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Suffering from Cloud Overload? 5 Steps to Streamline Your App Usage

increased 800%. As of last year, the average number of cloud applications that a small business used was between 40 to 79. There are multiple advantages to transitioning to a cloud infrastructure instead of using software that is tied to a specific device. Companies have found that SaaS tools bring:

  1. Higher worker productivity

  2. Better flexibility

  3. Ability to work more easily from anywhere

  4. Resiliency in the face of a crisis One thing that the coronavirus pandemic makes apparent is how crucial using cloud tools in your workflow is, when you need to suddenly move operations offsite. Many businesses sought out I.T. consulting to help them make the quick and unexpected transition earlier this year. But just because the cloud may be necessary, doesn’t mean you have to let your cloud subscriptions get out of control. The rapid cloud adoption phase of the last 10 years, has left many with inefficiencies and redundancies in their cloud environment.

Lower Costs & Improve Your Cloud Infrastructure Those cloud app subscriptions can really add up over time. Cloud overload is becoming the next major business technology issue that companies need to solve after going through cloud adoption. Some of the problems that can happen when companies start adopting cloud technology without a strategy in place are:

  1. The same process is done in more than one app

  2. Application features go unused

  3. Companies pay too much for cloud use

  4. Data isn’t shared between applicationsThe average SaaS spend per employee per year by businesses is $2,884. For the average company, the annual cloud subscription spend per employee is exceeding the cost of purchasing a brand new workstation every year. Streamlining your cloud infrastructure strategically can both bring down monthly subscription costs and improve your overall cloud efficiency. Here are the steps to take to improve your cloud environment and reduce unnecessary costs.

Inventory All Cloud Tools Your Team Uses First, you’ll want to look at all the cloud tools that your team is using, both paid and free. This not only gives you a starting point, it also helps you get a handle on where your business data is being stored. Some employees in companies with lax cloud policies might find apps on their own to use that haven’t been properly vetted by your I.T. team or I.T. provider. This not only can leave your data at risk it can end up with you paying for two different cloud subscription services that do the same thing (e.g. if your HR team decides to use Asana for project management and your marketing team uses Trello for the same thing).

Survey Your Employees About Cloud Tools If executives are making all the decisions about which cloud tools would be best for employees, they could end up choosing the wrong ones. Employees are the ones using these workflow tools on a daily basis, so their input is vital. Survey employees, asking questions such as:

  1. Which cloud software do you find indispensable in your daily work?

  2. Which cloud software should be replaced, and why?

  3. What manual processes do you do during the day?

  4. Which cloud tools do you wish our company were using?

Consolidate SaaS Apps & Eliminate Redundancies If you’re like most offices, you’ll find some redundancies in the cloud tools that you’re using that you can eliminate. Look through the tools in use, cross reference the app that employees like the best, and look for areas of consolidation. This means making sure you also understand the full capabilities of the tools you’re paying for that you may not be aware of. For example, say your company uses Microsoft Teams for its video conference capabilities. But you’re also paying for Slack for team messaging along with a third cloud service that hosts a company Wiki for ongoing user training. Teams can actually do both the team messaging and Wiki hosting, so you could eliminate two subscription costs just by fully utilizing one of the cloud apps you’re already using.

Revamp Your Cloud Infrastructure with Integration in Mind Manual processes can drain productivity and lead to errors. If data from one application, like a CRM, has to be reentered each day into another, like a cloud accounting app, it’s inefficient. When streamlining your cloud infrastructure look for tools that can integrate and share data easily. This includes “all-in-one” type platforms like Microsoft 365 or Zendesk, that offer multiple apps in the same main interface. Being able to integrate and automate processes improves accuracy and can be like adding an extra employee without any additional cost.

Use Change Management Best Practices in Your Implementation Many transitions fail because companies did not have a plan to properly prepare for a change to a new software/workflow and educate and train employees along the way. Transitions that have a change management program in place are 6x more likely to succeed. Don’t just throw employees into a new cloud workflow without proper training, otherwise you may think your streamlining has failed, when actually your staff just needed time to transition and adapt.

Need Help Streamlining Your Cloud Use & Lowering Costs? Texas I.T. Pros can help you with a review of your cloud infrastructure and recommendations on ways to make it more efficient and less costly. Contact us today to schedule a cloud review! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.

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