Why Controlling your Azure Spending Is Critical in 2023

It’s more crucial than ever for businesses to manage their expenditures as the economy teeters on the edge of another recession. Azure infrastructure is one of the primary line items on any organization’s budget. Estimating or planning cloud costs is crucial when your business moves toward an architecture, framework, or software-as-a-service ecosystem. Furthermore, you want to avoid experiencing “bill shock”—a sudden spike in your budget for Azure cost management —later. In other words, as you deal with additional staff or cloud resource vendors, budgetary control becomes more necessary and sophisticated in the “cloud age.”

Here are some prevalent reasons for efficiently working toward Azure cost management in 2023.

 

Inflation is Rising

One of the main drivers of increased Azure expenses is inflation. The cost of living is rising, and Azure service costs are following suit. If you’re not diligent, your Azure bill can spiral out of control very quickly. Reserving cloud resources while they’re affordable is one strategy to address this. When a price increase is imminent, reserving cloud space for the upcoming few years seems like the best course of action. This way, you’ll know exactly how much your Azure services will cost each month, and you won’t have to worry about inflation eating into your budget. 

 

Bloat is Rampant

 Another reason why controlling your Azure spending is so important is because bloat is rampant in most organizations. What do we mean by bloat? Bloat refers to unused or unnecessary resources that are taking up space and costing money. For example, you may have an unused VM that’s still consuming computing resources and costing you money every month. Or you may have an over-provisioned database that’s using more storage than it needs to. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to find and eliminate any sources of bloat in your Azure infrastructure as one of the Azure cost management best practices. 

 

Savings Compound

Gaining knowledge of who in your organization is in charge of what expenses, also referred to as establishing transparency in your cloud costs, can be beneficial in many situations. Knowing your budget allows you to choose the right Azure cost management tools and set budgets for each business segment, commodity, service, or function.

If you’re able to reduce your Azure spending even by a small amount, those savings will compound over time and can eventually be reallocated to other projects. For example, if you’re able to save $5000 per month on your Azure cost management documentation/bill, that’s $60,000 per year that you can put towards other initiatives. And if you’re able to maintain those savings for multiple years, the impact on your bottom line can be significant. 

 

Funds Can Be Appropriated to Other Projects

 Finally, controlling your Azure spending can free up funds that can be appropriated to other projects. In many cases, IT departments are forced to choose between different initiatives because they lack the funding to support them all. But if you’re able to get your Azure spending under control, you may find that you have some extra cash in the budget that can be used to fund other initiatives. 

You can also gain insights into expenditure patterns and constraints over time by generating transparency and interpreting data. It’s crucial to fundamentally manage the expenses against your spending plan and impress the finance department as well. 

 

Conclusion 

Businesses must exercise greater financial restraint as the economy hovers on the verge of another downturn. Azure infrastructure is typically one of the highest-spending products for any organization. We looked at various techniques to reduce costs and keep your Azure expenditure in check, including reserving cloud resources, removing instances of bloat, and distributing funds to other initiatives. You can ensure your company survives the next economic slump without going bankrupt by following these tips. 

Azure cost management vs. Azure Advisor? Wondering which one would be ideal for assisting you in establishing your business’ Azure budget? Here at Metrix Data 360, our experts can assist you with all your Azure-related concerns. Request a demo or visit our website to find out more about what works best for your company.

How Office 365 Works – The Organization’s Guide

One of the most cutting-edge and comprehensive work tools on the market is Office 365. It has several components intended to help organizations become more productive and improve routine operations. But while Office 365 can significantly enhance how your business runs, properly integrating the program into your company’s daily operations can be challenging.

So how can you get around this problem?

Since Office 365 is a holistic platform for office productivity, and new functions and features are constantly added, employees should have access to initial and ongoing training on how it works. This will help them become acquainted with the software and its features, ensuring a smooth technology diffusion within your organization.

Subscribing to Office 365 represents a significant change for many organizations, which have traditionally purchased Office products for a one-time charge and then utilized the software for as long as possible. It may feel like an uphill battle, so organizations that are up for this transformation should be well-equipped with the necessary information. There are several factors to consider when licensing a software suite in this modern paradigm. Understanding how Office 365 works and how it is licensed will undoubtedly influence its efficient implementation within your organization, ultimately helping with Office 365 cost-cutting.

