Tuning in to the real pain of customers

In my product management and marketing experience, I discovered that I carry a deep bias about our product capabilities and why it’s special — before a launch. On a whiteboard, in a spec, or in a usability lab, our product can and will change the world. Post-launch, when customers get their hands on our product, magical things happen. Intended use cases become irrelevant. Intended benefits change. Intended value changes.

Over the past weeks, I’ve had the privilege of talking to many of our customers and prospects. They educated and helped me reframe the value we deliver to our customers.

Real pain

Much has been written about the DevOps revolution, driven by applications moving to the cloud, mobile computing, and the business need to compete. The journey to an agile build-test-release cycle is real, and it’s hard. It’s hard for customers who are cloud-born, and it’s even harder for traditional operations and development teams. Listening to our enterprise customers who are several years into their  transformation, I heard a lot about the explosion of technologies and the cultural challenge. The pain of the change is more excruciating than I realized. One large customer told me that two years ago, he (VP of Cloud Operations) and his team couldn’t stand to be in the same room as the development team. Today, they’re collaborating to the point where they now sit together.

Demanding developers

Secondly, developers are more demanding. Again, it seems obvious, but hearing firsthand how hard it is to empower developers brings it home. Developers want and require more agile build, release and deployment capabilities, but they don’t want to be infrastructure experts. Enterprises are beginning to offer self-service to their private and public clouds so that developers can have autonomous access to environments and resources. A leading biotech customer told me that he can’t dictate policies and processes anymore, that he needs the researchers and scientists to adopt and embrace what the DevOps team is providing. Finding the appropriate balance between freedom and speed along with control is a common challenge across the board for our customers.

Delivering value

At ElasticBox, we talk a lot about the technology and cultural shift in enterprise DevOps teams, and how we can enable greater collaboration by being at the nexus of the transformation. That is what we ultimately deliver to our customers: a new way to deliver applications to the cloud that’s better, faster and more efficient.

It’s a big promise, and we’re excited to fulfill it. Today, we deliver the foundational tools for self-service provisioning, service catalogs and continuous integration and delivery — wrapped with a flexible box architecture that’s reusable and agnostic to the underlying infrastructure and deployment tools. We approach the problem from a developer mindset to drive speed and autonomy, and at the same time, provide the policies and reporting to ensure scale. We’re hungry to continue learning from you, so check us out and let us know how we can help.

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Categories: Cloud Application Management, Cloud Computing, DevOps, ElasticBox
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