Investor insight #13: Microsoft’s industry clouds

Monday 01 March 2021

Portfolio insights, Investor insights, Industry insights

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During the pandemic, businesses from every industry were forced to embrace digital transformation in order to survive. Coming out the other side, many of these businesses are realising that digital transformation has enabled them to be more productive, resilient, and innovative than ever before.

As part of this ongoing digital transformation, Microsoft is releasing three new industry specific clouds: financial services, manufacturing and non-profits. The new offerings add to the company’s previously released healthcare and retail cloud offerings.

What are industry specific clouds?

Industry specific clouds are tailor made for specific industries. Microsoft is taking its hundreds of individual cloud services offered with Azure and bundling relevant parts to sell as packages.

In addition, Microsoft is adding new services. For example, the financial services cloud will include a feature called Loan Manager which Microsoft says will “…enable lenders to close loans faster by streamlining workflows and increasing transparency through automation and collaboration.” 

Why is it important?

The cloud computing paradigm is part of a long-term trend we see playing out over the next decade. The move to industry focused services is a logical next step in this trend and we see three primary benefits over the current model of selling a smorgasbord of services.

  1. Speed of adoption: Industry clouds will simplify the cloud adoption decision and allow businesses to increase the pace of migration.
     
  2. Unlocking innovation:  Microsoft sees itself giving customers the right tools to build their own solutions to very specific problems, a characteristic it calls “Tech Intensity”. In addition, the new industry clouds won’t be siloed but will be able to communicate across industry, fuelling future innovation.
     
  3. Scaling security and compliance: through industry specific clouds Microsoft can solve many of the security and compliance issues critical to specific industries, saving individual firms an enormous amount of time and money.

Microsoft features heavily in our investor insights emails and it is clear why. The company continues to push the boundaries of innovation and is a driving force behind many of the large trends happening today.

About the Author
Alex Clunies-Ross, CFA

Alex Clunies-Ross, CFA

Senior Investment Analyst

Alex commenced his career with Swell in August 2015 and has developed many of the technical models and quantitative screens used to manage Portfolio investments. He is responsible for investments in the Swell Global Portfolio and directs investment team research projects.

Alex earned the right to use the CFA designation granted by the CFA Institute in 2021. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from Griffith University and was an inaugural member of the Griffith University Student Investment Fund. He continues his involvement in the Fund as a student mentor.