Companies are increasingly migrating to the cloud and creating cloud-based solutions. Regardless of company size, market or industry, the measurable benefits of cloud adoption include the ability to:
- deploy solutions faster,
- easily scale resources,
- optimize IT costs,
- boost cybersecurity,
- improve access to their customer service,
- drive remote collaboration,
- expand their disaster recovery capabilities,
- implement emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI),
- strengthen a company’s market position as a tech leader.
The rewards are great, but so are the risks. According to HashiCorp’s 2023 State of Cloud Strategy Survey, 56% of surveyed delivery practicioners and decision makers said that the macroeconomic situation caused them to increase their cloud spending in the past year. At the same time, 94% of respondents from companies at various stages of cloud maturity had “cloud waste”, or cloud costs that could be avoided. Read on to learn how to ensure an investment in migrating to cloud, or optimizing existing cloud solutions, can be done safely, efficiently and effectively.
Best practices for maximizing your cloud investment
There are several strategies to ensure your organization maximizes its cloud investment and the benefits that the cloud offers.
Review your cloud usage and costs on a regular basis. Many cloud providers offer detailed billing and usage reports, so take the time to understand where your organization is spending its cloud budget. Regular cost audits, either conducted in-house or by an external software partner with cloud experience, enable you to identify areas where you may be overspending or underutilizing resources. By optimizing your usage, you can reduce costs and better align your cloud investment with your business needs.
Adopt a “rightsizing” approach to your cloud resources. This means that you should only provide the resources that you actually need, instead of over-provisioning to ensure that you have enough capacity to handle peak loads. Avoiding the use of unnecessary resources will cut costs, and, as well, you can use the Auto-Scaling feature of the cloud to adjust your resources based on usage and traffic.
Take advantage of cloud providers’ free tiers, like those of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and determine what kind of resources you actually need. These free tiers typically include a certain amount of resources that can be used for free for a period of time. This is a great way to get started with the cloud, test out new services and experiment with new technologies.
Optimize your cloud investment by implementing best practices for security and compliance. Cloud providers offer a wide range of security and compliance services, but it’s important to make sure that you are leveraging them and using them effectively. This means understanding the shared responsibility model and implementing security best practices like multi-factor authentication, encryption and security monitoring.
Consider the availability and fault tolerance of your cloud architecture. A well-designed cloud architecture can help ensure that your applications and services are always available, even in the event of failure. This will minimize the impact of outages on your business and ensure that your organization meets its SLA commitments.
Apply a cloud native approach to product development and your company’s growth. Instead of running the application on virtual machines (VMs), use cloud native services like AWS Lambda, Azure functions, or Google Cloud Functions to run code. This reduces costs and allows you to easily scale your application, while taking advantage of the platform’s services, like security and monitoring. Even a gradual switch to cloud native services results in cost savings and improved effectiveness in the long run.
Strategies for optimizing cloud costs
Cloud computing costs can add up quickly, especially if your organization is not using best practices to optimize its usage. Fortunately, there are methods for reducing expenses and maximizing investment.
One key strategy is to use reserved instances, which allow you to pay a discounted rate for committing to a certain amount of usage over a period of time. This can lead to significant savings compared to on-demand instances, which are billed by the hour. Additionally, many cloud providers offer different reservation options, such as convertible, standard and scheduled. It’s important to choose the option that meets your organization’s needs.
Use spot instances, which enable you to take advantage of unused capacity at a discounted price. These instances are typically used for workloads that are not time-sensitive and can be interrupted – an ideal option for batch processing, big data analysis or running test environments.
Save costs through automatic scaling, which makes it possible for your cloud infrastructure to automatically add or remove resources based on the demands of your workload – helping you to avoid over-provisioning resources and ensuring you only pay for what you use. You can also use auto-scaling to implement a schedule, so resources can be used only during work hours or on a specific day.
Monitor and optimize your cloud usage to track usage patterns, identify underutilized resources and areas where costs can be reduced. Monitoring cloud usage will help you determine which resources are unnecessary so you can free them up. Moreover, you can use the rightsizing feature to optimize the instance size.
Use cloud native services from cloud providers like data storage, databases and messaging queues, which can be used instead of running an application on VMs. Using these services decreases the number of resources you need to manage and utilizes the platform’s services, like security and monitoring. Since many cloud providers offer different pricing models, such as pay-as-you-go or reserved capacity, it’s important to choose the option that meets your organization’s needs.
Use multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environments, which enables you to take advantage of the different features, services, and pricing options offered by different cloud providers. Also, it enables you to run some of the workloads in the on-premises environment and leverage the cost advantage of using the public cloud.
Consider using a Cloud Cost Management Platform to gain better visibility and control over your cloud costs. This platform helps to identify and optimize costs, track costs and consumption and generate reports and alerts.
Proven cloud specialists deliver immediate and long-term value
In ever-competitive markets, companies need to focus on their core business and engage technical partners who provide the niche expertise needed to drive innovation. This is why the demand for qualified cloud specialists is so high, and why organizations turn to experienced cloud teams – like those at Software Mind. Cross-functional cloud teams provide consulting services for all stages of cloud adoption and optimization, including cloud migration strategies, landing zone implementation and governance, cloud architect as a service (CaaS), NoOps and DevOps automation and cloud security.
Experts who have technical skills with machine learning (ML) engineering, data engineering, research and development, continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) automation and infrastructure as a code (IaaC) design, build and implement evolutive cloud solutions. But they also support organizations in developing in-house cloud expertise and implementing a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE). By providing custom training workshops, external cloud professionals help companies prepare their staff for the organizational and cultural shift that occurs when migrating to the cloud. These workshops cover all major cloud technology leaders, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, GCP, Kubernetes and Terraform. If you want to learn how our cloud experts can support your cloud journey, fill out this contact form.
About the authorDomi Rydel
Cloud Value Professional Product Manager
With over a decade’s experience in B2B marketing, Domi Rydel has worked as a marketing manager and consultant for startups and technology companies in the cloud and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries. Her technical background and cloud expertise has enabled her to co-create upskilling courses for IT individuals and teams, along with effective cloud training programs that help businesses navigate a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Apart from her cloud achievements, she also shares her marketing knowledge by helping other experts develop and promote their personal brands.