January 22, 2024

Cost Optimisation With Azure Cloud During Challenging Economic Times

The economic challenges that South Africa has been facing for some years show little signs of abating.

Against this background, cost optimisation remains critically important for local organisations as they strive to continue moving forward. Cloud computing on Microsoft Azure can assist businesses with their cost optimisation in a number of ways.

The term ‘Cloud’ simply means the software and services that run on the internet instead of locally on your on-site server or computer. Moving to the Cloud offers significant business benefits, particularly with regards to helping your organisation to stay agile and competitive

A Brief Overview of ‘SA Inc’

According to the multinational professional services brand of firms, PwC, in a report released during October 2023: “South Africa’s fiscal environment has deteriorated since the publication of Budget 2023 (in February this year), with the last number of months seeing increased concern over the expected shortfall in government revenues during 2023/2024 alongside a deteriorated macroeconomic situation.”

PwC continues: “At present, we forecast lower growth rates of 0.5% and 1.1%, respectively. This is indicative of the multiple headwinds faced by the local economy, including a weak outlook for household finances (linked to a decline in real income) impacting household spending, low business confidence weighing on investment, a decline in global commodity prices reducing export receipts and a weak rand increasing the cost of imports.”

As outlined by PwC it would then appear that belt tightening all round continues to be the order of the day. Moving data, applications and other business elements to a Cloud computing environment can assist organisations to cut costs.

Cloud Computing and Cost Optimisation

Azure – Microsoft’s public Cloud platform – has a number of key focus areas to help you get the most value out of your Azure investment. This includes understanding and forecasting your costs, optimising your workload costs, and controlling your costs.

Cloud cost optimisation makes workloads more efficient. Its benefits include the following:

  • Being able to understand, measure, optimise and track your cloud costs. Having full control of your monthly bill should be your primary goal.
  • Improve the performance of applications. This can significantly impact on user experience, as slow or unresponsive applications can lead to frustrated customers and lost revenue. By optimising cloud resources, companies can ensure that their applications run smoothly, improving customer satisfaction, and decreasing cloud spend.
  • Saving on your application’s cost in a systematic way can give you a budget for additional features, refactoring, and innovation.

Seven Ways to Optimise Your Azure Costs

This easy guide offers different ways to optimise your Azure costs:

  1. Shut down unused resources: Identify idle virtual machines, ExpressRoute circuits and other resources with Azure Advisor. Get recommendations on which resources to shut down and see how much you would save.
  2. Right-size underused resources: Find under-utilised resources with Azure Advisor and get recommendations on how to reduce spending by reconfiguring or consolidating them.
  3. Reserve instances for consistent workloads: Save money when you reserve resources in advance.
  4. Take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit: Realise major savings when you bring your Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises licences with Software Assurance to Azure.
  5. Get Azure Dev/Test pricing for development environments: Get rate discounts on Azure to support development and testing scenarios.
  6. Set up budgets and allocate costs to teams and projects: Monitor your organisation’s Cloud spending with Azure Cost Management.
  7. Explore serverless technologies and new architectures: Optimise your workloads with guidance for building apps and solutions on Azure using best practices and proven patterns.

The Microsoft Azure public cloud offers many benefits to companies, such as increased flexibility, scalability and availability of resources. Ensuring that your Azure workloads are cost optimised can help to free up funds to support essential areas like remote work.

Contact us for more information on assisting you and your business with your Cloud journey.

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