Maximizing Your Cloud ROI with Cross-Functional Microsoft Azure Optimization
As businesses continue to shift their operations to the cloud, it's becoming increasingly important to optimize cloud resources to ensure maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness. This is especially true for businesses that rely on Microsoft Azure cloud services, as your cloud costs will tend to creep up as more of your business embraces cloud platforms and your sophistication increases.
In this article, we'll explore some best practices for optimizing resources within Microsoft Azure, with a particular focus on the importance of cross-departmental or cross-functional cloud management. By implementing a Cloud Center of Excellence and FinOps (Financial Operations) practices, businesses can drive down cloud expenditures, improve security, and gain greater visibility and control over their cloud investments.
Why Optimize Azure Cloud Resources?
Before we dive into specific optimization practices, it's important to understand why they are necessary in the first place. There are several compelling business reasons for doing so, including:
Lower Cloud Expenditures: By optimizing cloud resources, businesses can avoid unnecessary costs and reduce overall cloud expenditures. This can be particularly important for midsize organizations that need to maximize their IT budgets.
Stronger Security: Businesses enhance their security posture by identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities and ensuring that critical data is properly secured. This is much easier to accomplish with cloud resources are properly managed and monitored.
Higher Visibility: Implementing cross-functional cloud management allows businesses to gain greater visibility and control over their cloud investments, allowing them to make more informed decisions about where and how to allocate cloud resources.
Greater Alignment of Business to Technology Investment: By bringing together a cloud management team from across the organization, businesses can better align technology investments with business objectives, ensuring that cloud resources are being used to support key initiatives.
Cloud Center of Excellence
One increasingly popular method for optimizing cloud resources is to establish a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCoE). A CCoE is across-functional team that is responsible for developing and promoting cloud best practices within an organization. The CCoE is typically comprised of representatives from different departments, including IT, finance, and operations, and is led by a cloud champion who has the authority and expertise to make decisions and implement changes.
The CCoE is responsible for a number of critical functions, including:
- Creating and enforcing cloud policies and standards that align with the organization's overall objectives
- Identifying opportunities for cloud cost savings and optimization
- Facilitating collaboration and communication across different departments to ensure that cloud resources are being used effectively and efficiently
- Providing training and support to employees to help them understand and make the most of cloud platforms
By establishing a CCoE, businesses are better positioned to ensure cloud resources are used effectively and everyone in the organization is on the same page when it comes to cloud management.
Somewhat similar to a CCoE but with a specific focus, FinOps (Financial Operations) practices are another method to reign in cloud costs and align business and IT. FinOps is a cross-functional approach to cloud cost management that brings together finance, operations, and IT to use cloud resources in a more cost-effective manner. The FinOps approach involves a number of key steps, including:
- Establishing clear ownership and accountability for cloud budgets
- Developing a framework to track and analyze cloud spending
- Creating policies and procedures for optimization, such as identifying underutilized resources and rightsizing workloads on a regular schedule
- Providing regular reports and feedback to all stakeholders so they can see how cloud spending is being managed and whereimprovements can be made
Implementing a FinOps approach can lead to significant cost savings over time, as well as better alignment between cloud spending and overall business objectives.
Some additional benefits of implementing a FinOps approach include:
- Improved forecasting and budgeting capabilities, thanks to more accurate and detailed cloud cost data
- Greater collaboration between finance, operations, and IT, leading to more effective cloud resource management
- A stronger culture of accountability and ownership when it comes to cloud spending, reducing waste and inefficiency
Essential Tools for Optimizing Microsoft Azure Cloud Resources
Now that you have an idea of the organizational realignment required to effectively manage large-scale cloud environments, let's take a look at a few essential tools within Microsoft Azure that can be used to provide visibility, reporting, alerts, and other vital ways to optimize cloud resources:
Azure Cost Management and Billing provides a comprehensive view of Azure spending, allowing businesses to track costs, identify trends, and create budgets. It also provides alerts and recommendations for optimizing spending.
Azure Advisor offers personalized recommendations for optimizing Azure resources based on best practices and usage patterns. It covers areas such as high availability, security, and cost optimization.
Azure Monitor delivers real-time visibility into the performance and health of Azure resources. It can be used to monitor everything from individual virtual machines to entire applications.
Azure Policy allows businesses to create and enforce policies for Azure resources, ensuring compliance and reducing the risk of costly mistakes.
By using these tools, your cloud management teams can gain the visibility and control they need to optimize their Azure cloud resources and achieve business objectives more effectively.
Optimizing Microsoft Azure cloud resources is a critical task for any business that relies on the cloud. By implementing a Cloud Center of Excellence and FinOps approach, businesses can drive down cloud expenditures, improve security, and gain greater visibility and control over their cloud investments. In addition, by using essential tools within Microsoft Azure, businesses can take a data-driven approach to cloud resource management and make informed decisions that lead to better business outcomes.
But these major organizational changes don’t happen overnight. If you need any assistance achieving stronger cloud management practices, Lunavi can help implement the technical solutions required while also working alongside your teams to foster your shift to new and improved operations. Contact us today to learn more.