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Cloud Computing - Keep It Simple Stupid

One of the basic tenets of private cloud computing is keeping it simple for end users

End users like to live in a comfort zone. For many that means their work applications should resemble the ones they use at home or the ones on their mobile phones. These programs tend to be simple, consistent and easy to use. And more and more, end users are demanding the same simplicity they find in these consumer tools in the tools they use at work. What's an IT pro to do?

One of the basic tenets of private cloud computing is keeping it simple for end users. That means when they access your resource selection tool on the Web, users will find it as friendly to use as, say iTunes. If you look at how many tools have copied the Cover Flow view, you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about here.

For many IT pros, the end-user interface is an area you could easily place on the back burner. You're probably more comfortable building the back end. You feel sure of yourself setting up server farms and selecting cloud management software. And you certainly need to have all of your ducks in a row on the back end to have a successful cloud implementation, but when you are planning your private cloud, you have to keep that consumer orientation firmly in mind.

Why? The whole idea of a private cloud environment is to build a system in house that works in a similar fashion to those consumer sites you are most definitely going to be compared to. That means your resources portal has to just work and it has to work well, fast and consistently every time the user visits.

That's why it's important to keep that iTunes model in mind. Users know when they open iTunes, they can do a number of tasks and it pretty much works the same way every time. Yes, there are subtle changes from version to version (just as there will be with your sites as you upgrade, learn and make adjustments to the process), but overall users know what to expect each time and that should be the case with your system too.

More Stories By Benjamin Grubin

Benjamin Grubin is a 15-year veteran of the technology industry with experience in security, software engineering, marketing, consulting and management. He is the Director of Product Management & Marketing for Cloud Technology Partners, overseeing products that accelerate cloud development and migration. Mr. Grubin has worked with Fortune 100 companies to modernize their infrastructure and support next-generation management and security technologies. He is also a frequent presenter at conferences, seminars and panels on topics including cloud computing, IT service management, virtualization, and IT security.

Mr. Grubin holds an MBA from Harvard Business School as well as both a Master of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Economics and Computer Science from Tufts University. Follow Ben on Twitter at @bgrubin.

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