01242 703400



Cloud and datacentre

Optimise your Cloud,
Optimise your Business

Do more with less by optimising your cloud environment

Published: 15/02/2024

Looking at ways to save money on your Cloud budget, will allow you to reinvest for the future.

By Phil Coghlan, Head of Cloud Solutions.

There’s no escaping the fact that budgets are being squeezed everywhere.

An uncertain economy and the need to balance the reallocation of funds across a business means that IT leaders are having to innovate. And when resources are tight, a way to drive innovation and deliver a top-class service with fewer people and spend less needs to be found.

Covid changed the way we worked. Organisations moved into the cloud overnight to facilitate remote working. The scramble to provide something that worked meant strategies and deployments were rushed with little thought of security, cost-management, or well-architected infrastructure.

No turning back

But we’re not going to rip it all up and start again. We aren’t all of a sudden going to switch back to a traditional datacentre model. In fact, a survey carried out by Pluralsight in 2023 shows that 70% of those surveyed had more than half of their infrastructure hosted in the Cloud.

But here’s the contradiction – that same research also shows that 69% of UK organisations were yet to establish a clear cloud strategy. So, clearly, there are organisations that have rocketed into the cloud (excuse the pun), but have no control or visibility of their spend, which will ultimately result in being over budget.

What is needed is a chance to look at the bigger picture. To work out a way to spend a percentage of your budget in the short-term to maximise your savings in the long-term. A way that doesn’t mean you’re switching off some of your services each month just to stay in the black.

What’s needed is a proper look at cloud optimisation. But I hear you ask, why would I spend more money and resources undertaking an optimisation exercise? What do I get from focusing on optimising my Cloud environment?

Cloud Optimisation goes beyond spending x% of your time and budget now to save y% over the next nine months. Of course, the element of expenditure reduction is key, but the other benefits that can be realised can be equally as impactful to the day-to-day operation of your digital environment:

  • Increase visibility of your cloud spend – what exactly is costing you money and more importantly, why?
  • Making the most of the resources you consume. Are you right sized? Are you paying for unused capacity? Are you making the most of licensing benefits you may be eligible for?
  • Be in control of your budget and forecast. We love the flexibility that Cloud provides us, but sometimes it can throw a spanner in the works for a month or two – excess cost that we didn’t see coming. By optimising your environment to be more predictable you can have confidence that you are in control of your budget.
Drive innovation

So having done that, my business leaders will be really happy that some spend has been rationalised and the budget is back on track, right?

Well, maybe… But wouldn’t it make more sense to repurpose that budget to drive innovation and expand your digital capabilities? Why not look at enhancing your customer experience by developing some AI focused tools? Why not enhance your own user experience by providing better foundational infrastructure to support the modern workplace?

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘spend money to make money’ – and to most risk averse finance leaders it’s probably not what they want to hear. But the reality is, especially in digital technology, we have to invest, we have to innovate to keep up with the market. So let’s take a look at some of the key initiatives we can focus on to help us drive growth.

What to do, not how to do it – our top five 

So, with the considerations of how you can benefit from focusing some time and effort on optimising your cloud environment, here are five things that will help you save money so you can reinvest and innovate.


Take a holistic, long-term view

I always look beyond the immediate need and to the overall benefit. Clients often run IaaS PAYG services for longer than they realise, often crossing the threshold of requiring a 24/7 service.

This is usually because organisations are in a rush to spin up services without proper strategic planning – taking a minute to assess what you need the service for and how to deploy it effectively will pay dividends in the long run.

This comes directly from having a Cloud strategy in place. In no other walks of business (I certainly hope not, anyway!) would you execute without having a plan. Your Cloud environment should be treated no differently.


Stop the sprawl

Unauthorised sprawl is one of the biggest issues that I see as a challenge in the cloud, usually instigated by users with ‘just enough knowledge to be dangerous’ and also not having an appropriate level of security or service credentials assigned to them.

Preventing cloud sprawl by ensuring roles and responsibilities are set up correctly is key.

Ensuring that the right people have the fewest number of privileges possible, while ensuring their ability to work is not impacted by lack of access or wating on access requests.


Review and assess

Always review and assess the data you consume.

Can your cloud data be moved into a different storage tier and therefore cost less to store? Are you a multi-region organisation? If so, can you move your data to avoid egress charges?

Often, we look at the service and not the data that it serves – take time to understand what you process and how, you’d be surprised at what you may find.


Consider migration

There are ways to ensure that your overheads and cost management can be more efficient.

Are there any of your IaaS services that can be migrated into PaaS?

Saving money means you have the chance to reinvest in other areas to trigger growth.


Monitor costs

Use Azure Cost Monitor correctly or use a third-party dashboard to visualise where your spend is both in terms of location and user(s).

Visualising data more effectively allows for better understanding, interpretation and decision-making.

It will give insights that may not have been considered.

Innovation is key 

Make no mistake, cloud, AI and data insights have the potential to be transformative. And these are exciting times.

By getting your investments right, and optimising effectively, you will have the foundations in place to build the perfect digital workplace; to utilise the latest developments in AI, automation and digitisation; and have the very best technology in place to access, store and secure your data, from wherever you are based.

Don’t get bogged down in the firefighting – innovate to grow.


Other areas of interest

We offer more than just software support: our specialists are here to maximise the potential of your business, enhance efficiency, and create a smarter, safer business environment for you.

On Prem Private Cloud

Discover the advantages of our secure and customisable on-prem private cloud solutions. Experience the control, privacy, and performance of dedicated infrastructure tailored to your business needs.

On Prem Hosted Cloud

Experience the best of both worlds with our on-prem hosted cloud solutions. Enjoy the control and security of on-site infrastructure coupled with the flexibility and scalability of the cloud.

Edge Computing

Unlock the power of edge computing for your business. Leverage real-time insights, reduced latency, and enhanced security to drive innovation and deliver exceptional user experiences.