Does it seem like you have a LOT of different cloud applications? It’s not your imagination. There are many companies in Charlotte and the rest of the country that have come out of the cloud adoption revolution with more apps than they knew they had.
The recent stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic exasperated the situation. Many businesses had to put cloud solutions in place quickly for remote workers, not really paying attention to redundancies among them. Additionally, remote employees may have started using a cloud app on their own out of necessity.
Small businesses use an average of 102 different cloud apps (a 30% increase from the previous year).
A common problem being faced now is “cloud overload,” which means having more cloud applications than you need and a ballooning cloud subscription cost.
There are many problems that can come from not having an optimized cloud environment, which include:
- Higher security risk due to apps handling security differently
- Lack of integration
- Need to manually re-key data
- High cloud subscription costs
- Using different apps that do the same things
- Employees being confused which app to use for which process
- Higher employee learning curve
- Cumbersome administrative process
If you’ve found yourself asking why you have so many cloud apps, it may be time to fix your cloud overload and save money using a streamlining process.
Streamline & Optimize Your Cloud Use
The purpose of using cloud technology is to ensure your office is optimized, can take advantage of the best productivity tips, and is resilient and can be run from any location.
But if you end up with disjointed processes because your team is juggling too many apps, that negates the benefits you were expecting when investing in the cloud to begin with.
By going through the streamlining process below, you can lower your monthly cloud costs by getting rid of redundancies and unnecessary apps, plus greatly improve productivity by using fewer apps to run your business.
Step 1: Take Inventory of All Your Cloud Apps
First, you’ll need to know how many apps you actually have in use, and this means all of them, not just the paid apps.
To properly secure your data, you need to know where it’s being used, which means asking employees which apps they use in their daily workflow
You may find, for example, that your marketing team is using one messaging app, while your sales team uses another. This leads to data being spread out, less security, and problems capturing corporate data in one place.
Survey employees and also ask your accounting department for a list of all apps that are being paid for on a subscription
Step 2: Review Apps & Find Redundancies
If your company is using both Microsoft 365 and Google Drive, then that’s a redundancy because Microsoft 365 comes with a file storage app, OneDrive. This is an example of where you could get rid of an app.
Review all the apps that your company is using to find where there are redundancies. You’ll want to note which apps can do the same things, so that when you ask employees which they like better, you can have them choose between two apps that are comparable.
Step 3: Look for All-in-One Platforms
All-in-one platforms give you the synergy of several apps working together that share data, have a similar user interface, and have a single administration and security that impacts all apps in the platform.
The best example of an all-in-one platform is Microsoft 365. It integrates productivity tools, team collaboration tools, video conferencing, file storage, and more in one cloud subscription and one integrated tool.
If you’re not already using an all-in-one platform, you’ll want to consider adding one to take the place of several apps you are using. They can lower costs by streamlining, automating, and reducing manual processes.
If you weren’t already using an all-in-one platform, have your employees try out a free trial to see how they like it before the next step.
Step 4: Survey Employees on Business Apps
It’s important that you choose the tools that work best for your employees. While you might like the look of one particular app, your employees might find that it slows them down.
Ask employees to rate the tools they use or that they have tried. Ask them what they like about them and dislike about them as well as to grade them on a scale.
This information will help you in choosing the cloud apps that work well for your team and will improve productivity.
Step 5: Migrate, Deactivate, Streamline
Finally, based both on employee input as well as a view to streamline and use integrated tools, choose the applications that your team will use, and which will be dropped.
You’ll need to ensure you migrate data from an old app to a new one and deactivate the old apps properly so you’re not continuing to pay for them.
At the end of this process you should end up with fewer cloud apps, less app subscription costs, but a more optimized and productive use of the cloud.
Get Help Optimizing Your Cloud Applications
Rocky Knoll Technologies can help your Charlotte area business through all the steps of the streamlining process and ensure your cloud use is fully optimized both for costs and productivity.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 704.594.7292 or reach us online.