Cloud computing is reaching the stage of maturity. Across any vertical market and at varying degrees of uptake organisations are taking off to the cloud, whether for test and development, email, collaboration, sales automation, HR or more bespoke applications.
Just last week the Business IT Hub discussed the importance of CIOs addressing the customer end user experience when using a mobile device to procure from your organisation, cloud computing too must have a strong focus on end user experience in its implementation by CIO.
Cloud computing has much to offer organisations, but if the end user experience is poor, take up will be poor and the technology could fail to deliver the opportunities it offers. Sadly there are already reports from some vertical markets of cloud technology taking their IT experience backwards.
The legal sector has in the last decade become an advanced technology user and early adopter, shaking off its dusty and fusty perceptions. Yet there have been a number of cloud adoptions by major law firms that have not delivered a good end user experience and have damaged the perception of this technology.
But the Business IT hub has heard from the legal sector that cloud computing is slow, way too slow and the front line workers of legal organisations with cloud see no advantage what so ever. Productivity had fallen because of the load times for applications was akin to a day spent on the M1 - a frustrating standstill.
Before cloud computing thin clients were going to revolutionise the user experience, drastically cut costs and make the CIO's life a whole lot better. Two new CIOs at very major organisations won instant user support by ripping thin client systems out and giving users the power and instant access to the applications they needed to run the logistics and government departments they worked for.
For every nightmare story there is a sweet dream and there are utilities companies and retailers who have seen great savings from a move to a thin client environment. In the cloud, there are almost no reports that Salesforce.com adoption was a strategic mistake and similar vanilla cloud systems for HR are receiving positive feedback.
What the above complaint highlights is the importance of the user experience. The focus on the user experience is imperative, because unhappy users look for someone to blame and if they are using their energy in a blame game, productivity diminishes. They look to blame the CIO.
CIOs and their C-level peers need to be transparent with the user base on what the business benefits are and how the savings it makes will be ploughed back into the organisation to the benefit of the user and an increase in usability.