As many organizations expand operations, a lot of their employees continue to utilize hundreds of cloud computing services without the enterprise or their IT departments knowing anything about it. In fact, that’s true everywhere as a lot of business units routinely seek out and employ cloud technology apart from other departments which has led to great confusion not to mention added costs, increases in inefficiency and a complete lack of oversight.
Without the important visibility into the various cloud applications their employees are using each day, organizations are finding it difficult to see what’s really happening and control the associated costs as well as safeguard against any liability or security issues that can develop. This can be especially true with protecting customer data from loss or damage. Still, other issues that can be problematic are the ability to comply with government regulations in a cloud environment.
Even so, there are certain steps that enterprises can follow in order to get a grip on all the confusion and benefit from the advantages of the cloud without assuming all the risks and paying for hidden costs.
(1) Get more visibility
It might seem rather obvious, but first things first. An organization has to find out what applications its employees are using. A recent study actually showed that the average enterprise uses more than 450 apps which is almost 10 times the number that IT department had estimated.
(2) Reduce spending
Even though most organizations look to the cloud to save on costs, the truth is that many waste more money on unused cloud app licenses and outdated provider contracts.
(3) Know what you’re paying for
Cloud app licenses and fees can be extremely confusing which seems to account for why so many enterprises end up paying more than they had hoped to because of all the hidden costs. That’s why it’s vital to understand exactly how each contract is structured.
(4) Eliminate multiple contracts
Multiple contracts with the same provider across different departments whether its sales o marketing can be troublesome and really rack up extra fees. Canceling multiple contracts with the same vendor can eliminate those unnecessary added expenses.
(5) Terminate unused cloud licenses
Organizations should identify what cloud licenses they are paying for and cancel those that are no longer being used. In some cases they may be paying for licenses for those employees who no longer working for the organization.
(6) Shop the best deal
It’s always best to take a look at current contracts and negotiate for a better deal. In fact, you should renegotiate in the future to make sure rates conform to the volume purchased.
(7) Get Your IT department involved
“Shadow IT” is a major concern and one in which can lead to many issues especially with security. That’s why in order to avoid potential liability concerns an organization should bring their IT department into the process when making decisions. By involving IT, organizations can ensure that cloud application solutions they buy, they get.
(8) Consolidate assets and expenses
When an organization determines which apps employees are using and where money is being spent, they need to centralize where it can all be managed. This can simplify the process of managing contracts and help eliminate duplicate contracts.
(9) Align Assets and expenses
Instead of making decisions on one-off investments on different cloud apps, the organization should take a look at the big picture and make sure cloud investments are aligned with overall business goals. That way, the ROI on cloud expenditures will be improved considerably.
(10) Look at options for third-party providers
It’s a lot of work managing cloud apps today. It’s an ongoing process and one which a third-party can offer an objective assessment of cloud usage and provide valuable oversight on potential value from the investment.
Limiting confusion and controlling costs when it comes to the many cloud computing applications used in organizations does not have to be difficult but it is necessary in order to avoid a litany of liability and security issues. In doing so, an enterprise can really improve visibility and overall efficiencies and take full advantage of the benefits of cloud applications.
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