Cloud computing has become an integral part of digital transformation, providing flexibility, enhanced performance and efficiencies that can be game changing to organizations. But, as cloud solutions and requests for additional technology services grow, so do the costs and complexity of managing IT environments.
“Many organizations simply don’t know what they don’t know about their cloud footprint,” said Dru Neikirk, Vice President of Technology Services, MRE Consulting. “Without a clear picture, they are exposing themselves to security vulnerabilities, wasting budgets, and missing out on opportunities to optimize ongoing maintenance.”
As cloud investments continue—the global cloud computing market is projected to grow from an estimated $480 billion this year to more than $1,712 billion by 2029—organizations are looking for more effective ways to better understand and manage their investments.
The Challenges of Managing Cloud Environments
Regardless of their size, organizations often lack the visibility and tools they need to properly manage their cloud environment. As a result, IT leaders are forced to operate without the insights they need to effectively manage the cost and performance of their complex environments, and ultimately help their organizations budget and plan for the future.
The most pressing pain points in cloud management include the following:
Gaining visibility into operational costs and planning
As a Managed Services Provider, we often see IT leaders surprised by the growth in the usage and cost of their infrastructure needs. While rising inflation and economic uncertainty have compelled some organizations to curb their cloud spending, 18% of those surveyed plan to increase their cloud budget.
Despite having more to spend, the Winclouds research, as reported by Finances Online, also shows that more than 50% of organizations surveyed exceeded their cloud budget this year or were hit by unexpected cloud costs. More than half attribute the overspending to a lack of visibility.
Complex environments with multiple integrated platforms create challenges to creating and planning aggregated IT infrastructure spend – so they can reduce surprises from overage costs.
Managing infrastructure complexity
As organizations invest in cloud solutions, their needs for infrastructure support multiply exponentially. For example, when production environments are first built, they are often not reassessed, leading to overallocated resources. Development and test environments may not be maintained when teams turnover, which continues to add to costs without adding value to the organization. Also, many companies operate with more than one type of infrastructure platform, for instance, Azure and AWS and have different tools to manage each. It is cumbersome and time-consuming for IT leaders to pull data from across platforms and identify potential issues or overlap.
Assessing IT Inventory for Mergers & Acquisitions
According to McKinsey research, the global M&A market hit an all-time high last year and has softened only slightly. What does the frenzy of activity mean for IT departments? More work. As companies merge, so do their IT assets and software licenses. It’s challenging to secure a full, accurate inventory of IT assets, making it difficult to plan and budget for integrations.
Managing Application Usage & Licenses
Software optimization is a tricky business. It’s even more complicated when organizations experience explosive growth or grow through acquisition. Organizations need to manage licensing for both on-premise and cloud solutions. As employees leave their jobs and are replaced by others, it’s tough to manage licenses, ensure reallocation and avoid redundancies, which leads to paying for more than you need.
All data and computers are documented with estimated costs. We provide recommendations to help improve the accuracy of monthly OpEx expenses, and ultimately reduce overall OpEx cloud costs.
Managing Today’s Cloud Environments with Audix Insights™ from MRE Consulting
We knew there had to be a better way to manage the growing complexities and costs of cloud environments. With more than 20 years of expertise, we developed the Audix Insights™ family of products to better visualize infrastructure environments with data insights: Audix Insights™, Audix Cloud™ and Audix 365™.
“As a managed services provider, we know how challenging it is to quickly get total visibility of a hybrid infrastructure environment, asset monitoring, and be able to understand costs proactively,” said Neikirk. “Part of the challenge is identifying what’s missing at any given time. That requires a clear picture with a continuous real-time update of data. Audix Insights™ continuously mines data and provides intelligent recommendations through machine learning, even the smallest crumbs of information, so over time we have a complete picture of the environment.”
Audix Insights™ Cuts Costs and Complexities
With Audix Insights™, IT leaders can get a complete picture of their assets from a single dashboard, saving time and helping monitor and forecast IT spend on their assets to cut costs and avoid surprises.
For example, a North American retail energy company with a large multi-tenant cloud environment was experiencing an increasing demand for tier one cloud storage. The demands led to monthly cloud overage fees that were impacting the business’s bottom line. Through a thorough assessment of the company’s IT inventory, Audix Insights™ identified powerful cost cutting strategies, including retiring unallocated disks, closing abandoned test/demo environments, identifying unused licensing, creating policies to shutdown virtual machines, leveraging spot pricing for dynamic workloads, and buying reserved instances. The strategies led to a 19% total cost savings.
Audix Insights™ enables IT Road mapping and M&A Integration Planning
Audix Insights™ users can run a rapid audit for an accurate inventory which can help with estimating assets and with planning an IT integration roadmap. This is especially helpful during merger and acquisition activity, providing both an executive view and an operational view for managing redundancies and integration roadmap planning.
For instance, the IT department for an industrial gases and services company in the midst of a $15B acquisition was charged with identifying the necessary servers to migrate to a new infrastructure, take inventory of installed software, and perform a full system health analysis within an aggressive timeline. Multiple partners were called in to help, but their assessments came back with wildly different results.
Within 24 hours, Audix Insights™ was able to identify the servers they needed to migrate (including more than 400 servers which had not been identified previously) and help account for them and how they would impact the new merger’s infrastructure. The solution also identified software and licensing information that was critical to the project’s success.
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Audix 365™ Digs Deep to Optimize Software Licensing
Audix 365™, a powerful component of the Audix Insights™ family, provides full visibility into the Microsoft 365 environment and associated risks. Users can quickly compare their purchased licenses against allocated/used licenses. This enables them to easily identify unused and oversubscribed licenses and billback usage costs to departments.
For one client, a natural gas supplier, Audix 365™ identified $50k in oversubscriptions that could be removed at their next Microsoft Enterprise Agreement renewal period.
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Are you ready to visualize your IT environment in minutes?
Managing IT assets isn’t an easy task. With the right tools, you can effectively assess and maximize your IT environment, saving yourself time and better serve your organization.
Audix Insights™ is available as a subscription service (SAAS). We also offer one-time assessments so you can see the value of the data and visibility you will have access to for your current environment.
For more information on how Audix Insights™ and MRE Consulting can help you transform the way you manage your cloud environments, please visit our Audix Insights™ site or contact us below.