When you move to the cloud there’s a huge opportunity to reduce your IT costs and get more for your money. The usage-based pricing model of the cloud offers complete flexibility and control over your spending, which is one of the biggest drawcards for businesses considering migrating.
With a little forward planning, the cloud brings significant cost savings – but skip this important step and you’ll likely blow your budget fast. So, to avoid unnecessary bill shock, make sure you start with a clear and informed cloud strategy that sets out not only your goals, but also how you’ll manage your costs.
Here are three key ways to optimise your costs and get maximum value from the cloud.
1. Know Your Licensing
Where traditional software subscriptions charge an upfront monthly or yearly fee, in the cloud you’ll generally be charged per-user or by consumption. This gives you the flexibility to quickly and easily scale your licensing up or down as required.
When you manage your usage effectively, you’ll cut your licensing fees in a big way – but fail to do so, and you’ll pay more than you should. Keep track of your users to make sure you’re not paying licensing fees for a member of staff that finished up last week – or worse, last year! While individually the licensing fees seem small, over time they really add up.
2. Only Run It When You Need It
It’s not just your licensing that needs controls in place – the same goes for the other capabilities you’re running in the cloud. Most businesses don’t need all their software applications running at all times, but through lack of planning, time or know-how, they miss the opportunity to switch them off when not in use.
The idea of paying for what you use is a totally different approach for most, and requires a shift in your thinking. A good analogy is to imagine all the light globes in your house. They’re always ready to turn on when you need them, but it would be wasteful (and expensive) to have them all on all the time. So, we switch them off when we’re done.
3. Complete Visibility of Spend
Even with a great strategy, if you don’t have the tools in place to show you where your money is going, you’ll never optimise your savings. Reporting tools should clearly show exactly when and where your money is being spent. From there, you can spot areas that you’re over committed, or paying for something you don’t need, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Every organisation is different, which means there’s no one size fits all approach. Working with external consultants who know the intricacies of the cloud gives you a definite advantage. They can slice and dice your consumption by the most relevant variables to your team, to make sure you’re getting maximum value for every dollar spent.
Plan, Manage, Track… and Save
While on the surface having a flat monthly fee may seem like an easier way to budget, the downside is, you’ll likely be paying much more than you should.
The flexibility of the cloud offers real value to organisations who plan ahead, effectively manage their settings and closely track usage. When you do all the above, and adjust your spending as needed, you’ll truly optimise your costs in the cloud.
Looking for even more ways to get value from the cloud?
Download our latest white paper, 3 Perspectives to Maximise Your Value from Azure, to learn more.