Below, we will go through a few reasons why you should consider switching to Office 365 to upgrade your organization’s operational efficiency.

 

Why Organizations Need Office 365

One of the primary reasons you should consider upgrading to Office 365 is that Microsoft is discontinuing its traditional desktop solutions in favor of subscription-based cloud solutions. This is true for both Windows and the Office 365 suite. Security updates will always be available for Microsoft cloud subscription products but not for older, unsupported versions of perpetual licenses. This could imply that there will be no updates, fixes, training, or support, potentially making outdated, non-cloud programs more vulnerable to malware and hackers and putting you, your data, and your organization at risk.

 

Office 365 Features and Functionality

Microsoft’s objective is to provide Office 365 members with a one-stop shop of continuously growing relevance, which is the opposite of the depreciation of their desktop products. Knowing how Office 365 works allows ease and efficiency in your operations. It now includes several frequently used company management features, communication tools, document and file management workflows, and even backup.

As a result, you gain more capability for your investment and benefit from the simplicity of learning only one user interface. You also benefit from the power of integration. All your documents, storage, and tools communicate with one another and work seamlessly together, saving you a tremendous amount of time and hassle.

 

1. Versatile Planner  

Microsoft Planner is another time-saving functionality that comes with Office 365. A supervisor or a project manager can start a new group in Planner, such as for a department within your company or a specific task it is working on. A group in Planner and Office 365 can be momentary, like for an occasion, or permanent, like for regular responsibilities given to a sales department. Once a Planner group has been made, the group owner can create swim channels, or what Microsoft refers to as “buckets,” after which any group member can establish tasks that must be completed to achieve the planned goals.

Each task in Planner can be allocated to a single person or a group of people, and if necessary, it can be given a due date. Individual tasks can have attachments and components that are a portion of one major task, and each group or project Planner can be adjusted and updated. If a person’s role changes or they transfer to a different project or group, it is simple to redistribute their responsibilities. Since all group members can see the responsibilities, Planner helps facilitate transparency and effective collaboration.

 

 2. Effective for Teamwork 

The Office 365 service Microsoft Teams is the optimal solution for corporate group chats. Microsoft Teams offers visibility and accountability regarding discussions and work activity while enabling employees to interact with each other creatively and professionally. Microsoft Teams can be integrated into everyday business processes for companies who subscribe to Office 365 Business Premium, Business Essential, or Enterprise (E1, E3, or E5). With the help of Office 365, Microsoft Teams enables divisions inside an organization to collaborate more efficiently.

Microsoft Teams also offers many advantages over comparable competitors, like Slack. It not only provides greater benefits at a lower cost, but it also makes work more efficient and user-friendly. Strive to have your employees on the same page, as this will improve the working atmosphere and boost output, which will benefit your bottom line. With the right training, you can easily integrate Office 365 and its services into your company’s everyday operations.

 

Ongoing Battle: Organizations Struggle with Office 365 Cost-cutting

Despite the multitude of benefits of Office 365, most organizations are almost certainly paying too much for it. We surveyed 100 IT managers and purchasers, and 42% stated they were paying too much, while another 30% stated they were confused by licensing. The intricate licensing arrangements that enterprise agreements require are intended to be confusing, increase your expenditure and regulatory risk, and make it more difficult to keep records of who uses what licenses in your company.

Man working

It is essential to compare your utilization to the accessible licensing, illustrate where your staff members are over-licensed, and identify how much it costs you. For enterprise-level organizations, the cost of over-licensing staff can result in thousands of dollars being overspent each month.

Organize your licensing so that it is detailed and simple to comprehend, more feasible and efficient, and so you can make educated choices about your software expenditure, resulting in a streamlined and contemporary approach to software asset management.

