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Cloud economics can be a touchy subject.

Much of the hype surrounding cloud hosting points to a shiny list of organization-wide changes — this includes watershed upgrades to strategy, scalability, cost and beyond.
Cloud Planning

While such excitement is deserved, the cloud is not as plug-and-play as most promotions would have us believe. An apples-to-apples comparison of cost and process will not materialize on your whiteboard after one meeting. We can do our best to pin down the TCO and ROI of cloud migration, but organizational complexities, regulations and maturity of the business model paint a much less objective picture.

Sure, there are plenty of TCO calculators of varying complexity out there. It’s a good place to start, but such tools have a total lack of visibility into your legacy environments, transitional costs, or further optimization measures in the long term.

A recent Densify study found that the state of cloud understanding throughout the industry is looking rather grim. They received startling feedback from organizations on the cloud showing that 75% of them either overspent on their cloud budget or couldn’t even pinpoint how much they spend. Half of the participants believed that they were overcharged for cloud services.

This is not the story we’re being sold – so what’s the deal?

Online merchants considering a move to the cloud would be wise to get ahead of some future problems (and future emergency meetings) by considering a cloud-managed services provider to utilize the cloud more effectively.

A cloud managed services provider can be a key partner in planning and operating your cloud infrastructure whether this is your first move into the cloud or if you just want to get it under control.


Planning Your Cloud Spend: Optimized

Cloud-managed services experts come with a unique perspective. Their innate ability to see the big picture while also providing systems thinking brings realistic experience to cloud planning exercises. They can conduct complex up-front analyses of your workloads, costs and pain points to provide significantly more accurate technical specs and usage predictions.

Of course, the cloud part of your business does not exist in a vacuum. Commerce managed services can also help you wrangle your cloud spend by helping you understand other business functions that the cloud impacts, such as ongoing software development and cost management.

Powerful analytics is perhaps the most attractive factor of the cloud, especially for marketers. In planning a move to the cloud, the analytics appeal means bringing a fuller picture to your digital strategy that is cohesive to both business and IT operations. The big issue in cloud planning here is that many merchants are starting practically in the dark and do not have comparable data to gauge potential usage on the cloud.

Moreover, eCommerce cloud environments are not as “consumerized” as many of the other content and media-focused platforms we’re used to. The level of complexity on the cloud can be overwhelming and the trap of drowning in data shortly after a migration is not uncommon.

Again, all of these pitfalls are avoidable with proper, big-picture scoping and analytical insight.  This can prove invaluable, seeing as a move to the cloud is a ubiquitous leap toward the future for your business, and you want to be sure that your whole business is ready and able to come with you.


Ongoing Operations: Optimized

Business leaders placated by “having the cloud” and not focusing on “perfecting the cloud” are not at fault – they are just in need of a specialized set of eyes to reach true operational efficiency.

Hyper-scale cloud providers are constantly improving and innovating the services and technology they can provide your business. But what good is constant innovation if you never capitalize on or learn from it?

Visibility does drastically increase when you move to the cloud — but think about the real-world implications of that. Your cloud visibility opens up a vast new world of tracking and analytics that need to be interpreted and harnessed for decision making. You can actually optimize this improved visibility with a managed service provider.

Scalability is yet another benefit that can overwhelm people. Despite the newly acquired superpower to scale up and down, most businesses don’t know how to inform or execute this power. Cloud managed services providers bring a dose of clarity here too. They can digest analytics to consult you on creating and decommissioning infrastructure as needed so you can equip your website for online promotions, flash sales and even unexpected demand spikes.

As with all things on the cloud, getting it “just right” is not a one-time calculation. Managed service experts can leverage analytics on a daily, or even hourly, basis to optimize your cost and infrastructure without locking you into a contract. An ongoing, iterative strategy for cost savings and business success. Instead of wrangling cloud operations based on “best guesses”, they help:

  • Track compliance standards and cloud vendor movements to make sure you’re investing attention to the correct certifications.
  • Be the first to know about industry trends and best practices.
  • Advise where to cut down, leading to optimization and continually improved usage.
  • Inform ongoing strategic decisions with accurate, big-picture cost estimates as they relate to cloud spend and operations.
  • Grow your brand with more efficiency using hyper-scale cloud providers to access worldwide infrastructure services within minutes.

By making the jump to cloud infrastructure today, you are setting your business up to keep current in a world where the pace of technology change is growing faster and faster. But as mentioned, you do not gain cloud superpowers overnight.

For stakeholders (or those who keep stakeholders organized), calculating cloud spend can be an ongoing headache.

Finding a consultative partner to help you master the cloud, such as a cloud-managed services provider, can control expectations and lead to immediate, measurable benefits.

See how DXL’s recent migration to AWS resulted in maximized site performance and 30% savings on hosting fees. Read their story HERE.