Self-Service Cloud: Understanding Why It Matters
Self service portals are becoming the order of the day in many industries. Businesses are recognizing the value of a reliable and dedicated self-service cloud portal. These portals provide customers with instant access to information and tools that would have otherwise required the intervention of a customer service representative. This saves both time and money for the business and the customer. The trend is the same in most industries, including cloud computing.
This refers to the service provided by cloud computing vendors. This service allows for the provision of cloud resources on demand. The users access cloud services from an online portal. Here, they can scale the required infrastructure to the desired level without disrupting the host operations.
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the self-service cloud is:
“A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.”
In short, it is a private cloud where a customer can launch applications and provision storage without the involvement of the service provider. The request process and fulfillment are all automated.
How the Self-Service Cloud Benefits the Cloud Provider
The setup of self-service cloud implementations can be problematic. But they’re definitely worth the time and effort for cloud providers. Here’s why.
Reduces the Administrative Burden
These portals free up administrators from having to manage day-to-day activities, such as user requests. This allows IT staff to focus on more productive activities.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
A self-service cloud portal is basically like providing 24/7 customer support without the friction involved in customer support calls. This gives the cloud provider a competitive edge in the market.
Reduction in Customer Service Costs
These portals also reduce the need for personnel. The cloud provider no longer needs to recruit a large team of professionals. This team would normally have helped customers with troubleshooting and the manual setup of their cloud deployments.
How the Self-Service Cloud Benefits Users
The self-service cloud provides users with a host of opportunities that are not available with traditional IT deployments. These benefits have a ripple effect that’s felt across the organization. This not only helps improve performance and efficiency, but it also unlocks new services and makes the enterprise more competitive. Here are some of the benefits.
Speed and Simplicity
The self-service cloud allows knowledge workers to do in a matter of hours what once took weeks or even months. In legacy systems, resources had to go to IT. IT professionals would conduct a needs assessment, devise a solution, and, then, engage in a development process. This process took too long. Depending on the complexity of the request, it could take up to a year. This is untenable in a fast-moving digital world.
Streamline IT Infrastructure and Operations
Other than allowing users to provision their resources, self-service platforms also create a streamlined user experience. With effective automation and orchestration in place, management overheads come down. Administrators are also freed up to focus on high-value tasks, such as managing system architecture. Enterprises can also lower infrastructure costs by moving the provisioning platform to the cloud.
With the self-service model, users can provision resources almost instantly and at the required scale. They can do this without necessarily having specialized training. Processes are simple and efficient, and they run with minimal friction.
Time to Value
When enterprises think of time to value, they’re usually thinking about speeding up project delivery. A self-service model is perfect for this. It speeds up projects and greatly reduces staffing and training costs. Recruitment becomes a much easier process since there’s no longer a need for highly specialized skills. Training takes a much shorter time and is less expensive. As enterprises grow and transform how they consume IT services, they tend to transfer human resource capital toward higher-value projects. These projects include AI and data analytics.
Agility and Innovativeness
When organizations opt for a self-service cloud, they realize a new level of agility and innovation. It opens up new opportunities because staff members are no longer tied down by mundane tasks. On the whole, development teams have a lot of boundaries and restrictions that the self-service cloud doesn’t. The enterprise can innovate, scale, and iterate with speed.
Enhances Customer and Partner Relationships
Emerging cloud platforms are making tools, such as file sharing, user-to-employee and user-to-user collaboration, and social media apps, part of the package. Usually, this means that a single portal can engage users in a myriad of ways. This helps increase user satisfaction since problem resolution is more engaging and efficient. Users also get to receive services when and how they want.
Self-Service Cloud Provides the Competitive Edge
When an enterprise has all the qualities detailed above, it becomes more competitive in the marketplace. As a result, it can deliver new products and take advantage of opportunities in the market much faster. The enterprise is also able to take on more risk since it costs less to do so. This can help spur growth.
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