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. 

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

What is the 12/12 Program?

This program is designed to better handle the thousands of requests we receive from people looking to submit articles. The 12/12 program is the commitment of 12 articles delivered over a 12-month period.  

Wait! What if I just want to submit one article?

Our popular pay as you go sponsorship program provides the flexibility to submit as you wish and is designed for all budgets.

Contributors

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened to Google Glass? It was supposed to be the next big thing in tech so where did it go? Last year you could not go anywhere without hearing about some insane new use for the product and now it seems to have vanished in a plume of smoke. A Lackluster Rollout Back

Posted on by

Big Data

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries The poor of the developing countries are becoming increasingly connected, to the point where they too are part of the Big Data revolution that’s happening across the globe. It didn’t come with laptops, though, as some supposed it would. Whereas it costs a fortune to connect broadband to a

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data in Your Garden Big Data and IoT initiatives are springing up all across the globe, making cities, protesters–and just about everything else–smarter. However, thus far there’s been little attention paid to the interactions between these bizarre technologies and living things other than humans. Biology, that is, human biology is one field where Big

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Big Data and City Management Cities like New York, Madrid, and especially Rio de Janeiro are augmented with Big Data-powered initiatives that range from combating crime with predictive analytics (New York & Madrid) to providing real-time data for improved management. Although Big Data is no panacea and is mainly used in conjunction with a greater

Internet of Things

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital? We all know the capitals of fashion are London, New York and Paris, while the capital of film is Hollywood (or Bollywood!) – but what’s the new capital of the internet? Specifically, the internet of things? The answer – according to new research by Ozy – might surprise you. It’s not Tokyo, Seoul,

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities And Big Data As Anthony Townsend argues in his SMART CITIES, even though the communications industry has changed beyond recognition since its inception, the way we consume power has remained stubbornly anachronistic. The rules of physics are, of course, partially to blame, for making grid networks harder to decentralize, as opposed to communication

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the Human Wrist

Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the Human Wrist

It’s not just a thumb war, it’s total digit war The battle for the future of the human wrist entered a new phase on Monday after it was claimed that tech goliath Microsoft is planning to release its own wearable computer in the coming weeks.…Read the source article at The Register About Latest Posts Follow

Standards Organization ISO Takes on Cloud Computing Standards

Standards Organization ISO Takes on Cloud Computing Standards

Given the quality differences in different cloud services and issues of compatibility, ISO, the world’s best known standards body has issued two standards related to cloud computing…. Read the source article at Web Host Industry Review About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing

IBM Paying $1.5 Billion to Shed Its Chip Division

IBM Paying $1.5 Billion to Shed Its Chip Division

IBM will pay $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries in order to shed its costly chip division. IBM will make payments to the chipmaker over three years, but it took a $4.7 billion charge for the third quarter when it reported earnings Monday. Read the source article at Mashable About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is