Provide a simple portal where organisations can allow their employees to request VMs on their subscription at the click of a button
Azure is intimidating to non-technical people, but the potential for organisations to use it to host their employees computers is huge. They would no longer have to worry about buying hardware for their employees, dealing with it's depreciation or end of life disposal. At the same time, employees could then request a powerful VM from this Lite Portal in one click of a button for their work from their tablet, phone or laptop without needing to worry about the technical or financial complexity that currently exists with getting a VM on Azure.
Can you share a few more details on what you are thinking about here? Just a more simple version of the portal?
I would personally downvote on this. 1- IT should be IT's responsibility. Large organizations should hire a number of IT staff people sufficient to manage employees' IT needs. If any employee was able to deploy his/her own cloud machines at the maximum performance level the business would ran out of money within days. 2- Azure APIs offer OAuth backed functionality, so enterprise IT can develop their own internal portal that serves individual requests enforcing company policies and avoiding people to mess up with Management portal.
With no great (but not even little) effort IT can develop a secure and efficient self-provisioning solution, where for example developers in a software company can request, with their manager's approval, cloud resources for UAT deployments, stress and scalability testing, etc. with the great flexibility of cloud.
Conor Kelly commented
Sure. Say an organisation wants to use Azure VMs to replace machines-under-desks for their employees. Those employees would currently need to all be co-admins of the organisation's subscription to create or administer their own VMs. That isn't scalable for a large organisation, and would also mean any employee could accidently damage another employee's VM. This proposal is to allow the delegation of certain permissions to people who are not co-admins on a subscription, so they can use the Azure Portal (or a sub portal) to create and administer a subset of a subscription's services. Such granular permissions is available in AWS and fulfils this scenario - where an organisation wishes to allow many people to use one subscription to create and administer their own services, without needing to be a co-admin with access to everything on that subscription : http://docs.aws.amazon.com/IAM/latest/UserGuide/PermissionsOverview.html