Companies spend billions of dollars on cloud solutions, but it is not easy to see how much of that is wasted because of poor planning, flawed execution, ineffective oversight, internal fighting, or any number of obstacles. Having strong control over cloud spend is vital to prevent wasted resources and revenues. Moreover, it needs to be an on-going issue to prevent things from getting out of hand. The best way to curb cloud spending is by using a combination of technology, practices, and operations.

There are 5 ways that companies can reduce cloud spending including search for hidden costs, monitor workload needs, reduce waste, prepare for change, and understand current spending on cloud solutions.

 

 

Find Hidden Costs

Wasted money can happen in many different ways in the cloud. It may not be evident at first glance, which is why you’ll need to dig a little deeper to identify hidden costs on cloud spending. Look for unused resources such as storage space or other features. It is also good practice to cycle application environments, including development and testing parts if they are not in current use. Many companies can find themselves paying for oversized resources that they don’t need. Investigate costly practices like leaving VMs on or making non-production resources available even when these things are not needed. To see the cost-savings when it comes to the cloud, optimize by making good use of the auto-scaling and on-demand practice of the space.

 

 

Monitor Workload Needs

Reigning in cloud spending involves constantly monitoring workload needs. It is important to assess workloads and applications and make adjustments that include both current and future requirements. Getting the bigger picture of your company’s cloud activity can help you make the best decisions about optimization and spending.

 

If your organization has multi-cloud solutions it can be difficult to monitor each cloud space. Consider using automated cloud monitoring and management tools to uncover possible waste in your cloud computing solutions.

 

Another way to stay on top of cloud spending is to regularly do finance and software development reviews. These can be manual reviews or automated reports that are designed to provide accurate data that is key to making fast and effective decisions.

 

You should also use a monitoring tool that can identify unusual activity in your cloud space. These tools can help find waste, which you can quickly resolve.  

 

 

Reduce Waste from Haste

Moving into the cloud can deliver long-term value but it needs to be done carefully and with planning. Unfortunately, if cloud adoption happens without a strategy it can often lead to waste. Many organizations that quickly moved into the cloud in response to COVID-19 have started to regret their haste.

 

Rather, to make the most of cloud solutions for your business, you need to have some planning, which includes a consideration of the time it will take to transition and train people for new procedures and policies.

 

 

Anticipate Change

Organizations need to understand that a cloud strategy will change and evolve. Whether that is through SaaS additions, new cloud-native services, or other developments, it is best to prepare for a dynamic experience. To meet this challenge, develop an integrated strategy that brings together cloud governance, operations, and spending.

 

Cloud spending will not stay static. By design, the cloud environment can easily fluctuate to accommodate changing needs and demands. Therefore, businesses need to accept that cloud spending budgets will change over time depending on future needs and trends.

 

 

Understand Cloud Spend

Visibility and transparency are essential to understand cloud spending and resource usage. Governance can be a big part of creating this understanding. You’ll need to know what is being spent on cloud sub-accounts, so you have a full picture of your company’s cloud costs.

 

Gather the cost data from the top-level down to each microservice and database costs. Keep in mind that changes at these smaller levels can put you on the track to cloud optimization. If you attempt to tackle cloud spending issues from the top-down, you’ll find the prescription won’t be sustainable.

 

Examine cloud costs and how it fits into your business operating costs. Set goals and aim for ongoing improvement. Taking this approach will make you more willing and able to adopt technological advancements that can help you save money and run effective teams in the cloud.

 

 

As cloud spending continues to increase, companies will need to gain control over wasted resources and revenues. Five ways that companies can reduce cloud spending include finding hidden costs, monitoring workload needs, reducing waste, anticipating change, and understand current spending on cloud solutions. Controlling what you spend on cloud computing can help you optimize your cloud usage while still benefiting from the solutions.

Cloud migration is not just the trendy thing to do, it is also the most practical and cost-efficient solution for your organization. Statistics show that 90 percent of companies have some of their apps in the cloud. Moreover, researchers believe that 60 percent of workloads are already being done in the cloud. The industry continues to grow and has been predicted to earn $952 billion this year. 

