One of the benefits you get when you work with cloud applications is that you often have quarterly updates that are packed with features. This gives your organization an edge as you can finally keep up and give your customers the features they want. Through these cloud-based innovations, you’ll avoid getting left behind by the competition.
But you will need to plan accordingly so that you can take full advantage of the updates and innovations. Quarterly updates give your users new tools that make their lives even easier. It can come in a simplified user interface, or features that can help reduce their workloads by taking away routine and repetitive tasks.
How should you manage quarterly updates? It’s so simple that you only need four steps to be successful in your cloud-based innovations.
When you already have a cloud-based app, then chances are, you are already helping your users and making their jobs a whole lot easier.
However, both sides of the business should come together to find new features that will make your apps easier to use. You should also prioritize features that improve user experience. Furthermore, check if you can add features that increases productivity.
New features just don’t happen on their own. IT should collaborate with the business side to plan the introduction and adoption of new cloud-based innovations. It should be clear when it should go live and what changes will it bring about to the operation. If it changes the user experience for the better, what are going to be the results?
All of these should be clear during the planning stage. What’s more, make it a point to communicate these expected changes to the affected users and teams.
Some features might look good on paper, but it can prove to be a pain when it’s already implemented. Others may need to be fine-tuned to make it extra useful to users.
This is why you should put new features under the microscope before you roll it out. Regression testing, for one, will discover if your new code will screw up the existing features of your app.
You should also conduct user acceptance testing to see if everything is okay for them before you put the new feature in a production environment.
In short, it is necessary to test so that you’d know that the new features and updates work as you have expected it to work and that everything runs smoothly.
4. Launching and ongoing monitoring
After you’re sure that the new cloud-based innovations work as they should, you can roll out the update so that it goes live. But your work doesn’t stop there. You will need to track user feedback and comments.
Taking note of user comments will help you know what improvements are needed, and to guarantee the success of the updates. What’s more, it will give you ideas on which future updates you should work on.
What Makes Cloud Updates Easier for You
Quarterly updates should add value to your cloud-based innovations and have your users come away with the feeling that you’ve improved on the product rather than messing it up midway. You now know the four steps on how to make it happen, but what are the things that would help bring it about?
In the past, IT worked separately from the business units. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that the only time IT and business interacts is when Annie from accounting has problems with her computer that she needs IT to fix.
That’s detrimental to coming up with useful quarterly updates. Both sides of the organization should be working together and share a common goal.
And it’s not just during the planning stages that IT and business should collaborate, but well after the new features have gone live to ensure that goals are achieved.
Manage updates with a streamlined process
You should have a clear and simple methodology when it comes to your updates. Have a clear system on how to review and adopt new features.
For instance, instead of having the business side do testing and then IT doing the same, you can just test using the important use cases before you go live.
Not every cloud feature needs to be announced
The thing with quarterly updates is that not every new feature should be highlighted as it goes live. Figure out which features your users will find exciting and put the spotlight on that.
Be as flexible as you can in your cloud-based innovations
While the goal is to release features that your users want, there is no sense in enabling these until it is fully ready. If not, you can just move the go-live date to the next quarterly update.
The thing with cloud apps is that it allows you to be agile so that your software evolves quickly, making it more competitive. Quarterly updates should be an exciting time for your users, not filled with frustration and confusion.
IT and business should work together to come up with the features needed, test these to ensure that it works properly, roll out the new features when the time is right, and communicate all that to the users.
All of these will allow you to avoid headaches that typically hound updates. All of these sounds easy to do, but most of the time, companies do not have techniques for upgrades that are well suited for the cloud. And most are left behind because of this. What’s gloomier is that they don’t get to take full advantage of the technologies they do have.
If developing on a cloud platform is a pain for you, call Four Cornerstone at +1 (817) 377-1144 and talk to us about getting a team of experienced cloud professionals that you can use for your app development and quarterly updates. This is an excellent way for you to get the processes and best practices in place to enable you to take full advantage of your cloud investments today.
Photo courtesy of Kay Kim.