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Everyone knows that cloud computing allows users to access information instantaneously and lifts the burden of continuous server maintenance, but there is another benefit that many have not thought about: the “living approach” to product development.
Through the living approach, cloud hosting providers develop system enhancements and upgrades based on communicated customer needs and are released to users as soon as they become available. This allows clients to receive new features faster than they would with a normal product development environment, and these features are more closely linked to their personal needs.
Inherently, the living environment fosters communication among users and potential customers, creating close relationships both amongst themselves and with the provider. Through online forums built directly into their software, users can request new necessary improvements that may not have been noticed by others. Once these improvements have been developed, cloud providers release them as soon as they possibly can, making their customers happy and talking about their company.
It is important to note, however, that allowing anyone and everyone to communicate their wishes and needs directly to the cloud hosting provider would be highly impractical. So, the company will enlist a small group of users with complementing interests to create a community that will be the voice for their customers.
With this type of situation, customers are notified as soon as updates become available, and are allowed to pick and choose which enhancements they wish to incorporate. In the long term, a living system approach helps companies to garner relationships with customers and spread the word about their services.