Digital transformation is now a must for the success of businesses. Cloud is a piece of this puzzle with business model generation via the convergence of technology and organizational restructuring to support new paradigms. How can companies incorporate cloud methods in building noteworthy products? Fmr Oracle Product Lead Sarbjeet Johal shares his experiences in the field for planning, building, and marketing cloud products.

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On cloud on the surface

The cloud is accessible to the whole world. In theory, a person in a rural portion of the world has just as much access as someone in a big metropolitan area. Sarbjeet says it comes down to internet connection, which sets the resource pool to infinite levels. 

With the cloud, “you don’t have to have all the money upfront to spend to rack and stack servers and hire people in your operations,” Sarbjeet says. As a result, you can start free and “as it succeeds, you can scale it up based on your needs.”

The cloud has advantages in agility and speed. “Cloud has changed the way we plan, build, market, and support our products,” Sarbjeet says.

On the ‘micro-consumption’ in the age of cloud

We live in an age of “micro-consumption”, according to Sarbjeet.

“There’s so much thrown at us, as people individually and as companies. The pace of change has picked up. We are cooking up a lot of stuff. All these vendors are throwing stuff at us to consume the technology in a meaningful way, and we have to bring in technology in smaller chunks,” he says.

In the traditional system, it could take 18 months to simply build a product. Today, companies are releasing updates and features quickly, and the user base adapts to it on the fly. There is a way for digital-first companies to capitalize here.

“When you’re building products, you got to keep in mind that you want to be able to build in smaller increments.”

On the price of the cloud

Part of a product manager’s job is to build the case for the product, Sarbjeet says. They need to sell the idea of the product and that it’s worthy of being built. This takes money. 

There is something called the economics of software creation and operation, he says. The first part is key because it involved hiring a developer (or a few) to create your product. Then, that main cost is coupled with infrastructure, which helps with maintenance. 

In the age of cloud, the cost of infrastructure has gone down, which is helpful for making budget decisions.

“You just spend the bare minimum, if you’re a startup, you start with zero because you have credits from these CSPs [Cloud Service Providers],” Sarbjeet says. “If you’re already established company, even then you start small. If the product is taking off, if people are using it, only then you will use more resources, you will use more compute, you will use more storage.”

About the speaker
Sarbjeet Johal Oracle, Product Leader Contributor
About the host
Maheep Bhalla AT&T, Product Management Lead

Maheep is a customer-focused Product Leader. He believes that a Product Manager wears multiple hats but should always champion the voice of the customer.

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