Image of computer electronics board with a large button displaying a cloud.

In every industry around the world, the past several months have seen organizations adjust to challenges, pursue new business opportunities, and accelerate their digital capabilities in the face of the pandemic that has reshaped our world.

Disruption demands the capacity to turn challenge into opportunity. In today’s world, this capacity is built on a strong digital foundation. We see this play out in every industry—technology can unlock human ingenuity to solve challenges, improve workflows, and ultimately, provide superior customer experiences.

With that in mind, I was pleased to have a chance to talk about the Microsoft industry clouds at the recent Industry Cloud Battleground Week, held on November 15-19. This virtual event, sponsored by Cloud Wars— a cloud-centric news site run by former Oracle chief communications officer Bob Evans—gave us a chance to demonstrate some of our best cloud offerings against most of our main competitors.

During a conversation with Bob during the first day of the event, we discussed the merits of the Microsoft Cloud and why it’s the best cloud for industry-specific use: healthcare, retail, nonprofit, manufacturing, or financial services. That’s because we infuse our cloud with process flows and core business logic that really help our customers address their pain points. Moreover, the Microsoft Cloud is pre-configured for industry needs.

But although it has many features tailored for industries, the Microsoft Cloud also is modular and extensible. That’s because we understand that every company has its own requirements and wants to adapt and grow along with their cloud. The Microsoft Cloud allows that. It has the agility and cost-effectiveness that enterprises need.

During the Industry Cloud Battleground Week, we participated in four key industry sessions: financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. Following is a recap of those sessions.

The Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services helps banks and other financial institutions modernize with digital transformation while maintaining strong security. Microsoft cloud leaders Bill Borden and Christian Sarafidis joined industry leaders Nick Ogden of RTGS Global and Adam Belding of Calastone to discuss the impact it can have. The session covered Microsoft’s expertise in security and regulatory affairs, and how data management designed for financial services helps those companies gain insight into their businesses.

The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare session focused on how it has helped healthcare providers cope with the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in part by combining digital and physical patient interactions to reduce the load on healthcare workers and make better use of strained resources. Gareth Hall, part of the Microsoft Worldwide Healthcare team, also described the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare’s ability to connect disparate data sources to reduce burdens on staff and provide better care at a lower cost.

The Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing presentation featured how it is helping manufacturers streamline and improve their supply chains to meet pandemic demand and keep plants operating. Guy Bursell, a strategy leader for Microsoft’s worldwide manufacturing team discussed ways the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing helps manufacturers strengthen their workforce, deliver new products and services, build more resilient and agile factories, and engage with customers in new ways.

Lastly, our Microsoft Cloud for Retail presentation covered how it creates the ability to personalize products, meet growing demand, and manage disruptions caused by COVID-19. Shelly Branston, Microsoft’s Worldwide Corporate VP for Consumer Good and Retail Industries, described how the Microsoft Cloud for Retail can help retailers meet customers’ expectations for more personalized experiences and faster product delivery. In fact, retailers today are acting more like tech companies, creating an ability to test, figure out what works for them, and scale that new solution on a platform designed for retailers.

We are excited about the transformation we are seeing with our customers through these offerings. Our cloud delivers the scale, security, business intelligence, and flexibility that they can use to grow their business, become more efficient, and connect more effectively with their customers.

Learn more about Microsoft’s industry cloud offerings.