One of the major reasons organizations switch to cloud technology is to reduce capital expenses and reduce time to market. But that doesn’t mean cloud services don’t have to be optimized to achieve that result! Cloud services do offer an incredible array of ways in which to save money, but realizing this benefit primarily depends on expertise and planning. Because cloud technology is very extensible with many services, features and functions; things can also get away from an organization in terms of costs, resulting in “cost runaway” or “cloud sprawl” — leading the organization to received higher than expected monthly cloud consumption bills.
Here are some ways in which a managed services provider like Red River can help an organization improve its cloud cost management.
Because many organizations start to grow their cloud services organically, it’s easy to find both gaps and overlaps in a cloud architecture. Organizations may have multiple services performing the same or very similar tasks. A managed services provider will be able to identify these gaps and overlaps to create optimized cloud architectures, which the organization can then use to operate more effectively — and more cost-effectively.
In addition to identifying gaps and overlaps, the MSP can create a plan to address them. Some organizations may already realize, for instance, that their data is currently redundant. But they may not be able to address the redundant data because they don’t have the time or resources. MSPs come with specialists and employees who can then connect with the organization and give them the help they need to make the transition.
2. Finding Cost-Effective Third-Party Solutions
Not every third-party solution being used by an organization is the best option. Rather, organizations may find themselves using solutions just because these apps are the solutions they have always used. An MSP can create a transitional path for an organization to move to more cloud friendly modern and more cost-effective technologies that support the business’ desired outcomes. While an organization may not have the time to be constantly researching new technologies, an MSP does.
An organization may have had the best technology when they first designed their IT environment but may not have the best technology now. Few organizations have the time or spend the time needed to completely redesign their own infrastructure. MSPs give organizations an edge in terms of developing their infrastructure for their needs today and future proofing for tomorrow, rather than their needs when they first designed their environments.
MSPs are highly experienced in securing an organization’s cloud network. There are few things that are as costly as a major security breach. Most organizations today are under constant attack from all over the globe. An MSP will be able to implement stronger security standards and security technology at scale, helping to mitigate the devastating impact of costly cyberattacks.
Cyberattacks are only becoming more dangerous and more prolific. If organizations aren’t willing to shore up their security now, they are going to become more vulnerable over time whether on premises or in the cloud.
An MSP will be able to create tracking and analysis protocols to identify how resources are being used. During periods of high usage, the MSP will be able to identify exactly which apps are using excessive resources and when excessive resources are being used. Organizations will be able to constantly identify the resources that are being used and what needs to happen next — whether they need to increase their resource budget or whether they need to reduce the amount of resources needed. Cloud computing provides this “elasticity” to pay for only what you use and fully supports the seasonality businesses often experience as it relates to actual usage.
5. Improving Upon Processes and Operations
Resource usage is where most organizations find their budgets start to grow. Organizations may not have the time for auditing or optimization, which also means they don’t have the time to improve their processes or automate those processes where possible. MSPs come from outside of the organization and have all the time they need to identify the core improvements the organization may need to make to use fewer resources. Many seasoned MSPs, like Red River, take a governance at scale approach with their clients, which implements processes and tools to manage customer cloud environments.
Dedicating more resources isn’t always the answer. Some organizations are hesitant to pare down the resources they are using because they feel these resources make them more effective. In reality, organizations must be constantly improving upon their processes, leveraging automation, and operations to ensure that they are scalable. One of the largest benefits of cloud computing is the ability to insert automation. Automation in the cloud removes the need for IT staff to focus on repetitive tasks and allows them to focus on higher value tasks for the organization.
There are many departments that may unknowingly allow cloud spend/cost runaway with their cloud usage, especially if there are resources that make it easier to finish their job — even when it may be untenably expensive for the organization. Part of cloud cost optimization and control involves budgeting resources toward specific departments.
A managed services provider can assess the organization’s needs and identify which departments may be using too much by way of cloud resources. If departments are using too many resources, a neutral third party can assess this and determine ways they could optimize the architecture in order to reduce their resources without having to lose their effectiveness or their productivity through the optimization process.