Cloud systems are getting big these days, with numerous established and emerging platforms out there in the market offering their solutions. Did you know that in their choice of a cloud platform, potential customers follow just one simple, yet incredibly important criterion?

Let’s step back a bit and look at the beginnings of cloud systems. At first, there were just a couple of cloud platforms with varying functionality, and people just picked one that best suited their needs from technical point of view. The selection process was rather simple, based on a brief list of requirements, and whether or not a platform met these requirements was the defining factor in the decision-making process.

After cloud platforms have proven their benefits for various types of tasks, vendors went on to add new technical services. Newly emerging cloud platform vendors already knew the list of desired technical requirements and were able to build highly competitive products. With less difference in technical parameters, cloud platforms could compete only in the price range.

To choose a cloud platform, potential customers were supposed to build a kind of math model, where technical requirements were multiplied by price, and, probably, by some reliability coefficient.

However, the number of advanced clients who could dig into the technical details of a cloud platform, or could afford to hire a cloud solutions architect to do this for them, started to decrease dramatically. Mostly, because users of this type had already migrated to cloud.

As of recent, cloud platforms have to compete for less technically savant and much lazier customers who do not want or need to understand the technical details of each service – and for a good reason. Even package solutions, for instance “Secured Access, VM, Compute, Storage and Backup”, do not simplify the selection process, since various vendors provide fairly similar packages that do not have clear-cut benefits as compared to other vendors.

This is where we return to the question we posed earlier: What is the one simple, yet incredibly important criterion that potential customers use to choose from the variety of cloud platforms?

The answer is – simplicity of use. Every competitive cloud platform should provide services and features that simplify client’s solution implementation and delivery to market.

Very often, the choice of a cloud platform depends on trivial things – several additional services and features could be a game changer. Automatic image or voice processing tools, Big Data processing tools, IoT “install and run” solutions, data backup and restore, built-in loggers, a convenient and user-friendly interface – these and many other services could prove invaluable to certain types of customers. At this point, the defining factor is not the price, but convenience of use for a specific need or solution.

Conclusion

Technical characteristics of cloud systems and platforms are more or less the same from vendor to vendor. The only way to differentiate and attract more customers is to provide more tailored packages, with features and services that speed up customer solution’s delivery to market.