3 practical ways to fight recession by being cloud smart
As COVID almost starts to feel like a distant memory, you think we’d all cop a break. But no, the threat of recession now darkens the horizons. This makes it an excellent time to get smart about how you use cloud and ensure it delivers short- and long-term value to your organisation.
In this article, we suggest three specific ways to nail down some genuine savings or optimise the benefits (and savings) from your cloud and cloud applications.
1. Save more when you choose a cloud-native application
Depending on where you are on your roadmap to cloud adoption, you may want to look sideways at some of your legacy line-of-business applications and ask if they will serve you equally well in your transformed state.
If you have enough budget, practically any application can be retrospectively modernised to work in the cloud. And, unwilling to be left behind, some vendors have re-engineered their applications to run in the cloud – with varying degrees of success. But it’s important to realise that unless the application was specifically built from the ground up to run on the cloud (i.e., a cloud-native), it may not deliver an ROI or enable your business to keep up with the current pace of change.
Think of it this way: It’s like adapting your petrol-fuelled car to run on an EV battery. While innovation may prolong your beloved vehicle's life, it will never perform to the standard of a brand spanking new state-of-the-art Tesla.
Cloud-native applications are built from birth to be inherently efficient; to perform to a much better standard than applications with non-native features, and to cost less to run.
Let’s break those benefits down a bit:
- Extra efficiency: Because cloud-native applications are designed to use cloud-native features and application programming interfaces (APIs), they use underlying resources more efficiently. Result? Better performance and usually lower operating costs.
- Primo performance: Cloud-native applications typically allow you to access native features of the public cloud services – so again, they run better. And you can take advantage of features like auto-scaling (adding/removing compute, storage, and network services to meet fluctuating workload demands without compromising availability and performance) and load-balancing (routing incoming traffic to the most cost-effective cloud server or network without, again, impacting availability or performance).
- Controlled costs: Cloud-native applications are designed to work efficiently from the outset, so they cost less to run. Most cloud providers will invoice every month for the number of resources your organisation has consumed, so obviously, if you can do more with less, you save.
2. Check out that cloud sprawl
It’s easy to rack up spikes on your cloud invoice when your organisation has gone cloud crazy. Cloud crawl is when your cloud resources have proliferated out of control, and you are paying for them, often unknowingly.
So, how does that happen? It usually comes about because of a failure to eliminate services that are no longer, or never were, part of your overall cloud strategy. It’s like still paying a vehicle insurance policy on a Ferrari when you’ve made a sensible downgrade to a family-friendly Toyota.
Cloud sprawl can come around through departments adding on or trialling cloud applications, then not unsubscribing from them. Or from maintaining unneeded storage despite deleting the associated cloud server instance. Or from services you once needed when making the original move to the cloud and not decommissioning them.
Make your cloud strategy a living document to ensure you’re only paying for what you need and use. One that’s shared and compared with the real-life status quo regularly. Implement policies to control those random or one-off cloud application trials when they’re done with. Talk to your technology partner about setting up automated provisioning to shut down old workloads that are no longer of value or could be managed off-peak and, therefore more cost-effectively.
And compare every invoice to identify if you are paying for cloud services that you no longer need or use. If it’s all sounding a bit hard, a cloud crawl health check by your managed services partner could provide a great ROI.
3. Get more value from your no-where-near dead legacy applications
While cloud-native applications may seem to offer it all, we all know that sometimes it’s simply not practical to move on from your investment in a legacy solution. In that case, a lift and shift (think of it as uplifting your house – as is, where is - from a slightly down-at-heel suburb to a more upmarket one with better facilities) may be the best option to breathe life into ageing technology without having to invest in renovations (or buy new servers).
When done well, lift and shift is a very cost-effective way to onramp your organisation onto the cloud. Just be aware that while you will save money by not modernising your application, you’ll not realise the true cloud benefits from native constructs (i.e., cheaper storage, elasticity, or additional security).
Don’t forget to count your savings
If you’re wondering where else you can make immediate or long-term savings, don’t forget that your original decision to move to the cloud has delivered your organisation a positive ROI since Day One.
And if you’ve chosen fully managed services, you’ve saved even more.
You’ve already walked away from the significant overheads of expensive servers stacked in a dust-free, temperature-controlled environment, the disruption caused by software upgrades or server downtime, and the need for IT resources to manage your environment and safeguard your data from cyberattacks. And you’ve said hello to a low-risk, secure, highly available environment from anywhere your people work, at any time.
If you’d like to discuss how to optimise your cloud benefits, and get some well-considered, practical answers, contact us here.