It’s estimated that nearly a third (32%) of IT budgets will be dedicated to the cloud in 2021. The last five years have been a transition phase for many businesses that included leaving behind legacy on-premises technologies for cloud-based workflows. But many Tennessee and Kentucky business owners are realizing, just “moving to the cloud” isn’t enough. A cloud transformation has to be done thoughtfully with a strategic plan in mind. Otherwise, companies end up with less efficiency and higher costs than anticipated. A 2020 report on SaaS trends by Blissfully found that companies are spending more on the cloud and wasting more money at the same time. Some of the statistics from 2019 show that:
- Cloud spending has increased 50%
- The number of unique apps used per company is up 30%
- Cloud waste is doubling year-over-year
- Duplicate app subscriptions increased 80%
What’s causing cloud inefficiencies?
Adoption Without a Plan
One of the reasons for cloud waste is that companies adopt cloud applications of different types, but don’t have a plan. This means that they’re finding that a CRM app might not easily share data with another app, such as one for accounting or shipping. When apps don’t communicate, and it’s found out only after a company has gone through adoption, it leads to SaaS tool churn. Companies spend time and money adopting a new cloud app, only to abandon it because they were treating their cloud policy as a buffet of options rather than an entire meal that needs to connect and work together.
No Policy for Cloud Use
With no policy for cloud use, employees often adopt applications on their own to use with business data without going through proper channels. This is called shadow IT and it’s both a security risk and expensive. As much as 20% to 40% of technology spending is done outside a normal IT team approval process. Employees using shadow IT has led to the increase in redundant apps that companies are paying for without even realizing it.
App of the Month Syndrome
Some leadership and business owners love the “new car feel” of a brand-new application. They’ll get excited about it, rush their employees to adoption, and then a month or two later, get bored with it and drop it for the next shiny new app. This “app of the month” syndrome causes cloud inefficiency, cloud waste, and a stall of forward motion because employees are in a constant state of flux with their workflows. Employees also have a hard time committing to the success of a new application because they don’t expect it to stay around very long.
How to Streamline and Fix Cloud Waste
Use As Few Different App Platforms As Possible
An efficient cloud infrastructure means that employees and data have to deal with as few different apps as possible. This reduces wasted time switching between entirely different user interfaces and ensures that data can be centralized and shared more efficiently. Look for all-in-one platforms like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. These have several productivity tools inside a single cloud platform that not only streamlines your workflow, but also your cloud billing.
Create a Cloud Framework that New Apps Must Fit Into
Adopting applications without the other apps you use in mind leads to cloud churn and wasted time and money. You should work with an IT partner to put together a strategic cloud framework. This means ensuring data can flow freely between applications and that time-saving automations can be put into place. Once you have a framework, you should use this as a measuring stick before adopting new applications. Can the app easily integrate into your framework and share data with the other apps? Are there any redundancies? Even if you really like an app, if it doesn’t integrate well with your existing cloud framework, it’s generally not worth it to use it.
Put a Cloud Use Policy in Place
Shadow IT typically happens because employees don’t know any better. There is no clear policy on what apps they can and can’t use, so they use ones they think will help them do their job better. It’s important that businesses put a cloud use policy in place that includes the following:
- Restrictions on applications that employees can use
- Explanation of why shadow IT is a risk to both efficiency and security
- A way for employees to suggest an application through proper channels
- Penalties for using applications that are not officially approved
Get Expert Guidance Streamlining Your Cloud Infrastructure
Are you spending more than you expected on cloud application subscriptions? Copperband Technologies can help your Middle Tennessee or Southern Kentucky business streamline your cloud use for better productivity and eliminate unnecessary SaaS spending. Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 931.263.8000 or email us.