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.

How Does IT Operations Management Help Enterprise IT?

How Does IT Operations Management Help Enterprise IT?

IT Operations Management Rapid change is the new constant with today’s Enterprises. There is a continuous shift in the technology landscape and the demands of the customers coupled with Enterprises wanting to stay competitive. This changing, fluid environment results in concurrent changes with IT infrastructure. Enterprises today are turning to IT Operations Management to bring…

Conquering Disease with Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson

Conquering Disease with Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson

Artificial Intelligence and IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is growing increasingly pervasive in today’s modern world. Perhaps the most publicized and recognizable application of AI to date, IBM’s Jeopardy-winning computer, Watson, is now being used to help cure cancer. IBM announced the development of Watson for Genomics on Wednesday at the National Cancer Moonshot…

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

The Fundamentals of Predictive Analysis

Predictive Analysis  Article sponsored by SAS Software and Big Data Forum Analytics is playing an increasingly important role in our lives thanks in large part to internet of things (IoT) developments and a greater appreciation of Big Data. With solutions that range across business productivity, health care, individual and national security, new insights are regularly…

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

Clouding Around With The Unicorns

The Social Unicorn Early investors and technology consumers alike love the poignantly named “Unicorn” companies, or private startups that reach the $1 billion valuation. The most recent unicorn spotting is social media game-changer Snapchat, which was recently valued at $16 billion. According to a recent infographic from Alexa discovered via Adweek, Snapchat also proves to…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

 The Future of File Storage A multi-billion dollar market Data storage has been readily increasing for decades. In 1989, an 8MB Macintosh Portable was top of the range; in 2006, the Dell Inspiron 6400 became available, boasting 160GB; and now, we have the ‘Next Generation’ MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage built in. But, of course,…

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Cloud Infographic – Guide To Small Business Cloud Computing

Small Business Cloud Computing Trepidation is inherently attached to anything that involves change and especially if it involves new technologies. SMBs are incredibly vulnerable to this fear and rightfully so. The wrong security breach can incapacitate a small startup for good whereas larger enterprises can reboot their operations due to the financial stability of shareholders. Gordon Tan contributed an…

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing – A Requirement For Greater Innovation

Cloud Computing Innovation Sao Paulo, Brazil has had trouble with both energy and water supplies as of late. Despite it is the rainy period. Unfortunately Sao Paulo is very dependent on its rain as a majority of its power is generated from large dams. No water, no energy. Difficult situation for a city of some…

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

The World of Data Science The nature of work and business in today’s super-connected world means that every second of every day, the world produces an astonishing amount of data. Consider some of these statistics; every minute, Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, YouTube users upload over 72 hours of content, Apple…

Cloud Computing Services Perfect For Your Startup

Cloud Computing Services Perfect For Your Startup

Cloud Computing Services Chances are if you’re working for a startup or smaller company, you don’t have a robust IT department. You’d be lucky to even have a couple IT specialists. It’s not that smaller companies are ignoring the value and importance of IT, but with limited resources, they can’t afford to focus on anything…

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services For Your Company

12 Promising Business Intelligence (BI) Services Business Intelligence (BI) services have recently seen an explosion of innovation and choices for business owners and entrepreneurs. So many choices, in fact, that many companies aren’t sure which business intelligence company to use. To help offer you a solution, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Business Intelligence companies…

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement Gets Bigger

The Big Data Movement In recent years, Big Data and Cloud relations have been growing steadily. And while there have been many questions raised around how best to use the information being gathered, there is no question that there is a real future between the two. The growing importance of Big Data Scientists and the…