Cloud services should aim to become more user-friendly

Cloud computing technologies have reached new heights in popularity in recent years. As business leaders and IT officials have realized the potential increases in productivity to be gained with high-powered project management software, the cloud has become a corporate mainstay. Every enterprise must embrace the technology or risk being left behind.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud services have led the way, helping companies rebuild their basic skeletons in a way that’s efficient without being too rigid. The best IaaS infrastructures are ones that bring scalability and customizable features without breaking the bank.

There is a catch, though. Wired explains that while business leaders are flocking to the cloud for a wide variety of reasons, there is a gap between the cloud resources available to businesses and their employees’ ability to manage them. There’s a great deal about cloud use that the typical worker still doesn’t understand, and there’s a disconnect between cloud service producers and consumers about best use practices.

In other words, the cloud must do more to be user-friendly. Zvi Guterman, who founded CloudShare in 2007 and now works as its chief executive officer, wrote a guest post for Wired analyzing this problem. Guterman cited a Gartner statistic that by 2015, only 10 percent of organizations will be able to complete cloud-based business processes at the speed they require. This needs to change.

“Cloud computing stands poised to clear the resource bottleneck threatening IT innovation,” Guterman wrote. “But the next evolutionary layer must target the end user. Cloud computing needs to look at such advances as robust usability layers with wizard-like end user tools to hide complexity and make cloud environments easier to use for a wider range of business users that need access to IT environments.”

Simplifying the cloud
One could argue that the key to overcoming this problem is simplifying cloud applications, focusing on the bare essentials before branching out from there. TechTarget explains that cloud licensing models should focus first on one basic goal – enabling organizations to move data from one virtualized environment (a data center, public cloud or private cloud) to another. That’s the basic concept, and all else is a sideshow.

The cloud has come a long way in recent years, but in order to ensure user-friendly interfaces, developers should focus on the basics. The gap between cloud capabilities and user understanding thereof is a very real problem. BMI works with firms on closing this gap, gaining a greater understanding of how the cloud can improve their operations.