How to Leverage Cloud Based Technology to Ensure Cost Savings

The cloud is supposed to save businesses money and time but that’s not always the case. Cloud computing can actually add costs to a company when you aren’t paying attention. Newer technologies have more potential, but they are also more difficult to corral. You need to know how to leverage the technology that you have to ensure cost savings. Here’s how.

  • End the Rip and Replace. Technology is accelerating faster and faster as time goes by. Versioning technology is no longer fast enough because it is simply too cost prohibitive. Companies must move with a philosophy of continuous improvement in order to keep up with competition and sustain a cost-effective infrastructure. The easy answer to this is cloud computing because updates and maintenance are automated and scaled to a level that can move with the rising and falling tides of a company. Many companies have transitioned from rip and replace to a hybrid solution combining on-site tech with cloud technology. This not only extends the life of on-site equipment, but also allows a company to leverage newer technology without the constant technology upgrade price tag.
  • Take Advantage of Automation. The phenomenon of “virtual machine sprawl” (VM sprawl) can become a costly but hidden expense. Virtual machines and the associated costs are not readily seen but are continually consuming storage and network resources. The problem is these costs continue to expand because determining which VMs are still being used can be a very timely and manual process. However, by utilizing automation and cloud management tools in your cloud computing environment, you can determine which VMs are being used, which departments are guilty of server sprawl and which are underutilized. This can help save costs, plan for the future, and pull back unnecessary resources, saving your company time and your team their valuable time.Automation can also be leveraged for time intensive, manual entry or repetitive tasks. It is always in the best interests of a business to find the processes that would benefit from automation and manipulate them in the cloud for costs savings.
  • Ensure Full Hardware Utilization. Virtual hosts traditionally must shoulder massive hardware costs. The RAM that is used, the network adapters, storage, and multi-core CPUs all take a toll on the budget. By increasing server density, virtualization can lower these costs. The cloud provides these resources in greater volume as well. However, there are some things you should know in order to fully utilize your hardware and invoke the largest amount of cost savings.
    • Tiered access – Only qualified employees should be allowed to create virtual machines. Formal processes for requests should be used and move through a chain of command. This will allow you to control server sprawl and create a process to document VMs.
    • Personalized resource allocation – Different internal departments have different resource needs. Work with what you have and determine resource allocation according to the needs of the department. Before allowing resource expansion within a department, examine their current resources and determine if there is any unused space. Placing limits on resources within departments helps them to take more responsibility for the company’s computing resources. Don’t forget to scale back whenever the opportunity presents itself.
    • Make sure you are monitoring lifecycle needs. If a process is spun up for a specific project, make sure it is taken down when it is no longer needed.
  • Lower Power and Physical Space Costs. Optimizing your use of the cloud helps to limit the resources that technology consumes within your company. Some of the biggest resource hogs are physical space and the power that you must cultivate in order to maintain that space. Reduce this overhead, and you have a significant cost savings that can be redirected into other, more forward thinking areas of your business.Making use of the cloud does not mean that you completely get rid of on-site hardware utilization. On the contrary, you should look to maximize the use of your onsite hardware to ensure you aren’t overspending on updates and refreshes.
  • Lower Redundancy Costs. The traditional architecture that is used to create redundancy tends to expand the costs of doing business. Additionally, you are leaving yourself open to unpredictable system failures and crashes without continual updates. Going back to the physical and space costs, you are also paying extra money for the equipment that is taking up space as well as the power to maintain it. This includes the equipment that you may not be using at the present time. Moving your redundancy to the cloud via IaaS, DRaaS, or BaaS can facilitate better data protection while lowering your overall TCO.

Simply your data to the cloud does not ensure automatic cost savings. You must have a plan. There are opportunities for costs savings however you must be vigilant and couple smart, strategic decisions with the best practices above. Following these tips will not only save you money, but also put you in position to leverage many other business advantages.

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