In any product management environment, most developers share a concern about having the resources needed to create and deliver quality products without complications.
Cloud platforms have made huge strides to improve the availability of resources, while also improving the overall process. Consequently, product managers can move things along quickly with higher quality.
However, there are unique issues that face this particular environment that have nothing to do with actual programming. In order to use the benefits of the cloud, product managers will have to take on the responsibility of using it properly with their teams while quieting fears based on data security.
The incredible power and ease of the cloud paired with new “non-technical” concerns of customers and investors are forever changing the role of product management.
While most of the changes are immensely positive, the potential problems need to be addressed by anyone using or considering cloud-based development and delivery. We have compiled a list of several key benefits and opportunities of using cloud solutions that will affect your role as a product manager.
Key Statistic: It is estimated that 60% of businesses are using the cloud. For 2018, the cloud computing industry is estimated to reach almost $80 billion. (Pacific Crest)
The Overwhelming Benefits
SaaS developers, enterprise solutions, startups, and many other developers are running to several top cloud providers due to the many positives surrounding it. Faster, cheaper, and better are a few of the words that seem to radiate from most of those using the cloud for development.
So, how does the cloud change the role of product managers?
The Cloud Helps You Develop Products
Getting the space and power you and your team need quickly saves time and money. Over the past several years, many cloud providers have strived to improve the Resource Allocation Systems (RAS) their service offers.
The awkward phase of cloud development seems to be over. Resource allocation is becoming more of a science, requiring better management. In fact, many PaaS and IaaS now offer scalable resources on demand and other versatile plans. These features allow you to control the cost while never hindering development resources.
Depending on your needs and provider, obtaining your resources can almost resemble á la carte options from one project to the next. While this does further increase the benefits of cloud development, it also creates a changing responsibility.
While you have the power available when you need it and when you grow, you also have to determine if/when it’s no longer necessary. Instead of a set allocation that is always there, the available resources can and should fluctuate based on the number of projects.
Unused bandwidth and disk space are a waste of money and natural resources.
The advanced RAS of the cloud is a single benefit, but one of the most crucial. There are more that help you develop, but many fall under managing your team (our next section).
- How it changes your role: With this ability also comes a responsibility to stay on top of the needed resources. Tailor made options requires more measurement on your part.
The Cloud Helps You Manage Your Team(s)
Many cloud providers have created specialty tools and dashboards that allow you to handle tasks and team members with incredible ease. Yes, (almost) all of these tools also help you develop your products, but as the manager, your focus is on directing and organizing the project to ensure quality and speed.
Cloud development is changing how you manage.
Bird’s Eye View
Most development platforms now include a custom dashboard that allows you and your team to work and see progress. The application is usually very intuitive and can allow you to control the access of different team members. While you hold the whole picture of one or multiple projects you can limit what different staff is allowed to see and do, which helps security (more on this a little lower).
Many platforms integrate tools that promote ease of communication into their everyday workflow. The ability to communicate and share data in a variety of ways is being built right into your dashboard. These tools help create faster implementation and a better understanding of goals as a team. It can also allow for remote management which could allow for a greater talent pool of programmers who don’t live in your area.
Due to the incredible speed that the cloud provides to app creators, both third party and solution providers have tools on the market that are specifically geared to streamline development in the cloud. Here is a list of tools that can help you.
- How it changes your role: Your role is to see the creation, fulfillment, and improvement of products. The tools available to you have never been better, but will only benefit you if they are implemented properly. Keeping up with new ways to improve performance is important, but should never interfere with the production.
The Cloud Helps You Satisfy Your Customers (but Also Creates Concern)
Now, we have to address the elephant in the room that has come along with the renaissance of cloud computing. The negative aspect that continues to have customers and investors concerned is security.
Most of this concerns come from a lack of education, but with an increasingly hostile internet landscape, there is validity to many fears. Preventing potential hacks and other malicious data problems as well as settling the nerves surrounding problems falls on, you guessed it… the product manager.
Older solutions don’t work which creates the need for new processes and programs to secure the cloud-based development and distribution model.
So, how are product managers changing to meet the need? Here are a few ways.
Choosing Platforms with Extreme Care
Who you partner with to develop and distribute is the most important aspect of keeping data secure. The vast majority of the security relies on your provider which creates a need to choose carefully.
Picking a company solely based on budget or their resource allocation system would be foolish without first checking security measures and even their physical setup.
Implementing All Available Measures
The one thing that shouldn’t change, but still needs to be mentioned, is keeping up to date with your security software (e.g. anti-virus). Ensuring that your staff has sufficiently difficult passwords (changing them at varying intervals) will add to security on your end. Your staff should also be knowledgeable regarding your cloud computing policy. If you don’t have one, get one.
Keep an Eye On All Valuable Data and Security
The cloud creates so many opportunities for seamless integration and increased ability, but ANY sensitive data that will be collected by your programs should not be readily available on the cloud. Instead, consider storing that data very close to home on a private server. In addition, to keeping the sensitive info private, you should regularly monitor your security measures and the ones of your provider.
- How it changes your role: Security may not directly impact the creation of products and team systems, but if not implemented they can destroy confidence and usability with a single incident. These potential problems create the need for PM’s to ensure security at every stage of development and delivery.
Koombea can integrate seamlessly with your team to help you create your next cloud project. We have put together some of the finest developers on the planet that have helped dozens of large companies, startups, and project managers release high-quality products quickly into the marketplace.
Send us a quick message and let’s start a conversation.