In theory, cloud computing should be seen as a godsend by businesses in the UK. Its flexibility and scalability should provide organisations with ways to reduce their operational and IT support costs, while also improving efficiency and productivity. In theory. Many businesses who implement cloud computing into their IT infrastructure actually end up doing the opposite, and face costs they didn’t anticipate. Here are a few reasons why this is the case, and how hiring an outsourced IT support team in London to manage your cloud capabilities can prove to be the solution you need.
The Benefits of Cloud Computing
Replacing ageing servers and devices with cloud computing, or even adopting a hybrid IT approach, can seem like a no-brainer decision for CTOs looking to keep within the IT budget or even reduce costs. Instead of having to invest in high CapEx costs to purchase and install, then monitor and perform machine maintenance on the IT infrastructure necessary for business processes, using a pay-as-you-go service whereby you rent the capacity and services you need from a cloud provider makes a lot of sense.
You get all the functionality and IT support you need, without the cost of investment, and can scale up or down to suit your business needs so that you only pay for what you plan to use.
However, keeping cloud computing costs down can prove to be very difficult, and here are some of the main reasons.
Business buy more than they need
Many organisations go with the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach to cloud computing, thinking that it’s better to have extra capacity and not need it than to need extra capacity and not have it. That approach, however, contradicts one of the major benefits of cloud computing – the ability to only pay for what you use – and can represent an unnecessary expense.
The simplicity with which cloud apps can be added to a company’s IT infrastructure also represents a challenge to keeping costs down. A new project or business expansion can see a company add on cloud solutions to an ever-expanding portfolio to meet immediate needs, and this can quickly lead to spikes in usage that often go beyond the basic service levels and licenses, leaving businesses paying premium costs, until they suddenly face hefty bills they hadn’t anticipated.
In order to understand the amount of functionality, capacity and IT support your business will need from a cloud provider, it should hire an outsourced IT support team to run an IT audit so you have a comprehensive overview of your processes, systems, devices and IT roadmap, to outline what is needed now, what may be needed in the future, and what is no longer needed. With these insights, your organisation can make the right decisions and keep cloud computing costs within budget.
Your IT support team can also monitor cloud solution and general IT infrastructure activity, implementing governance tools to track usage and costs and alert stakeholders of any impending limits that will result in premium costs.
Cloud Option Confusion
Cloud computing has really taken off in the last decade, with 88% of UK business now adopting it, according to the Cloud Industry Forum, and is only going to get bigger. But with that growth in popularity and usage comes a level of complexity that makes it hard for IT managers or CTOs to make the right decisions regarding what solution is best for their business.
Major players such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have a dizzying array of service options that can include storage, backup, processing, analytics, etc, all of which offer various products to make up an endless selection of potential service configurations. On top of that, service charges and agreements change like the wind, so it becomes increasingly difficult to find the most efficient and effective cloud solution for your business amongst the sea of options.
Many organisations therefore end up choosing either the first option they see, in order to get the solution in place quickly, or the most expensive one, for fear of missing out on the best service.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Hiring an IT consulting service to assess what your business needs, and to provide their expertise regarding the best cloud solutions for you, is a wise move here. They can also help to reduce costs by offering volume licensing, passing their savings on to you.
Lack of insight and visibility
Many businesses make the decision to implement cloud computing into their IT infrastructure, but don’t take the important first step of assessing what IT assets they need in order to accommodate this and provide the functionality and service cloud apps can bring.
As mentioned above, an IT audit will help you assess what you have and what you need in order to run the business efficiently, but you also need to have the tools in place to monitor and analyse usage so that you can identify where cloud support and services are most needed, and where they are not.
In-depth and ongoing analysis will also help to identify the cloud solutions that are no longer needed or used efficiently, and this can provide even more cost-savings. Cloud apps that were once adopted for a specific purpose may sit idle and forgotten about once the business has moved on to new projects, so having the right monitoring solution from an outsourced IT support team that can identify and replace the apps that are no longer cost-effective, means you can continue to only pay for what you need.
As your outsourced IT support experts in London, pebble.it can provide the cloud and virtualised services your business needs, advising, deploying and managing your cloud computing solutions, and providing the secure off-site backups that will help your company improve efficiency and productivity while helping you to solve the cloud conundrum.
Get in touch to see how we can help your business, and start the process by booking an IT audit with us: