This is a challenge many businesses have been facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Outside of environmental factors, I don’t know of any business that isn’t looking to always improve the bottom line and optimisation, maximise profit, and grow revenue streams.
Increasing speed and quality while driving down costs is something that Technology is constantly trying to do for business, and it’s getting better at it. Outside of technology, it’s up to us, the people who make strategic decisions to leverage certain technologies to “make the best or most effective use” of said technologies.
What I have just done is effectively explained the core definition of Efficiency and Optimisation. Two key factors that help businesses recover costs, gain a competitive edge, and overall improve customer experience. The main challenge is that efficiency is very often confused with effectiveness.
This is almost always the situation with the adoption of certain technologies, and the cloud is certainly no exception here. In fact, we are seeing the number one reason for application “repatriation” (or pulling out of the cloud) is unexpected costs. But wasn’t the Public cloud supposed to be the answer to all these problems? Ultimately, any technology used for its intended purpose and applied appropriately with best practices should deliver said results.
The technology isn’t the problem, we are. Our Application infrastructures have become so massively complex and distributed that organisations can no longer properly control the management and costs of these environments. So what is the solution? More technology of course. We now have technology to manage the other technology and the sheer volume of data we as humans will never be able to grasp in a billion years. This is of course AI. And AI has made its way into the operational world of IT in the form of AIOps and now FINOps. But even the superior artificial intelligent beings require data – tonnes of it. In fact, the more data you feed them, the better the outcomes in terms of identifying ways to gain efficiencies and leverage them to deliver the optimisations.
NetApp in partnership with Harbour IT has been focusing on exactly this issue of late by helping businesses Reimagine what’s possible. Not just finding ways to drive down cost while improving speed and quality, but to ensure the appropriate use of application infrastructure. Instead of pulling out of the cloud because the bill was higher than the TCO of hosting in the data centre, let the AIOps find where there is waste in your cloud, where a workload has not been correctly sized for a cloud and where that workload could potentially leverage other features for continuous optimisation moving forward.
This may sound like an “easier said than done” approach. Every public cloud, managed service provider and data centre boasts their platforms as the most appropriate for your workloads, but it is still up to us to keep them honest. Truly heterogeneous solutions are required to gather data from all infrastructure offerings and locations across the Hybrid – Multi-cloud and collate them somewhere to be able to determine the best destination and outcomes. That “somewhere” by the way is a SaaS offering entirely hosted and managed by NetApp so getting it up and running takes a matter of seconds.
And this will be an ongoing exercise. Spot by NetApp does exactly this. A concept that NetApp has used to extend the DevOps mantra of continuous integration and continuous deployment into continuous optimisation. Combine that with Cloud Insights and you have the complete collection of assessing an entire Hybrid Multi Cloud distributed applications environment and infrastructures to constantly monitor and improve throughout its dynamic lifecycle, irrespective of what may change in these environments.
While cost optimisation is a direct outcome from these AIops technologies, there are also intangible cost benefits gained not always directly observed in a lower cloud bill, although this is the first sign of success, so much so that Spot only bills a portion of what we actually save, think “Commission only”, at which point, what have you got to lose? Besides savings!
Harbour IT leverages these technologies to help your business navigate the ever dynamic Hybrid Multi Cloud, and provide continuous optimisation in both the technology and business process worlds, and really drive not just the Efficiency and Optimisation outcomes, but the true effectiveness of them.
To learn more about utilising technology to optimise your business processes, watch our RE:IMAGINE Efficiency Customer Immersion Event recording, where we take a deep dive into Scope Australia’s journey to more efficiently support thousands of staff and customers in their transition to remote working.