Ways to keep the organization's cloud costs under control
Cloud costs can prove to be a tricky if not monitored carefully. This makes it important for organisations to reduce their overall cloud costs. All these techniques and strategies can be implemented quickly and can help users tremendously with their cloud costs.
But before finding out how you can reduce your organisation's cloud costs, let's take a brief look at cloud computing services.
Cloud services are specialised IT services offered to companies to reduce their burden and ease their workflow. Maintaining IT infrastructure within a company can be expensive due to the high costs involved in purchasing and maintaining these servers. Usually, an entire department is needed to run these big server rooms, which is why companies prefer to outsource these services.
The number of organisations using cloud services has gone up exponentially. According to studies, the average use of cloud services in an organisation has gone up from 5 percent to 30 percent in just a few years, and it's set to increase even more.
The increase in usage of cloud services can greatly burden a company’s finances. But these five ways can help an organisation can reduce its cloud services costs and keep them under control.
Developing an understanding of cloud services
The first and foremost step is to understand the need for cloud services in your organization. For that, IT professionals must be brought into the picture and asked how the company can benefit from using cloud services. Going back to the whiteboard and understanding your needs will allow you to assess the extent to which you require the services.
Do you need to improve your workflow or strengthen security? Or do you need to increase flexibility or facilitate work distribution among team members? Do you need private cloud services or public cloud services? Do you need SaaS (software as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service), or PaaS (platform as a service)?
Answers to these questions will improve your understanding of cloud services, which translates into better budgeted and managed services.
Keeping an eye on the budget
After gaining a better understanding of your organisation's cloud needs, budgeting your service expenses is the next important step. It's imperative to strike a balance between how your need and spending capacity. Understanding what licence you are going for is critical. Will per-user or overall usage benefit your organisation more in terms of cost reduction and better workflow? Companies are continually spending more on cloud services. It is not a bad thing necessarily, but something organisations might want to watch out for.
The critical point to remember is to not exceed the needs by upgrading subscriptions. A clear picture of how many employees are going to be using the service is vital to keep subscription costs low.
But organisations should ensure room for flexibility while preparing this budget because any impetuous decision can hamper usage. The bottom line: assess the needs and strike a balance.
Cloud management platforms help you in creating visibility of cloud service usage. An organisation that is aware of the usage of its cloud services will be able to better utilise the services.
With better visibility, it will know how much cloud capacity is allocated and how much of it is being used. In cases of under usage of the total capacity, the organisation can easily cut down on the extra cloud capacity.
Keeping a tab on departmental usage can help the organisation to implement cost cutting where needed. This will not only uncover loopholes in allocation and capacity, but will also provide the organisation with any data-saving method that's already in place. Investing in cloud management platforms is therefore an important tool. These platforms give accurate information about your use of these services and can help you to optimise the same.
Managing usage of services
Managing the usage of services is often the most overlooked part, but is an essential factor in increasing or reducing costs.
Staff should understand the usage of cloud services because they are the users. Mistakes made by employees when accessing services result in increased costs, which burden the organisation's overall finances. It's simple: if you want to achieve lower costs, educate your employees about the usage of these services.
- Storing meaningless data: Usually, excessive clutter gets stored on cloud platforms and companies often have to upgrade their services. Looking at what data is being stored in these platforms might look like a simple step, but it's effective. When you stop using storage for unimportant data, you have a lot of free space to work with, which will help you in reducing costs.
- Using services efficiently: Organisations can reach their cost-cutting target just by turning off the services when not in usage. It is as simple as switching off the light when you leave the room. When employees understand the implications of their usage of these services, they will be able to better understand their applications, which will lead the organisation towards a lower cost.
Developing strategies for integration
While opting for cloud services, larger organisations use a mixture of services to keep the costs down. They understand their needs diligently and invest in services that are most cost-effective and beneficial.
For some, a single cloud service may do the trick, but these are not necessarily cost-effective. The right cloud services depend on your organisation's needs and capacity. Also, it is beneficial to integrate your cloud services with your systems to facilitate ease of use and data transfer.
Often a network architect is hired in a company to help in decision making on where the company should invest in. It is the job of the network architect to devise a cost-efficient strategy for the organisation and oversee the working of these services.
Every company has different cloud needs. It's imperative to understand that there is no particular fix to high costs associated with cloud services. Only by understanding your organisational framework and its needs can you bring down your costs.
Cloud computing is the future. Efficient usage of these services can unlock a lot of opportunities, but managing them well is essential for your growth.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)