Over the last decade, businesses have been going through a transition to the cloud. Some have been adapting faster than others, but most organizations have realized that the cloud is the future of any type of optimized and resilient business operation.
The last year caused an acceleration of cloud app migration due to the need to facilitate remote teams during the pandemic lockdowns. Businesses rushed to put video applications and cloud communication tools in place.
Microsoft Teams went from 20 million active users to 115 million over the past year.
But now that the dust is settling on cloud adoption, companies are realizing that using cloud tools without a strategy is costing them time and money.
Cloud waste has doubled and companies average about 3.6 redundant apps. This leads to exploding cloud subscription costs without a matching productivity boost.
Cloud technology is vital to have. So how do you streamline and use it more effectively? We have several tips to help you do that.
Steps to Streamline Your Cloud Workflow
Find Out How Many Apps Your Team is Using (Employee Survey)
Think you know all of the applications being used at your office? You may want to think again. Shadow IT (the use of cloud apps without an official “okay”) is rampant. This is especially true within remote teams.
80% of employees admit to using SaaS tools without getting approval first.
Before you can streamline apps used and get rid of redundant apps, you need to find out how many are being used, what they do and which apps employees like or dislike.
Send your employees a survey with questions like:
- Name ALL cloud tools and software that you use for any part of your work (official and non-official).
- What 3 work apps are critical to performing your everyday tasks?
- Which 3 work apps would you like to see replaced and why?
- Are there any tools that you wish that our company would provide and utilize?
This information will give you a starting point for your cloud optimization process.
Review & Eliminate Unneeded & Unpopular Apps
Review the results of your employee surveys and begin the process of removing apps from your company workflows that are not needed. These include redundant apps and unpopular apps.
You want to keep several things in mind when choosing which apps to keep and which to eliminate:
- Their ability to integrate with other tools
- Whether or not they offer other helpful features or are a “one trick pony”
- What employees tell you about them (helpful/not helpful)
- Cost when compared to a similarly positioned app that does the same thing
Consider Your Cloud Foundation
Now that you have compiled your list of unhelpful or unneeded apps, you will want to look at your cloud foundation.
Many companies just start using apps that they see online and have all public cloud tools. That is fine if that is their foundational strategy. However, it is important to understand and strategically consider your cloud foundation.
This would be a choice between:
- Public Cloud (the SaaS provider runs the server and your data is on the same server as other customers)
- Private Cloud (you rent a dedicated cloud server and have complete control over setup and security)
- Hybrid Cloud (use of both private and public cloud)
It is important to discuss your options with your trusted IT provider who can help you to put in the best foundation for your specific needs.
Another part of your foundation is any all-in-one productivity tools that you use such as Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace (formerly G Suite). You want to consider migrating to one of these larger platforms because they reduce app redundancy and facilitate time-saving automation.
Put Your New Cloud Infrastructure in Place
Once you have chosen your cloud foundation and the cloud applications that will remain in or become a new part of your workflow, you will want to strategically roll out the new infrastructure.
This means incorporating the principles of change management. This is all about facilitating employees through a company transition (like a new technology workflow).
Managing the transition and ensuring employees are properly trained, reducing disruption during the change in workflows and helping ensure good practices are sustained and people don’t go back to bad habits (like using apps without permission) are all pieces of the puzzle.
Manage Your Cloud Infrastructure Going Forward
Your cloud infrastructure is like your cybersecurity strategy. It has to be continually managed and maintained to ensure it remains effective.
Some ways that you can keep cloud waste from getting out of hand and keep your cloud infrastructure optimized are:
- Survey employees annually about apps to ensure that they are still serving your team well.
- Create policies against using cloud apps without permission and create an app suggestion and approval process.
- Work with your IT provider to secure and customize your cloud software tools.
- Review your cloud use regularly as well as any newly created tools that may be out there.
Get Expert Help Streamlining Your Cloud Use & Save Money
Sound Computers can help your Connecticut business eliminate cloud waste and optimize your cloud workflows.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.