There can be several reasons that an organization opts for cloud migration. Regardless of the reasons for your decision, there are several benefits to migrating including:

  • Faster deployment – you will be able to access your apps and services quickly
  • Security – cloud providers offer you an extra level of protection against unwanted access to your data
  • Monitoring – your apps will be regularly monitored by your provider, which can notify you if there are any issues or problems. 
  • Automatic backup – ensuring that you don’t lose any valuable information
  • Flexibility – the cloud can be accessed anytime, anywhere, which gives your employees the freedom to work while they are away from the office
  • Collaboration – because of its flexibility, the cloud offers teams more opportunity for collaboration as they can all access the data or information quickly
  • Cost – having your apps in the cloud is a cost-saver for your organization. You will not have to buy expensive hardware and software to use on-premises. 
  • Scalable – with the cloud you can scale up or down, depending on the resources you need.

 

If you are looking to migrate to the cloud there are three strategies to you’ll have to choose from that will guide the process. These include the lift and shift migration approach, the technical migration and the application migration. 

 

 

Lift and Shift Migration

The lift and shift approach is the most common one that organizations use as they move into the cloud. In this scenario, it is usually just your IT staff that is involved. Most of your employees will not be involved in this strategy. 

 

How lift and shift is done is by transferring an application from the current hosting situation and moving it to another hosting situation. In other words, lifting it from its current server and shifting it to a cloud server. These types of migrations involve moving the three layers, application, database and OS layer. It is also called rehosting because it moves your current app to a new host without making significant changes. It is usually the most affordable cloud migration option and has the added bonus of being minimally disruptive. 

 

Additional benefits of using the lift and shift approach are increased flexibility for the organization’s process and a more streamlined shift to the cloud in the future. 

 

The lift and shift approach is ideal for more conservative organizations that are not ready or comfortable to move into the cloud in a quick fashion. Rather, it allows you the ability to become familiar with the new operating environment until you are ready to take things a step further. 

 

With this approach, the organization is not fully engaging with the cloud. It is more like trying it out. Rather, only a small amount of data is being stored in the cloud. That means you’ll be missing out on several benefits that come with using the cloud. 

 

 

Technical Migration

A technical migration is where the application does not change environments but the operating system and database are upgraded to the cloud. This approach is useful for organizations that want to take advantage of cloud features like scalability or automation. It can also offer other benefits to a company such as increased performance. 

 

Using the technical migration approach is another way that companies can start to prepare for future migration of the application. In this way, the organization can reduce the level of disruption the change will have. It also allows employees to get some exposure to the cloud, which will help build their experience and aptitude with the environment. 

 

 

Application Migration

Organizations that want to move most of their work into the cloud use application migration. In this approach, all three layers; the application, OS and database are changed. Most often, it will be your most utilized apps that are moved into the cloud to begin with. There are usually three steps involved in the application migration process. They are:

  • New System Implementation – basically, this implies a starting over where your data is maintained during the transfer. However, you’ll either need to hire a developer to rebuild your application for use in the cloud or opt for an off-the-shelf solution. 
  • System Conversion – in this way the application layer, OS and database are transferred to the cloud. It may involve a change to the landscape but you’ll experience more automation opportunities. It will also mean some of your staff will need to acquire new skills to be able to use the cloud. This type of migration should only be done once you have a good plan in place to adjust to the change and minimize disruption. 
  • Landscape Transformation – this involves a system conversion that also adjusts your landscape structure. If done right it can maximize transformation and keep costs low with a single upgrade. 

 

 

Successful Cloud Migration

Migrating your apps to the cloud can be one of the best decision for any organization. With nearly all companies using the cloud in some shape or another it is easy to see what the advantages are including

  • Faster access to your apps
  • Data security
  • Collaboration
  • Reduced cost
  • Scalable solution

 

Whatever reasons your organization has for cloud migration, there are three strategies you can use for the process. These include lift and shift migration approach, technical migration and application migration. How you migrate will depend on your goals and company culture. 

 

If you are ready to up your cloud migration game, we’re happy to help. Contact us today for a free consultation

Most organizations strive for more innovation, productivity and ultimately, customer satisfaction. 

