Cloud solutions have revolutionized the way small businesses in central Florida and the rest of the world do business. They allow data to be available from any location, on any device and reduce the cost of entry for many technologies.
Over the last decade nearly all businesses have adopted at least one cloud technology, but most have adopted multiple cloud tools. On average, companies use about 16 cloud platforms for their business processes.
Platforms like Microsoft’s Office 365 has helped lead the cloud adoption revolution, and the market has now become saturated with multiple tools you can use for just about any business or industry-specific function.
But while the last several years may have been about cloud adoption for most businesses, the ones to come will be about cloud streamlining.
How Can I Save Money on My Cloud Infrastructure?
A lot of businesses find themselves with some problems after going through cloud adoption:
- Duplication of features in cloud solutions
- A cloud subscription cost that’s too high
- Cloud solutions that aren’t integrated or don’t share data
- Users having to learn too many different cloud apps
Unfortunately, many businesses have had unwanted downtime during the pandemic, but on a positive note, it’s a great time to streamline your cloud infrastructure to improve efficiency and reduce your overall technology costs.
Here are the steps you can take that will help you come out ahead, more optimized, and ready to hit the ground running.
Step 1: Survey Your Employees About Your Business Apps
The best way to know which cloud apps are invaluable to your team and which they hardly use is to ask them. Survey your team on all the business applications they use and have them rate them on things like ease of use, helpfulness, how well the app helps accomplish your company mission, etc.
If you find that several employees don’t like a particular cloud service, that’s a good indicator you need to replace its functions to improve productivity.
Here are a few ideas for survey questions to include:
- What cloud apps do you use for work not listed below?
- What cloud apps do you wish we used instead of one we’re using?
- If you could only keep 4 of our business apps, which would those be and why?
- For each cloud app, rate it from 1-5 on helpfulness, ease of use, how well it helps accomplish the mission, how well it works with other apps.
Step 2: List All Apps & What Their Functions Are
Once you complete the employee survey, you may find that employees are using different apps that can do the same things. But you won’t know unless you list out all your apps and their functions into a master list.
It’s important to include the both the cloud apps that you know about and the ones that employees noted in their surveys that they are using for work, which you may not have known about.
Step 3: Eliminate Redundant Cloud Applications
Look for duplication of functionality in the cloud applications that your employees are using. As part of this step you’ll want to research any new features one of the apps may have added recently that can eliminate the need for a separate cloud application.
You want to identify instances when different employees or departments are using different apps for the same thing. Then based upon employee surveys, choose the better rated of the two.
For example, you may find that your marketing team is using Hootsuite for scheduling your company social media posts, and that your sales team is also putting out social posts but using Sprout Social. Consolidating those into a single account and platform could eliminate unnecessary costs and integrate your social media as a whole.
Step 4: Look for Areas of Consolidation
If you can use one cloud platform that does five things instead of five different cloud apps that do one thing, you gain the benefit of:
- Lower subscription costs (subscribing to one rather than five)
- Users learning one interface instead of five
- Data being shared and consolidated
- Ease of automating activities
Look for areas that allow consolidation of activities into a single cloud platform, which can lower your costs and streamline efficiency.
An example would be:
- Instead of using:
- Slack (chat)
- RingCentral (VoIP)
- Zoom (Video Meetings)
- Dropbox (file storage)
- You could use:
- Teams with Microsoft 365 Business Voice integration to do all those things in a single cloud platform
Step 5: Centralize Your Data
The point of streamlining is to reduce waste and inefficiency, which in turn reduces cost and improves productivity.
One of the most time-consuming repetitive tasks is having the same data rekeyed into multiple cloud platforms. Not only is it inefficient, it can lead to data entry errors and inconsistencies.
More than 40% of employees spend at least a quarter of their time on repetitive tasks.
One of the reasons you want to eliminate and consolidate when going through a cloud services review is to centralize your data. If different applications can all access the same database of information, it improves accuracy, speed, and reduced the costs of manual entry.
Step 6: Implement Your Game Plan
Executing a change of technology should be done thoughtfully using change management strategies to help transition employees to the new streamlined structure.
If implemented well, you can end up with a better, faster, more productive, and less costly cloud infrastructure.
Get Cost Efficient Optimization from the Pros at C Solutions!
You don’t have to undertake a cloud evaluation and streamlining on your own. C Solution has experts that can guide you and your team through the process so you can come out of the project successful and saving money.
Schedule a free cloud consultation today! Call 407-536-8381 or reach us online.