 

MetrixData 360: Office 365 Licensing Specialists are Here to Help

It might be an unfamiliar and exciting opportunity to switch to Office 365, so it’s important to comprehend what you require and how you’ll employ it. By doing so, you can come up with a custom solution that best matches your organization’s needs, keeping your costs low and your productivity high. MetrixData 360 specializes in helping businesses transition from desktop services to cloud-based platforms by establishing a contemporary approach to software asset management for Office 365 cost-cutting

Visit our website to learn how MetrixData 360 helps its clients understand how Office 365 works and to see how much you can save.

How to Survive A Software Audit

Switching from EA to CSP

5 Hidden Azure Cost Optimizations: How to Save on Azure

The more resources you spend on your business, the better it gets. With Azure’s increased variety and efficiency boosters like machine learning tools for data analysis or IoT connectivity options, there are no limits to what can be achieved. But be aware, Azure cost management can also be very challenging. 

 

Understanding where your company’s money is coming from might be complex, given that firms frequently own dozens of Azure-related services for which they must make monthly payments. Shifting more assets to the cloud and cloud expenses also comprise a sizable portion of IT expenditures. 

 

So, do you want to know how to reduce IT budgets?

 

There are various Azure cost optimization secrets that can assist you in visualizing and controlling costs. You can use these to cut down on waste and maximize already-existing resources.

 

Here are some insights on practices and tools that can assist you in optimizing your Azure costs. 

1. Efficient Use of VMs

Azure provides a diverse range of virtual machines (VMs) with various hardware and functionality options. To determine which offers maximum throughput or efficiency while being cost-efficient, experiment with different VMs for the same job. You can auto-scale to adopt the number of VMs for actual workloads and continue with the VMs that perform best. 

 

Keep in mind that 100% utilization of all VMs will result in the lowest cost. By utilizing Azure Monitor to analyze your metrics alongside techniques, such as auto-scaling, to update the number of machines based on utilization, aim to reach as close to this target as possible.

 

2. Utilizing B-series VMs

Another way to ensure Azure cost optimization is through B-series VMs. The B-Series virtual machines provided by Azure are intended for programs that are normally inactive but occasionally see spikes in consumption. If the job is manageable, you can earn credits with low levels of computational resources. The CPU power is increased with abrupt spikes in consumption, and you can use the credits to cover the cost of capacity addition. The machine returns to its default CPU power when credits have been used up. 

 

B-Series VMs offer reductions from 15-55% compared to other VMs. Determine which tasks must be available but only seldom require high throughput or performance, and migrate them to B-Series virtual machines.

 

 

3. Shifting Workloads to Containers

Containers weigh less compared to VMs. You can run up to hundreds of containers on a single host machine, with each running a different containerized program. By repackaging your programs as containers, you can significantly lower VM utilization and your expenditures. Consider moving workloads to a container service like Azure Kubernetes Service from conventional Azure VMs (AKS). 

4. Using Storage Tiering

Most continuing costs for Azure setups are often related to memory. With decreasing costs per each storage tier of Azure Blob Storage, several redundancy choices are also available (less redundancy means less storage cost). Consider researching Azure storage pricing to find out how much each storage service costs. 

 

Shifting less critical or infrequently accessed data to a cheaper tier or a lower redundancy option will help you save money. You can further build tiering storage management into your software to ensure that data is routinely migrated to a lower-cost tier when it is no longer required.

5. Utilizing Cost Optimization Tools

The Azure consumption tools, such as SLIM 360 for Azure, are highly beneficial if you are interested in controlling your budget reports and improving Azure cost optimization. SLIM 360 is one of these tools and is solely designed to uncover your potential for cost savings, helping you carefully examine your data to identify superfluous expenses so they can be reinvested into your business.

 

Working with the information generated by the Azure portal can be challenging. The overwhelming volume of data that Azure customers receive frequently leaves them unable to make sense of it. Solutions like SLIM 360 Azure Reporting streamline and simplify the process of analyzing results by compiling them into plain-language graphs and charts, enabling greater use of your Azure Portal invoices.

 

MetrixData 360: Here to Help

 

If you attempt to break down your costs using the receipts in your Azure portal, you will probably be met with a headache from complex data spreadsheets. However, MetrixData 360’s Azure Usage Tool is specially designed to comprehend Azure’s detailed pricing and simplify it into information that is easy to understand and use. Our tool categorizes your current Azure charges for storage, VMs, SQL databases, and more. The total cost for each category is then shown, along with the list price and any discounts used. 