 

Research has found that some of the highest performing organizations were companies that have adopted DevOps in the cloud. Through a DevOps approach, many companies have found a way to mix their processes, technology and employees in a positive and collaborative way. 

 

DevOps is used to describe the practices and tools that an organization uses that enables them to offer value to customers. This includes your organization’s employees, technology and processes. The word is a combination of development and operations. Essentially it is a new way of approaching work that is believed to bring about better innovation and productivity. DevOps is an approach that seeks to transform the culture of your workplace.  

 

Some of the benefits of DevOps include:

  • Efficiency through automation – DevOps looks for automated tools that can help organizations reach their goals in less time and with less expense. 
  • Company optimization – it can improve the whole company by ushering in a culture that is more data-driven, adaptive and better at responding to consumer needs and wants. 
  • Speed – researchers at Google have found that DevOps companies are able to develop and deploy software quicker. In turn, this leads to higher productivity, profits and customer satisfaction. 
  • Enhanced company culture – the DevOps approach requires that an organization’s people become the center focus. Teams become more connected and communication is improved. This leads to more trust, which results in a more innovative and experimental approach to projects. With DevOps, teams and employees become more community-minded and less orientated towards individual goals. 

 

There are a few steps that you’ll need to take to bring DevOps to your organization. These include prioritizing training, automated performance testing and moving security beyond the cloud. 

 

 

Prioritize DevOps Training

DevOps is more than just adding new software solutions, it involves a cultural shift at your organization. To help employees adapt, extensive training will be needed to bring about the transformation of your workforce. The new culture at your organization will need to be open to collaboration and automation, as these are key to the DevOps approach.  

 

Essentially, with the DevOps methodology, your team that is involved in developing your product works closely with those involved in maintaining or the operation side of the product. This collaboration will require that each section of your organization adapt their approaches so they work together effectively. 

 

Some of the ways that you can help your employees get up-to-speed with DevOps methodology include:

  • External training – your organization could encourage employees to attend external training programs by paying any tuition fees involved. Consider it an investment in your organization’s future. 
  • Online certification – there are a variety of online platforms that offer DevOps training. This could be an option for employees who are motivated and responsible enough to learn on their own. 
  • Internal workshops – hiring DevOps professionals to hold internal workshops for your staff is another way that you can boost the skills of your talent and transform your organization. 
  • Mentorships – a mentoring program can also be a good way to transition your workforce from a traditional IT mentality to a DevOps approach. While mentoring has usually paired a more senior employee with a younger or new hire, reverse mentoring can be beneficial for your employees who don’t have a solid foundation in technology. 
  • Peer-to-peer learning – because the DevOps methodology prioritizes community and team connectedness, peer-to-peer learning is an ideal fit. In this way, your employees can learn from one another, which can further help you develop a collaborative culture. 

 

 

Implement Automated Performance Testing

Many organizations have already automated their functionality testing, but it is important to also automate your performance testing. This can help you be confident in the product you are developing. 

 

There are a number of benefits that can be derived from automating your performance testing. These include:

  • Effective – automating your testing means you don’t have to invest a significant amount of time and energy into the process. Consider the added benefit of being able to run more tests in less time if you use automated performance testing. 
  • Cost – even though automating may require some financial costs in the beginning, in the long run, it will be a more cost-efficient way of testing. It is also important to note that there are often fewer upfront costs if you use the cloud. 
  • Transparency – building on the collaboration that DevOps brings to the workforce, automated performance testing offers transparency for your teams. This can help all your employees become more productive and efficient in their positions. 
  • Quality – with automated performance testing, you can broaden the scope of the testing, which helps you develop a quality product. Automated testing also gives you the ability to run thousands of complex tests, which is something that manual testing does not offer. 

 

 

Extend Security Beyond The Cloud

The cloud plays a key role in DevOps because of its centralized nature. It is the ideal environment for testing and deployment. However, it is important to keep security at the front of your mind. It is best to have a security-minded approach before a breach occurs.  Don’t simply trust your cloud provider to be in charge of your security. Consider it a shared responsibility. 

