What’s Coming Next In The Cloud…

What’s Coming Next in the Cloud…

When people think of cloud computing, two benefits usually spring to mind: an end to burdensome onsite system maintenance and the beginning of real-time, Web-based data access.

But there’s a third set of advantages offered by today’s cloud innovators.

Through a new “living” approach to product development, system enhancements are developed in response to customer needs on an ongoing basis and offered to all users as they become available. That means users get new features faster, and those features are more closely aligned with their actual business needs.

This approach is quickly replacing old-school product development methods, where providers come up with enhancements and then push them out to users in the form of large packaged updates or versions.

A fluid process

The living system environment fosters open discussion among users, including online forums built directly into the system. Users participate in forums and other networking opportunities to share best practices and provide input on how to enhance the product.

When users request new features or improvements that cannot be met with existing settings or configurations, cloud innovators don’t wait months to deliver them. Features are developed using an iterative process and deployed when they are ready.

Pull vs. push development

In traditional push-style product development, solution providers anticipate and build features and functions they assume will be desired by the market — as well as those that are iterations of what they’ve already provided.

These legacy providers — even many who offer cloud solutions — will often push to the customer base what works best for the providers themselves rather than what the customers want.

But the innovative living system approach is driven by a product’s user community, not a room full of IT developers at product headquarters.

The art of managing a living system community

It’s not practical to include all users directly in the product development process so, in a living system environment, the provider establishes a small group of active users to guide enhancements based on their experiences and what they’re hearing across the community.

This group replaces conventional product managers in providing strategic guidance for new development. It is empowered to drive the identification, prioritization, design, and launch of product enhancements and new features. While it relies on the solution provider’s resources for the actual development work, the group provides direction and input on an ongoing basis.

Customers are eager to represent their peers in this capacity. The trick to forming a successful advisory group is making sure it includes the appropriate mix of perspectives. At my company, for instance, our Customer Advisory Board membership represents each of our industry verticals and reflects the company sizes, regions and other demographics of our customer base.

Putting the power in the hands of the users means that a system constantly improves in the exact way customers require, not just how the development staff thinks it should.

Continuous improvement

In the living system model, ongoing community-driven enhancements are offered to all customers as they are ready — much faster than they’d be delivered if the provider had to wait until there were enough new features ready to justify a complete release package.

Customers are notified of new features on an ongoing basis and can accept just the ones they want. As their business needs change, they can go back anytime and choose to add other features they may not have needed earlier. The on-demand features are added in minutes, with just a few mouse clicks.

Success in the long-term

In the short-term, a traditional push approach to product development might still be attractive to some businesses. But in the long-term, a living system, or pull approach, will keep more business because it continues to improve and meet customers’ changing needs.

Cloud innovators get this, and they are set up to grow and evolve along with their customers.  It’s no surprise that companies focused on continuous improvement are the ones most heartily embracing cloud-based living systems.

Read more about living systems.

By By Jim Shepherd, Plex Systems, Inc.

Jim Shepherd serves as vice president of strategy, responsible for defining strategic direction of Plex Systems with manufacturers across multiple industries and global markets. Shepherd brings 40 years of leadership in manufacturing and technology. Prior to joining Plex Systems, Shepherd served as vice president and distinguished analyst for Gartner Inc., the world’s leading information technology research company. 

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

When Sci-Fi Predictions Come To Fruition

Evolution of Technologies To paraphrase science fiction author Arthur C. Clark, those who make predictions about the future are either “considered conservative now and mocked later, or mocked now and proved right when they are no longer around to enjoy the acclaim.” The one thing we can be sure about, Clark ventured, is that “[the…

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Hopes To Extend Internet Connectivity With Solar-Powered Drones

Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it had completed a successful test flight of a solar-powered drone that it hopes will help it extend internet connectivity to every corner of the planet. Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, high-altitude aircraft, flew at a few thousand feet for 96 minutes in Yuma, Arizona, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in…

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

When Will Women In Tech Become The Norm?

Tech Diversity It is well known that the technology industry has been dominated by men, but it is also clear that the industry is working to change that. Diversity in the tech industry, especially where it applies to women in tech, has been a topic of discussion for years. Recently the Washington Technology Industry Association…

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Competing in a Digital World Telecoms, otherwise largely known as Communications Service Providers (CSPs), have traditionally made the lion’s share of their revenue from providing pipes and infrastructure. Now CSPs face increased competition, not so much from each other, but with digital service providers (DSPs) like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, all of whom…

Edtech and Virtual Reality – Exciting Learning Environment

Edtech and Virtual Reality – Exciting Learning Environment

Customizing Edutech Customized edtech learning solutions are becoming more commonplace as the education industry recognises their potential and begins transforming the traditional structures so as to incorporate innovative developments. From textbooks to tablets, chalkboards to virtual reality, edtech promises not only dynamic and exciting learning environments but better learning strategies and solutions. Virtual Reality and…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Are Cloud Solutions Secure Enough Out-of-the-box?

Out-of-the-box Cloud Solutions Although people may argue that data is not safe in the Cloud because using cloud infrastructure requires trusting another party to look after mission critical data, cloud services actually are more secure than legacy systems. In fact, a recent study on the state of cloud security in the enterprise market revealed that…

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Maintaining Network Performance And Security In Hybrid Cloud Environments

Hybrid Cloud Environments After several years of steady cloud adoption in the enterprise, an interesting trend has emerged: More companies are retaining their existing, on-premise IT infrastructures while also embracing the latest cloud technologies. In fact, IDC predicts markets for such hybrid cloud environments will grow from the over $25 billion global market we saw…

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps To The Cloud Is A Business Decision

Moving Your Enterprise Apps Whether it be enterprise apps or any other, if there is any heavy data that is going to be transacted in and through an app, then affiliating it with the Cloud becomes a must. And then an important question arises: How do you decide when to integrate your enterprise app with…

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Will Grow Faster In The Cloud

Cloud Startup Fast-tracking Start-ups face many challenges, the biggest of which is usually managing growth. A start-up that does not grow is at constant risk of failure, whereas a new business that grows faster than expected may be hindered by operational constraints, such as a lack of staff, workspace and networks. It is an unfortunate…

The Cloud Above Our Home

The Cloud Above Our Home

Our Home – Moving All Things Into The Cloud The promise of a smart home had excited the imagination of the movie makers long ago. If you have seen any TV shows in the nineties or before, the interpretation presented itself to us as a computerized personal assistant or a robot housekeeper. It was smart,…

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

Compelling IoT Industries Every year, more and more media organizations race to predict the trends that will come to shape the online landscape over the next twelve months. Many of these are wild and outlandish and should be consumed with a pinch of salt, yet others stand out for their sober and well-researched judgements. Online…

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better. The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software…

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Benefits of Cloud Computing Based on Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from when it comes to cloud computing solutions. So what, on the face of it, appears to be pretty simple is actually both complex and dynamic regardless of whether you’re in the market for networking,…