With the growing trend of cloud adoption, many companies are utilising the cloud approach to benefit their organisations and to enjoy all of the benefits that come with it. Although cloud integration is not for every business, there are a few factors that may stop SME’s from considering the cloud as an option. One of these considerations are the potential costs of cloud integration or using the cloud. Below we look at some ways a business can manage and limit their cloud spend in order to make sure it is as cost effective as it can be.
Make a budget
Traditionally many IT departments are able to anticipate the setup, maintenance and upgrade costs of the current on-premise equipment and services which can be a base to create a realistic forecast and budget. However, this is not best practice for cloud services as they require a unique way of budgeting as many cloud-based services are offered on a subscription basis.
These cloud-based applications can often be bought on a per-user basis or on a usage basis so any company considering a cloud option should first get an idea of who will be using the service. Considering the demand for cloud is an important factor when considering the solution. Many companies can underestimate how many users need access to the cloud service which may exclude senior management, this can often lead to inaccurate budgeting. A key way to overcome this stumbling block is to build flexibility into your monthly cloud budget to allow for any fluctuation of usage. You can do this by adding more users for busier months.
In addition to this, it is wise to review your usage every few months to identify where you can remove old, unwanted or underused users to steadily reduce work inline with your activity and create cost savings.
There are tools that provide oversight of cloud usage and infrastructure that uncover where you can make significant savings elsewhere. This can aid your company when choosing the best cloud options for various parts of your business as well as assisting you in identifying and removing apps that aren’t being used. Companies are also able to improve the functionality of the solutions that are being used by your team.
The knowledge of historical cloud usage and where savings could be made will make predicting future usage more accurate as well as the cost involved which can result in more in a lower cloud spend. Cloud management platforms can be useful when scoping this information or the partner you work with should be able to consult with you on how much your cloud spend is likely to be based on your activity.
A higher level of visibility also allows your company to accurately spread the costs of the cloud across different departments and bill your cloud services more accurately. Not only will this allow you to spread costs but will also help you drill down into your data and see how your cloud-based usage is improving effectiveness across different departments.
Integrate your services
Considering the cloud for your business takes long term strategic thinking. Many organisations may opt to utilise the benefits of a hybrid cloud with a mixture of on-premises and cloud resources across their business infrastructure. Making sure your cloud services are integrated with your management is a great way to ensure integration across your company.
Standalone cloud services can sometimes be the best solution for your business depending on your needs but it may be less cost-effective than a packaged suite of services when the costs are totaled. A tailored cloud-offering suggested after a consultation with your cloud partner is always the best route to go down.
The benefits associated with integrating your cloud services with other systems you use include easy data collection, simpler data transfers and centralised files across the board for your employees and different departments. Fully integrating your services improves the effectiveness of your cloud service.
Are you unsure about whether your company should be implementing a cloud based or hybrid solution? Find out more about our Microsoft Azure solutions, Business Central implementation or any other Microsoft Dynamics application and have a chat with one of our team at Advantage.