themselves.

Gartner predicts the spend on public cloud computing will overtake spend on traditional IT by 2025, as more organisations recognise its value and drive forward on modernisation initiatives. As the market grows, it is prime time to build new partnerships and capitalise on this opportunity. The cloud could prove invaluable for businesses to create new revenue streams and expand their reach into new geographies and verticals.

From cloud user to cloud provider

Service providers, integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs), and vertical organisations can become cloud providers thanks to new cloud infrastructure platforms. These allow businesses to roll out new cloud services to their customers under their branding, tailoring experiences and packages to meet the needs of their market and industry verticals.

Any organisation can then become a cloud provider, able to innovate faster with higher levels of customisation and control. They can create their own console and select the notifications, alerts, software development kits (SDKs), and documentation relevant to the end-customer or target industry, setting their own pricing, rate cards, account types, and discount schedules. Capacity management tools help the provider to forecast, plan, and order capacity, and use reporting and metrics to manage utilisation.

The commercial opportunity for some financial services firms to operate as cloud providers already exists as they have built sophisticated cloud-based software tools and platforms. Those financial services firms would like to sell that purpose-built software to other companies in a revenue model not unlike being a SaaS provider.

See also: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure adds support for RHEL

However, as the regulatory environment becomes more intense, and as customers’ needs and expectations keep rising, those would-be financial services companies are looking for a more modern approach to commercialising their IP. It may be more efficient if financial services organisations offer all of the value found in using cloud infrastructure alongside their differentiated financial services software. This means potential customers can get everything in one place, rather than having to contact the infrastructure provider and the specialised software from the financial-services firm separately.

For example, Nomura Research Institute (NRI), a leading think-tank and systems integrator in Japan, sees the wealth of opportunity in becoming a cloud provider. Running critical financial applications on a partner cloud, they receive the benefits of hosting them on a high-performance, secure, and scalable cloud platform, whilst operating them internally to meet stringent security, data sovereignty, and regulatory requirements. New cloud infrastructure platforms are seen as a valuable new offering that will not only make it easier for their customers to build and run their own applications and services, but also enable them to better integrate their own financial applications and customers’ systems.

Innovate globally, operate locally

As for data governance, organisations can take full control and independently manage cloud services in their own data centres, able to better manage specific regulatory requirements and meet government stipulations. This ownership also gives organisations control over all commercial terms, customer relationships, touchpoints, and processes to integrate with existing resources. For example, partners can use their own staff for customer support and operations and control patching, upgrades, and rollbacks.

In addition to mitigating the risk of fines and prosecution if regulations are not met, this extra level of control opens the door to new vertical markets such as the public sector and finance that want to keep workloads and data in-country and operate their clouds independently. This allows organisations to unlock new opportunities for growth beyond the public cloud and fulfils end-customer desires to work within a cloud environment that lives close to them, increases performance, and satisfies data sovereignty rules.

Drive new opportunities at speed

Dealing with the uncertainty of the market requires businesses to stay flexible and adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities. Cloud infrastructure platforms allow partners to go to market with pre-integrated hardware and software features deployed in their own data centres, offering hundreds of services and applications for end-clients that can be customised at speed to meet new demands. These partners want to innovate at the speed of the hyper-scalers, quickly offer new bespoke services, and provide a great customer experience whilst maintaining margins for this added value.

Cloud infrastructure platforms offered by existing trusted service providers offer simplicity, with organisations able to leverage familiar relationships and user experiences, further speeding up time to deployment. Taking advantage of the same developer, UX, devops, and security tools used in their own cloud solution, partners can build their own services tailored to the needs of specific markets or industries. For instance, organisations can offer embedded financial management capabilities with their existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering from the same provider, adding further value and the opportunity to manage the entire customer lifecycle.

Working with trusted partners also allows organisations to learn from the experts, with programmes to onboard, train, and certify providers to run, manage, and operate their own cloud services. This means businesses can provide first-line technical and account support quickly and autonomously to end-customers, whilst their platform partner can step in to manage escalation support for complex customer and deep service operations issues.

Cloud infrastructure platforms give any business the opportunity to monetise the cloud, drive new revenue opportunities and increase data protection. Whether organisations augment existing offerings, enter under-served or specialised markets, or create bespoke solutions for individual end-customers, the opportunity cloud computing presents goes much further than making their IT systems more resilient – it also gives the opportunity for growth.

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