 

Security should be a key part of any automated testing that you do, whether it is in the cloud or not. In addition, building security into continuous integration and continuous deployment process is essential, particularly if you move to a cloud-based platform. Remember that during the transition to the cloud you will need to add security to your DevOps tools and the organization as a whole. The best way to ensure this happens is to hire someone who is dedicated to monitoring security for your organization. 

 

For more ways of introducing DevOps methodology into your cloud space, contact Technossus today

As cloud computing continues to grow and become a practical solution for many organizations, the need for cloud optimization also increases. Statistics show that cloud computing is estimated to make up nearly 40 percent of total infrastructure IT spending. Moreover, the industry has been expected to be worth over $350 billion US by 2000. 

 

Many organizations move to the cloud because it offers a more cost-effective way to access software. Research by Gartner found that most businesses consider investing in the cloud as one of the top priorities. Companies that want to make the most of their investment in cloud solutions will need to maximize efficiency so they don’t overstretch their budgets. 

 

Efficiency in relation to the cloud usually means using the resources in the best or most optimized way so as to save on costs.  That translates as having the people and technology in the right places so that cloud computing costs are kept to a minimum. 

 

Getting the most from your cloud solutions as the best possible price is the ultimate goal for organizations. However, this requires investing some time and energy into cloud optimization. 

 

Researchers have predicted that cloud optimization will drive cloud adoption in the coming years. Having a process to identify unused or idle resources, scaling to your needs and knowing whether a multi-provider or single provider solution is best for your organization are some of the best ways to achieve cloud optimization and maximize efficiency. 

 

 

Identify Mismanaged Resources

A cloud optimization strategy should include removing any unused resources. Remember that when you move to the cloud, you pay upfront for the solution, whether you use it or not. This is best seen in cloud storage solutions as you pay for a specific amount of storage even if you don’t need it all. It is a good idea to investigate all the cloud apps you have to see if you are able to remove them or even reduce their size, leading to cost savings for your organization. 

 

Another good cloud optimization move is to identify and consolidate your idle resources. Sometimes organizations buy cloud solutions they expect to use at full capacity in the future. However, this can be a waste of money. If you are not using a cloud solution to its full capacity now, your organization is better off reducing its commitment. Keep in mind that most cloud applications are designed to be scaled up easily. So, if you find in the future that you do need that app after all it should be simple to bring it back. 

 

The key way to identify unused or idle resources is by using your provider analytics report. It is important to review the reports and data that your cloud provider sends you. Information about how your organization is using its cloud solution, as well as the costs involved should be made clear on its cloud analytics report. Without this information, it will be difficult to figure out how the cloud solution is being used and what benefits it has had for your organization.  

 

 

Scale to Your Needs

One of the advantages of using the cloud is that most solutions are scalable. That means you can adjust the app so it best fits your organization’s needs. However, this requires you to spend some time and effort defining your needs and looking at what different cloud providers offer. 

 

It is also important to regularly monitor your organization’s cloud usage. This will help you recognize if any changes need to be made. It can also give your company a good idea of its ROI for each cloud solution. This data is key to keeping your costs down. 

 

In the cloud computing world, the term right-sizing refers to the ability of the user to modify their cloud solutions so they are the most efficient size for the organization. While this sounds simple enough, it can be a challenge as there are millions of cloud computing options to select from. This is why it is important to know what your organization needs and to find a provider that is flexible. 

 

Using heatmaps to visually analyze your organization’s cloud usage is a good way to cultivate ideas about reducing your cloud commitment. Heatmaps can show you cloud computing traffic including peaks and valleys. With this information, you may be able to adjust your start and stop times, which can lead to cost savings. For example, you may discover that you could shut your servers down on the weekends.  

 

 

Choose Multi-Cloud or Single Cloud

Organizations looking to maximize efficiency with cloud optimization will need to decide if they want a multi-cloud or single cloud solution. 

