Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

How cloud is changing product management

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Guest post by Mauricio Prinzlau

A product manager is generally considered to be leading the product, as if the product were a business by itself. The product manager holds responsibility for various aspects related to product management, including developing roadmaps and strategy, and coming up with feature definition for the product. The position may also include responsibilities for forecasting, marketing, profit and loss responsibilities. At its core, product management takes care of the entire gamut of activities related to managing requirements, gathering user feedback and making enhancements for a product.

Product management is a critical function due to the need to rapidly implement product features and refine them based on feedback. There are several ways in which the advent of the cloud is changing product management. According to research by Berkaweb, Cloud hosting is expected to grow by 18.3% a year on average over the coming years.


Better control of pricing

One of the biggest advantages with tapping the cloud is that management of pricing becomes easier. The key advantage of hosting an application on the cloud is that various levels of access can be provided at affordable rates. For instance, consider that the Salesforce CRM application can be enabled with one set of features for enterprise customers, and with a smaller set of features for small business customers. This is applicable to any product application hosted from the cloud.

Convenient provisioning

Flexible capacity provisioning is one of the selling points for Cloud based software. Product software by nature needs highly dependable server infrastructure. The infrastructure needs to have multiple backups and failover servers in order to ensure that client usage of the product can continue uninterrupted. Not only that, you need to have the ability to provision storage on demand and also have advanced storage management. Cloud based software comes with all these capabilities and much more.

Needless to say, products used to be managed well even with onsite servers in the pre cloud era and many of them continue to be. But the arrival of the cloud has brought in a remote delivery approach that beautifully dovetails with the needs of product management.

Security aspects

Security aspects are paramount to product management. Cloud based applications are managed extremely well with regard to security. There are multiple aspects to product and application security. The first aspect is that the product’s software and data are maintained in a site which is physically secure and manned by personnel who specialize in security. Given that most of the accesses would occur through the network, on location accesses are minimal and be confined to only permitted admin access.

Convenience of integration, deployment and upgrade

With cloud based product hosting, product managers get an amazing amount of convenience with regards to software integration, deployment and upgrades. A product’s development life cycle is typically carried out in an Agile model. In an agile model, multiple iterations of deployment and upgrades can be carried out. Hosting the product on the cloud ensures that these deployments happen with high rigor, minimal error and comprehensive analysis of dependencies.

Scope of product management is increasing

With the arrival of the cloud, the scope of product management has increased enormously. Traditionally, product management responsibilities used to end once the code moved out of QA. However, with the arrival of the cloud, product managers are now required to manage product related activities until production deployment and beyond. This requires product managers to coordinate with newer teams such as DevOps and operations.

Mauricio Prinzlau is the lead Cloud expert at Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud storage, online backup and VPN apps and services. In addition, He also loves producing educational videos and reviews to help people get the best services of their needs. Get in touch with him on LinkedIn.  

The Product Management Perspective: see above…

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