Ensuring greater endpoint engagement for improved cloud delivery

Like death and taxes, customer concerns will always be with us. That said, there remains practical room for improvement in the customer experience of cloud services.

According to Scott Anderson, senior vice-president for product management and business operations Cloud database Firm Couchbase, among 36% of enterprise respondents Survey report The cloud services they have adopted in the last three years have not lived up to expectations Concerns run the gamut from cost, availability, scalability and security.

Anderson cautions that cloud transitions are often challenging and can be more expensive than initially thought. “Like any transition, it sounds like a great idea – there’s a high degree of confidence that it’s going to go well, but it’s turned out to be a little more difficult than thought,” he says.

Andersen added that even while cloud providers can generally provide better service to customers than they can in their own environment, and Service Level Agreement (SLAs) are strict, customers may still have concerns. Assuming customers aren’t oversold in the first place, cloud automation can help customers make better use of resources, including efficiency.

Ten years ago, customers worried about losing control of their resources and were more concerned about security in the cloud. Today, there is more acceptance that a third party can do the job better, he says.

However, customers often want more agility and the ability to move from one cloud to another almost independently—partly for future-proofing reasons, including a cloud-native The service they want in the future from a different provider.

Many may still be stuck in the earlier stages of cloud implementation rather than helping customers realize the full long-term benefits, he adds.

“There’s still a very strong play for independent software vendors to provide multicloud capabilities,” Anderson said, noting that customers need guidance on migration and beyond, how to think about their processes and toolsets, and how to migrate and re-architect or redeploy. – Factor application.

Classic IT change management – ​​covering business processes, people, tool chains and more – followed by ongoing, proactive management, recommendations and optimisation, with observability, critical – not just to land and move customers, but to nurture and sustain highs. dimension Customer experience and satisfaction. Cloud transformation, Anderson adds, is about changing “fundamentals.”

“For me the opportunity from a customer experience perspective is how do you give visibility, how do you give recommendations, because there’s this huge set of choices. If you go to different cloud service providers, how do you navigate those choices?” Anderson said.

Silos hinder movement

Benjamin Brial, founder and CEO of Cycloid, a DevOps-focused hybrid cloud platform provider, points out that even large well-resourced enterprises can be locked down in ways that mean innovation and expected transformations from the cloud may not go where they need to.

“The cloud continues to change, and customers want to ‘get the job done’ but don’t know how to achieve it. It can be a mess,” says Brial. “When we talk about devops and the cloud, really fast services are needed.”

Central to Cycloid’s approach is a provision self service Portal to act as a “single source of truth,” an interface that spans traditional infrastructure and various cloud offerings, can “democratize DevOps” and reduce complexity from the customer’s perspective.

Brial says frustrated customers often don’t have the time, interest or resources to develop the solution, let alone develop their team. Having dev on one side, ops on the other, and building their own DevOps team as a center of excellence that can solve cloud silos, tools and automation issues and not result in lock-in is often a step away. At the same time, they speed up cloud service delivery. Few are satisfied, Brial says.

He noted that most GitHub developers are only using 5% of the View repository and are navigating between three and five repositories out of the gate. At the same time, portals are expensive to develop and maintain—not least because cloud tools continue to evolve at speed.

“Skills often don’t exist or your top talent, but you don’t have 2,500 ‘top talents.’ Even at the enterprise layer, you may not have time to ramp up the infrastructure — or more, the average 29 tools in the Kubernetes world,” Brial said.

Jonathan Bradley, business and practice leader at public-sector cloud solutions provider Granicus Experience Group (GXG) UK, points out that technology alone cannot solve all customer-experience problems.

Covid-19 has accelerated online services with the resulting “experience debt” across cloud services — for example, when something that was a bad service offline was simply recreated as an equally bad online service, he says.

“Our customers are going back on it and trying to clean up some things that were rushed because of Covid. others’Digital Maturity Maze’, where they’re asking where to go next,” Bradley said.

Customers increasingly want to be sure they are realizing all the benefits from their cloud solutions, including promised efficiency gains, cost savings, employment management benefits, employee morale and more.

Human-centered aid

A focus on more human-centric cloud strategies, designed around customers and their experiences, is critical, including accessibility and digital inclusion strategies that recognize that some people prefer to fill out forms on laptops or mobile devices, or call or attend. likes Chat, for example.

Bradley points out that low- or no-code solutions can help customers innovate and improve their experience – whether the digital service in question is about enabling residents to request new waste bins, engage with their communications or manage online feedback, or a service that which improves healthcare. Providing services.

design thinking Strategic blueprints and roadmaps to success can and should inform customer journey analysis to fill in the gaps and ensure the cloud transformation customers have been anticipating, or at least identify any potential pitfalls.

“Digital leaders have an ambition and a vision for how they transform services, but more people need to be taken with them,” Bradley said.

Customers who feel more involved and can more easily talk to their own users can better understand pain points, help build processes, and even take over a service in the cloud. This can help move away from the classic situation where a cloud service is implemented, but end users seem resistant to change, Bradley said.

Cloud providers will benefit from better monitoring and analysis of what is happening at the customer end. Sourcing feedback and collecting data on what users are actually doing on a platform, including whether transactions are completed, can be important.

“One bit of our kit is called Engagement HQ. This gives us a lot of people to talk to about their opinions – those who complete the survey, can continue; Those who just want to make a comment about the concept, they can; People can fill out a quick opinion survey. It’s about multi- or omni-channel, and we provide customers with all kinds of dashboards,” says Bradley.

GXC is building a Google-type government experience cloud. Ideally, when a user visits a website or logs into a portal, they should be recognized and reconciled with the data already held by the service. Of course, this means that customers have to be happy to share their data with trusted service providers, he adds, but it all helps create a “membership circle.”

“Apply design thinking And there’s a heavy discovery-and-planning base, which asks about customers and segments. Then it’s about listening and actually building processes and platforms based on those people, using data to manage and optimize processes,” Bradley said. “Think about building things so customers can do something right the first time.”

Architect for innovation

Maynard Williams, UK and Ireland managing director of digital transformation consultancy Accenture Technologies, highlighted that “architecture “good” remains important, yet is sometimes “almost forgotten” when organizations adopt pieces of solutions from the cloud.

“The value of the architecture hasn’t gone away because the cloud providers give us so much potential to get so much of the stack from them,” Williams said.

He agrees that there is room for more innovation, and more specific innovation, from cloud providers.

Cloud consumers want more features and functions, but the trade-off is complexity that must be managed and understood.

While many cloud providers are doing a good job, especially at the intersection of enterprise and hyperscale, the full innovation from a vision for the cloud is not always realized at the customer end. His prescription is to support a culture focused on cloud operating models and agility Where change can happen very quickly across an organization.

“What we’re really talking about is how to consume multiple clouds and make them work together. If your customer is taking the cloud and using it in exactly the same way as when they had a very traditional piece of it, they’re probably not getting the benefits,” Williams said.

“For example, I expect 24/7 ability to engage with my customers, but I don’t have to worry about whether I’m on Azure or Amazon Web Services.”

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