Any company that runs for long enough will inevitably run into cost overruns; the key, though, is to minimise the number of cost overruns and mitigate the damage from overruns that occur. However, one of the costliest overruns a company can face has to do with cloud migration. In this article, we will tackle the ten most important strategies for avoiding a devastating financial blowout.
Elements of a Cloud Migration
When it comes to cloud migration, you’re really spoiled for choice. The market is fiercely competitive, which is great news for you, but picking the right vendor for cloud migration can be a difficult and potentially frustrating experience—worse yet, picking the wrong one could cost you massively in the long run. Cloudstep seeks to take the pain out of the decision-making process while simultaneously ensuring you get the best deal for your company’s specific needs.
10 Ways to Avoid a Financial Blowout
01. Have your migration plans ready
Cutting costs on cloud migration is only a reality if the cloud-based system is effective. If your new cloud-based system (or the migration itself) is plagued with issues, it can lead to exorbitant cost overruns, which is why planning your migration and performance analysis is so important—and where Cloudstep’s state-of-the art analysis comes into play, including plans to suit companies both big and small.
By tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and making note of suboptimal performance, you can track and tweak your original plan as you go. A cloud-based system is only useful if you can maximise the tangible benefits that come with moving to a cloud-based system. As an example, you should check out Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring Software so you can ensure everything is working to your expectations.
2. Implement continuous monitoring
This one is interesting, since it might not be immediately obvious why continually monitoring the migration period could potentially affect costs. Most companies have sensitive data that they would very much like to keep private. This could be anything from trade secrets to non-public financial data. It could also be employee data and a range of other things that aren’t intended for public (or rival) consumption.
If the cloud migration is botched, say, after a security breach, a hacker could steal this sensitive data and hold the company to ransom, abuse the information for their own (or their company’s own) benefit, or simply cause chaos as an act of malice or revenge by deleting the data. A topical security risk is that of the ransomware attack, which encrypts the data until a cryptocurrency ransom is paid. If a hacker is stealthy, you might not even know your sensitive data has been compromised until it’s too late.
03. Invest in automation
Automation makes our lives easy. We let automation set our clocks and alarms, we let automated processes trade stocks as bots, and we use automation to build most of our stuff. It has allowed our economy to boom while also reducing a lot of the need for back-breaking labour.
Cloud migration is no different. There already exists a variety of excellent tools and software to help you along the journey, including AWS Migration Services, Azure Migration Tools, Corent SurPaaS, and Carbonite Migrate. You can download our eBook for a more thorough understanding of the different tools that are available to you.
04. Reduce excess storage
We usually don’t think about it much these days, but since the dawn of the computer age to the early 2000s, the compression of a given file was given a lot of importance. Software packages like StuffIt and WinZip were created 30+ years ago to tackle bloated file archives using cutting-edge compression algorithms. The MP3, which helped lay the foundation for the digital music revolution triggered by iTunes and the iPod, was a game-changer. Compression on the internet is still useful to this day. Gone are the days where you need to turn a lossless picture file into a lossy jpeg when uploading online.
However, there is still a need for maintaining good compression techniques and minimising bloat when it comes to files your company has on hand. For instance, do you really need an uncompressed hour-long 4k video clogging up your server that’s purpose is as a training or onboarding video? (For reference, that’s a stupidly high 318 GB, although it’s an admittedly extreme example.) Video is highly compressible, and the same video would probably be just as serviceable in 1080p. If you used similar compression to YouTube, the file size plummets to about 1.65GB. But even if you kept the video at 4k with the same compression technique, you’d still only have 2.7 GB. If such video content is sensitive, you could put the entire video on YouTube but with a valid email to watch it. This would save you a lot of storage space and bandwidth, especially when there is a lot of content involved.
05. Identify overprovisioning
If you’re going on holiday, you don’t pack your entire wardrobe (unless your name happens to be Mark Zuckerberg). Instead, you pack according to your destination. Simple enough, right?
If you only need 16 GB of server space, why pay for 64 GB? If your answer is “I might need it later”, consider that the price per gigabyte of storage is always going down. Have enough space to cover your overheads, sure, but don’t overprovision unless you have a good reason for doing so. Your company’s hypothetical overprovisioning might well be logical, but for many it is not.
06. Correct inefficient code
Inefficient code is problematic on a number of levels. While unorthodox (i.e., bloated) code might be okay in some esoteric instances, inefficient code in cloud migration can be disastrous.
