Cloud computing continues to represent one of the most valuable innovations in IT. Every day, across organisations of all shapes and sizes, we see it totally transform the way they do business, yet it continues to be misunderstood and under-utilised. As a Managed Services provider, it’s incumbent upon us to help businesses not only understand the benefits of cloud computing, but learn how to optimise them.

Although cloud computing has become a foundation of today’s digital-driven business, many have not yet realised the full benefits of optimising this powerful technology. Of the organisations using cloud services, more than 75% report having a ‘cloud first’ strategy. Gartner1 estimates however that less than one-third of organisations have a documented cloud strategy.

While some businesses will argue that a documented cloud adoption strategy is sufficient, it doesn’t always translate to a complete cloud strategy. A cloud strategy, by its very nature, must marry the over-arching business strategy to the technologies and operations at the coal face.

A cloud strategy needs to consider and align with the organisation’s overall direction and business transformation aims, and address, amongst other things, strategic planning, security and strategies for business applications.

Given the up-front investment to move traditional on-premise infrastructure environments to the cloud – which in some cases can be significant – it’s worth taking the time to consider ways to fully optimise its benefits. In many cases, a strong return on investment can be achieved within the first 1 or 2 years but it requires thought, time and a commitment to execute.

Reducing complexity is key

With financial pressures looking likely to continue, businesses will increasingly be asked to justify IT budgets, and in many cases, support increased demand for IT services. Businesses need to identify new opportunities to reduce costs and maximise efficiencies, and taking a short term view is no longer considered acceptable.

So how do you do that? IT cost optimisation isn’t just about cutting costs – it’s about spending more on items that maximise the value IT delivers to your business, and less on things that don’t.

IT systems are inherently complex, but a lack of standard platforms, disparate systems, ageing infrastructure and inconsistent business processes, are all likely to drive up costs. Gartner estimates that complexity imposes additional unnecessary cost which can be as high as 25% on a unit cost basis.

It follows then that reducing complexity is key to driving down costs. Those businesses doing it particularly well are doing so via an intelligent aggregation of cloud solutions.

There are significant opportunities to drive savings through the various cloud solutions on offer, whether via cloud infrastructure (IaaS, PaaS) or ‘pay per use’ products (SaaS) like Office 365. There are also many tools available today to increase the efficiency of public cloud offerings and continuously and programmatically optimise cloud spend.

If implemented and managed properly (this is key!), the value of your cloud investment will extend well beyond the balance sheet, with enhanced business continuity, scalability and lower support costs all part of the value proposition.

It’s never too late to optimise your cloud investment and Ordyss is happy to assist with an obligation-free discussion to help you explore the options.

1 Gartner is a world-leading research and advisory company