New report says deep organizational issues are hampering iCloud progress

icloud photo stream

A new report is out today claiming that Apple’s iCloud ambitions are being stymied by a wealth of organizational issues. Jessica Lessin of The Information spoke with roughly a dozen current and former Apple employees, who say these issues are holding up releases and complicating products.

Lessin uses the work-in-progress iCloud photo project—codenamed Hyperion—as an example. First unveiled in 2011, Steve Jobs’ vision for seamless photo-syncing has yet to be fully realized. iCloud Photo Library is a step in the right direction, but it missed the initial iOS 8 release and is still in beta.

Employees familiar with the project say the lack of progress is a result of Apple’s internal structure. There’s no project manager overseeing the development of iCloud Photo Library, and perhaps even worse, the company doesn’t have a centralized, dedicated team working on core cloud infrastructure.

Software engineers at Apple are expected to build “nearly everything on their own,” says one of Lessin’s sources. Another noted that while the Cupertino firm has taken some steps to build some common cloud technology, it’s “moving slowly in part because it’s used to projects residing in isolated teams.”

Apple has long been praised for its ability to make beautiful hardware and software work together, but I don’t think anyone would argue that its cloud services have been lacking (see MobileMe). Hopefully its recent acquisition of cloud startup Union Bay Networks, among other things, will help change that.

[The Information]