 

Some researchers have suggested that multi-cloud solutions can help reduce the cost of cloud computing. By opting for a multi-cloud environment, organizations can avoid vendor lock-in, which is a situation that ties an organization to a specific cloud provider. Moving from these providers often presents a challenge including high cost, legal issues or technical problems. For some organizations, it is best to avoid becoming locked-in to a single cloud solution. 

 

On the other hand, organizations could be missing out on cost savings that come from a single cloud provider. While a multi-vendor approach can provide flexibility and cost savings, investing more money in a single cloud provider can bring volume discounts. Opting for a multi-cloud solution may also prohibit you from taking advantage of offers that are reserved for top spenders with a single provider. These are advantages that are worth considering as you search for the right cloud solution for your organization. 

 

If you are not sure whether a multi-cloud or single-cloud solution is best for your business, talk to your tech solution provider for advice. 

 

To find out how to maximize efficiency with cloud optimization for your organization, contact us today

As an enterprise leader you have the key responsibility of prioritizing investments towards enterprise initiatives. Cloud Transformation is an initiative that may require thorough due diligence to determine if, and when to take on such an initiativeat what financial and opportunity cost, and to achieve what benefits and outcomesHow does the return on investment (ROI) of this initiative compare with the alternatives?

Determining the intrinsic value of the initiative may help you calculate the ROI. Then, articulating this understanding of intrinsic value should help you secure the necessary budget and the buy-in from the stakeholders to pursue and execute this initiative.

 

 

Components of Intrinsic Value of Enterprise Initiatives 

 

Intrinsic value for an enterprise initiative or program can be categorized asTangible, Qualitative, Organizational and Individual 

 

Tangible value is an outcome that can be measured such as cost savings, revenue and probability. Qualitative value is an intangible outcome that cannot be measured with numbers such as satisfaction, stress and team morale. Organizational value applies to the overall organization, division, or the enterprise such as enhanced reputation of a division, or increased productivity throughout the enterprise or its business units. Individual value ispecific to the individual such as employees’ enhanced career potential.  

 

Each of these values can be estimated over short and long-term  

 

Following is an example of applying this as a framework to a Cloud Transformation initiative to determine and articulate the intrinsic value of migrating apps, data and infrastructure to the Cloud

 

  Short-Term Value Long-Term Value
  Tangible
  • Operational cost savings from reduced time to serve internal and external customers
  • Future Value (5 years and beyond) of compounded operational cost savings
  Qualitative
  • Clarity in department strategy and plans improving teamwork
  • Accelerate offering development and faster time to market
  Organizational
  • Elevate division’s reputation for servicing requests faster
  • Increased ability to convert more selling opportunities
  • Division’s or business unit’s promising growth and expansion
  Individual
  • Boost employee morale
  • Employees are upskilled to match industry standards
  • Employees’ promising long-term career growth within and outside the organization
Exhibit 1: Intrinsic Value framework applied to an example of moving data, apps or infrastructure to the Cloud.
  Long-Term Value
  Tangible
  • Future Value (5 years and beyond) of compounded operational cost savings
  Qualitative
  • Accelerate offering development and faster time to market
  Organizational
  • Division’s or business unit’s promising growth and expansion
  Individual
  • Employees’ promising long-term career growth within and outside the organization
Exhibit 1: Intrinsic Value framework applied to an example of moving data, apps or infrastructure to the Cloud.

 

Of course, there may be more short and long-term values for each of the value categories. You could go a stefurther and assign a weightage for each of the value categories. You can also add metrics for categories such as: Continuing education of employees (Individual), division’s growth measured by the increase in size of its yearly budget (Organizational). 

 

Finally, this exercise should serve as a framework to determine whether the ROI of an initiative is aligned with the expected business outcomes of pursuing the initiative.

 

Rishi Khanna is a Sr. Client Partner at Technossustechnology firm solving problems through AI, SaaS, Cloud Transformation and DevOps, based in Orange County, CA. 

The cloud, which refers to the use of remote servers rather than in-house servers, has become a convenient way for organizations to store, manage and process the data they produce. Cloud services include software, business process, infrastructure and platforms that simplify a company’s operations. Statistics show that more and more companies have been moving their files and documents to the cloud. In addition, research shows that the cloud computing industry will continue to see significant growth over the next few years. Gartner predicts a 17 percent growth for the cloud services market for 2020 alone.