According to APMdigest, inefficient apps are causing some companies to overspend by millions of dollars. It is estimated by the end of 22 that $330 billion will be spent on the cloud, meaning that billions of dollars are being lost as the result of inefficient code. Having your code appraised now is a small price to pay to save your money and headaches down the line.
07. Assign an inventory owner
In the Cloud Asset API in Google Cloud, access control can be configured at the project level or organization level. In this environment, you can bestow certain individuals (or a group of developers) with access to all Cloud Asset Inventory resources within a project.
08. Manage shadow IT
The term shadow IT isn’t as well known as it should be, although almost anyone who works in a company with computers in it has probably either encountered or engaged in shadow IT. It also goes by a cavalcade of other names, including embedded IT, fake IT, stealth IT, rogue IT, feral IT, or client IT. Put simply, shadow IT is when employees who aren’t with the official IT department start implementing their own workarounds. Some have even created their own software just to bypass problematic official software.
While shadow IT can have its benefits in some aspects, including innovation and reactivity, it can also pose a risk to company control, security, and reliability. It is imperative that you keep any shadow IT efforts in check, as the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.
09. Review support contracts
Cloud service agreements can lock you into contracts that won’t do you any favours. Make sure you actually have an expert read through the terms of service to ensure you’re not breaking any rules but also that your support contract will actually get you out of a bind if something goes wrong.
10. Bring your own license
Google Cloud (and other cloud services) allows you to bring your own license (BYOL). That being said, as with any BYOL agreement, do your due diligence and ensure that you have read and understood the terms of conditions. To find out more information on how to comply with these terms and how to carry out the steps in correct order, please visit Google’s support article or the supporting documentation for any cloud service you may wish to use with a BYOL agreement.
How Cloud Computing Leads to Cost Savings
There are numerous ways in which cloud computing can reduce costs. In the following five sections, we will take a look at five of the biggest points.
Requires No Setup Investments
One of the biggest pain points for any company looking to archive data—or simply process it—is the logistical hurdles and upfront costs. Server maintenance and physical storage can add up quickly. By incorporating cloud technology to solve your storage and processing concerns, much of these upfront costs are offset. This is because the cloud space is very competitive. Moreover, the largest cloud-hosting companies in the world have done a fantastic job of cutting costs through technological innovation and scaling up to nearly unfathomably large degrees. Even the biggest companies in the world have outsourced their cloud-hosting needs to pre-established cloud-hosting companies rather than use their own proprietary server farms.
Optimal Hardware Utilization
This is sort of a follow-on from the previous point. Perhaps the best idea here is to use a simple analogy. Imagine a typical office with, say, two dozen workstations. For much of the day, the computers are either operating at partial capacity or not at all. With cloud storage, data is processed and stored across various nodes for built-in redundancy—in simple terms, that means your data is backed up and always retrievable (on a competently run cloud server). So not only is this a cheaper option for most companies but also a more secure one.
Server farms often get criticised for their energy use; however, what is often overlooked is how scalability actually cuts down the total amount of energy required per byte stored. Indeed, the higher demand there is for cloud computing, the more incentive that cloud-hosting companies will have to innovate and create more optimal energy-saving techniques. In any case, traditional on-site storage and data-processing techniques cannot match the efficiency per byte stored/processed.
No In-house Team
Depending on your company’s size, this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. By migrating to the cloud, you no longer need to keep a dedicated team devoted to maintaining server racks and other such problems that arise when you’re not harnessing the incredible utility of the cloud. Regardless of whether you have a dedicated IT team or intermittent server inspectors, your operating costs tend to become quite bloated when you’re handling everything yourself.
If you’ve ever had to deal with magnetic tape backups, you know how antiquated and frustrating the experience can be. After all, storing data on tape doesn’t just feel so 20th century; it is 20th century. Moreover, a lot of companies only create backups once a day! Imagine if your company lost an entire day’s work! By migrating to the cloud, creating redundancies and backups into your system isn’t something you need to worry about. Having said that, we do encourage to keep an onsite backup of your company’s most important files (just in case).
Throughout this article, we’ve looked at all the incredible benefits that a cloud-based system can have on your business, including energy savings, cost cuts, hardware optimisation, code improvements, and taking advantage of automation; however, you don’t need to take our word for it! Just take a moment to look at the chart below from Research and Markets.
This says it all, really. In five years, the cloud market is projected to more than double. Companies have realised how much money there is to save by embracing cloud technologies. Much of this growth also stems from cloud computing. Whether you model, analyse, or plan, Cloudstep has got everything you need to streamline your cloud-migration process, making it as pain-free and as efficient as you’d like it to be.
More About Us!
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