If you’re looking for how to reduce IT budgets, visit our website to book a demo to see how much you can save.

Microsoft 365 vs. Office 365: What’s The Difference?

Sometimes Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion about what each represents. If you’ve wondered about the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 and which one is the better option for you, you’ve come to the right place. Although they are frequently substituted for one another, they are significantly different. The term “Microsoft 365” describes a broader range of software and services, including Office 365.  

Let’s explore the differences between Office 365 and Microsoft 365. Once you are aware of the differences (and similarities), you can better distinguish between them and recognize their main characteristics. This knowledge can help you conquer the uphill battle of choosing the most cost-optimized Microsoft solution.

The Office 365 Suite

The Office 365 suite components are referred to as “Microsoft Office 365.” Microsoft launched the Office 365 package as a collection of teamwork tools to facilitate productivity. These include Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Excel. Each of these instruments is designed to function with the others.  But just because they were built to run on top of Windows doesn’t mean they have to. One of its greatest benefits is that most contemporary suites are cloud-based and readily available online. They can also be accessible on various platforms, including Mac and Linux laptops, iOS and Android mobile devices, and desktop computers. The Office 365 suite has effectively been expanded so that it is now essentially platform-neutral. Therefore, Windows-based machines are no longer exclusively used with the Office 365 package, which is significant for the larger “Microsoft 365” framework. While one of the top creative and collaboration suites for most organizations is still Office 365, Microsoft Teams allows staff members to collaborate on software like Microsoft Word and Excel from anywhere in the world. The Office 365 suite must also be carefully controlled to maintain communication efficiency and data protection.

The Microsoft 365 Suite

The Office 365 collaboration toolset and the larger Microsoft 365 environment are collectively known as “Microsoft 365”, comprising both the Enterprise Mobility Suite and the Microsoft Windows operating system. The operating system, mobility suites, and collaboration architecture have all seen significant improvements thanks to Microsoft – something that has become essential in a world where more employees work remotely. While operating the Office 365 suite from the cloud is an option, Windows also improves the simplicity of switching fluidly between desktop and cloud-based tasks.

Organizations that desire higher levels of flexibility and privacy are supported by Microsoft 365. The Office 365 suite can be utilized on various systems, but it mostly connects with the Microsoft 365 environment. This infrastructure was designed to assist and surround the Office 365 product line.

Another benefit of adopting a Windows system is its versatility. Windows computers have significantly boosted security and manageability support, provided regularly-updated security fixes, and offered more capabilities for remote work and collaboration

The Comparison: Microsoft 365 and Office 365

When you purchase Microsoft 365 (M365), Office 365 is included in the M365 package. So, what’s the difference between Microsoft 365 and Office 365 if Microsoft 365 also includes Office 365? In truth, both Microsoft 365 and Office 365 are essentially Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. But Microsoft 365 has more services bundled together, which can be particularly useful for enterprise-sized organizations.

Along with O365, Microsoft 365 also consists of the Windows operating system and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). Because it contains the operating system and the EMS, two platforms with considerable capabilities, Microsoft 365 truly isn’t the same as Office 365. With additional services included, M365 offers a single, secure package for organizations to use for enhancing operations and collaboration.

While it may appear like semantics, it’s not. When researching systems, diagnosing them, or learning more about updating, optimizing, and managing them, it’s critical to be aware of the distinctions. It’s also significant from a developmental and architectural perspective. Would you like to spend money on the complete Microsoft 365 infrastructure? Or are you just thinking about Office 365? The distinctions (and similarities) between products like Office 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E3 can considerably contribute to well-informed purchase decisions.

MetrixData 360: Here to Help

It isn’t necessary to spend significant time and effort finding hard savings in Office 365 subscriptions. You can start recognizing savings within six months with our support. You’ll be able to identify the areas where money is mismanaged and which individuals have excessive, insufficient or no licenses, helping to make your regulatory shortcomings and value gaps in your purchases more evident. 

If you’re interested in software asset management, then visit our website to learn more about our Office 365 Licensing Bootcamp.

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