Many organisations have already commenced their CLOUD journey by implementing hosted services such as Microsoft 365 and hosted business applications. The pandemic of 2020 brought to light a number of concerns around how we run our businesses, while the benefits of hosted services have never been more evident. Many businesses, however, are still reluctant to move to CLOUD operations, citing to concerns about costs and potential downtime. These tips will help you select the best CLOUD solution for your business without breaking the bank.
‘The adoption of CLOUD services is driven by companies looking for features and functionality that are flexible, scalable, and more efficient to manage. However, recent consultations with prospective clients have highlighted that the CLOUD quotes they are receiving are prohibitive. Particularly for those organisations with large estate servers and diverse application requirements.
Public and Private CLOUD are premium products and can indeed be costly if your provider takes a one-size-fits-all approach. Our approach is to devise a CLOUD solution that fits the organisation’s needs in terms of growth, infrastructure, AND budget. There are several options we recommend to do this.’
Joe McGivern, supportIT CEO
Define your users
In most organisations, not all users need full access to all file/share and application infrastructure. It may be sufficient to grant just SharePoint file/share access to light users. Creating categories that determine the heavy users versus the light users, and tailoring the solution accordingly, can result in massive savings on an ongoing basis. It is also important to remember that these systems are designed to be flexible, allowing for re-categorising individuals as and when required.
It is essential to monitor and understand how your business operates and if all users always require access. Planning to shut down or reduce resources at the off-peak time will result in significant savings. Unused resources should also be considered; substantial savings can be made by analysing workloads and decommissioning unused ones.
A key advantage of Software-as-a-Service is the ability to manage licenses in real-time. Organisations who manage the Office365 licenses in this way can keep CLOUD costs licensing down. It is vital to carry out license housekeeping at least twice per year to ensure your users are on the correct package and clear out any users who have left the business.
Control reporting and notifications
The usage-based CLOUD Services, like Microsoft Azure, allow you to set up reports and alerts to monitor usage and limits. Use these analytic tools to ensure you keep within agreed budgets.
It is not well known or published, but if your organisation can reserve data for up to three years, you can make a saving of up to 70% with Microsoft Azure. There are caveats to this model: not all resources can be reserved, but it is worth exploring for businesses who want a more fixed-cost model.
Grants for the Not-For-Profit Community
For organisations with Not-For-Profit status in Ireland, there are grants available of €3000 per year perpetually. Talk to us about accessing the grand and how best to get the most out of it.
It is possible to use CLOUD Technology on any device with a browser, so it means quicker roll-out of CLOUD in organisations where staff use various devices because there is no need to purchase new hardware.
Train the Trainer
With new infrastructure, it is essential to have a CLOUD representative in your organisation who will champion CLOUD technology. supportIT see the value of training this person and the benefit from this knowledge spread throughout an organisation.
Using CLOUD Technology for Disaster Recovery (DR)
While Disaster Recovery as a service has come down in price in recent years, it remains expensive if your data set is large and compliance is an issue. Using Public and Private CLOUD for DR purposes is a cost-effective way of building DR into your everyday infrastructure without replicating costs.