“The cloud managed service landscape is becoming increasingly sophisticated and competitive. In fact, by 2022, up to 60 percent of organizations will use an external service provider’s cloud managed service offering, which is double the percentage of organizations from 2018,” Gartner’s vice president of research Sid Nag said. “Demand for strategic cloud service outcomes signals an organizational shift toward digital business outcomes.”

 

Yet, there is more to cloud computing than simply tossing your files up on a remote server. For the cloud to be beneficial to any business, it needs to be optimized.

 

 

The Importance of Cloud Optimization

Optimizing the cloud for your organization is just the process of selecting the right tools to meet your needs. There are a variety of cloud options out there, but it is not a one-size-fits-all environment. Selecting the most popular or less expensive option may not be right for your company. So, rather than wasting your time and money on a product that doesn’t quite fit your needs, your organization needs to spend some time considering cloud optimization before you invest in any products or services.

 

There are a number of benefits that cloud optimization has including:

  • Improving efficiency
  • Stronger sales
  • Safe data storage
  • Cost savings

If you are looking for ways to get the most from the cloud without overspending. Here are some tips that you can use for your cloud optimization strategy.

 

 

Tip #1: Define your KPIs

Before you move your data to the cloud, consider creating a strategy that covers the question of why you will be using this particular cloud option for this set of data. If you are moving to the cloud simply because you feel you need to be there, you’ll likely find yourself overspending and not getting the best return on your investment. Rather, define some key performance indicators that you expect to see as a result of buying into any particular cloud option or service. The most important aspect is monitoring your KPIs and see if they are being met by this particular application. If not, consider an adjustment either to your cloud computing service or to your KPIs.

 

 

Tip #2: Tailor to your needs

Many companies overspend on cloud computing options because they failed to understand they don’t need to buy the complete package. Think about the cloud as an application buffet. You can pick and choose those pieces that work for you without having to buy into everything that company offers. This is why scaling is such an important aspect of cloud computing. Find a service that will allow you to scale up or down to fit your company’s needs. For example, when you invest in a storage option in the cloud, you don’t have to buy big in the beginning. Remember that cloud computing companies will charge you for the amount of storage you buy, not what you use. So, if you purchase several terabytes but only use a fraction of that amount, consider adjusting your spending in this area.

 

 

Tip #3: Reduce your reliance

When you consider ways to optimize your organization’s cloud computing needs, think about how much data you really need to save. There is an overabundance of information out there and many organizations produce more data than they need. One way of saving on your cloud computing needs is being realistic about what you need to save. There are less expensive storage options available for archiving data that you don’t need to access on a regular basis. You may even decide to remove unneeded data from the cloud to cut back on your storage spending. However, before you discard your data, ensure that you are in compliance with any local or state regulations. This is particularly important if you are dealing with the personal data of individuals.

 

 

Tip #4: Hire a professional

Cloud computing can be complex and finding the right fit for your company can be time-consuming. If you are considering ways to cloud optimize for your organization, consider calling a professional to help. Professionals like those at Technossus have the industry experience and expertise to ensure that you are getting the most from your cloud computing investment.

 

 

Tip #5: Consider the small stuff

Cloud computing can be overwhelming but don’t forget to look at the small services that you are paying for on top of the more important ones. These peripheral charges can add up, which means if you can reduce these extra charges you could save your organization a lot of money. Review your cloud computing bill on a regular basis and track the spending on these smaller services. If you are being charged for a service that you don’t understand and don’t feel is necessary for your company, contact your cloud service provider for more details. Most cloud service providers do a good job of detailing these extra charges, which makes it easy for you to see where your money is going.

 

 

Cloud Optimization for Your Organization

Transitioning to the cloud is one of the best ways that an organization can save money and expand resources. There are a number of advantages that cloud computing offers but it is important to have a good cloud optimization strategy so that you don’t overspend on services you don’t need.

 

To get started with cloud optimization or to build a strategy that helps your organization get the most from the cloud, contact Technossus for a free consultation.

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