The cloud is central to the work that most of us do in 2023. Fortunately, the big cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform make it easy to sign up for cloud services in a matter of minutes.
But as tempting as it is to buy these cloud resources directly, we don’t recommend it. Working with a cloud services partner can save you time and money and improve the performance of your cloud-based applications.
What is cloud consulting?
Before we get into the benefits of cloud consulting, let’s take a quick look at what a cloud consulting service can do for your organization. A cloud partner can help you:
- Migrate your workload and applications to the cloud
- Automate your cloud operations
- Improve cloud security
- Implement backup and disaster recovery systems
- Diagnose and solve issues with cloud technology
- Just about anything else you need to do in the cloud
Yes, you can DIY your cloud setup and maintenance, but cloud consulting offers benefits beyond what most businesses achieve on their own.
6 reasons you need cloud consulting
1. Cloud consulting gives you affordable access to a dedicated team
If you want your cloud transformation to succeed, you’re going to need a knowledgeable team to handle it. But hiring experienced professionals in-house is expensive and onboarding them can be time consuming.
Contracting with a cloud consulting company is a much more cost-effective way to get a dedicated team of experts working for you. Just like an in-house team, your cloud partner will learn all about your company’s existing infrastructure and your goals. They have the expertise and perspective to help create an effective cloud strategy for your business.
The best consultant teams can offer a breadth of experience that it’s hard to achieve on your own. For example, at Emergent Software our cloud architects and engineers each specialize in different areas, including DevOps, Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft 365, implementing scalable custom software in Azure, and more. When you work with a consulting company like ours, you benefit from all of this combined expertise as the team builds solutions tailored to your business needs.
2. You can scale your cloud professional services as needed
Maybe certain times of the year are busier for your organization than others. Maybe you need a lot of help for a big project but want to scale down your managed services afterwards. Or maybe you expect your cloud computing needs to grow rapidly with your business.
Working with a cloud consultancy lets you make those adjustments quickly. You don’t have to pay for work and resources that you don’t require, and if your needs increase, your cloud consult team is ready to offer more help or improve your cloud environment so it can handle the new workload.
For example, a big spike in traffic can take down a website or application, but a good cloud partner will help you plan for such occasions. Our client Kalahari Resorts needed their website to be ready for big events, especially each Thanksgiving when they have a float in the Macy’s Day parade. We helped Kalahari configure auto-scaling of their site to automatically scale up during the parade or other big events and then automatically scale back down when the traffic subsides to save money.
We’ve also worked with clients to automatically scale up their Azure databases to support data ingestion processes and then scale them back down for operations to keep overall costs low.
3. Cloud consultants are up-to-date
All of the major cloud providers are constantly changing the services and features they offer. It’s hard to stay on top of the updates if cloud services aren’t your area of expertise. But for your consultant team, cloud technology is a core competency. They’ll ensure that your cloud is always optimized based on the latest best practices.
At Emergent Software, we keep our knowledge fresh through the many projects and environments we work on. We’re always solving new problems and pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished in the cloud. In addition, we’ve built in time into our engineers’ workloads to support staff development, which focuses a lot on learning about the latest Azure features.
That experience keeps us innovative and on top of cloud trends.
One thing to look into when you’re choosing a cloud consultant is certifications, which can prove that the company has certain expertise and competencies. For instance, Emergent Software holds many Microsoft certifications and recently earned the Advanced Specialization in Modernization of Web Applications to Azure, which involved an audit by Microsoft to confirm our knowledge and experience migrating and deploying production web application workloads for our clients.
4. You’ll avoid overspending
Organizations often choose to move to the cloud to avoid big expenses associated with on-premise architecture. But if you’re not an expert in implementing and maintaining your cloud, you might make costly choices. Cloud consultants know how to match your services to your workload so you don’t waste any money.
For example, say your organization has a variety of databases for different purposes. You may be making the common mistake of paying for separate resources for each one based on their expected peak performance. That means that even if you’re not using a database much, you’re paying for it to be in the cloud. Your Azure Cloud consultant could suggest that you save money by putting the databases together in an elastic pool, allowing them to share resources on a single server for a set price.
Or, if you have predictable workloads, your Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partner (CSP) can help you purchase Azure Reservations for Virtual Machines, App Service Plans, Azure SQL, and more. With Azure Reservations, you commit to paying for up to three years of a resource, but it gives you significant savings over the usual pay-as-you-go model.
As a real-life example of how cloud consulting can help you save money, we recently conducted an in-depth storage review for a customer in order to optimize their monthly Azure spend. The goal was to determine the best tier of Azure storage to be on both to optimize costs and meet business requirements. We found that this client had an enormous number of read/write operations that were increasing their costs. We ended up keeping them on their current tier of storage but adjusting settings on data replication to replicate a couple times a day versus every one to two hours.
5. Cloud best practices keep performance high and risk low
For many businesses that buy their cloud services directly from the provider, cloud migration looks like a simple matter of shifting existing workloads to the cloud. But you can do better than that—your cloud consultant team knows how to optimize your cloud for efficiency, security, and best practices.
For example, your cloud partner can protect your business by implementing, testing, and maintaining backup and disaster recovery systems so you don’t suffer from outages or data loss.
At Emergent Software, some best practices we follow include employing tools like Microsoft Defender for Cloud, MFA, Microsoft Sentinel, and Azure Policy and ensuring that our clients get a high security score for each of their Azure subscriptions. We also make sure to follow Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework, a collection of tools, best practices, and documentation to provide guidance across every phase of cloud adoption.
6. Cloud consulting takes the pressure off of you
Maybe you already have cloud expertise on your team—or you’re willing to learn. You’re not intimidated by the idea of managing your own cloud environment.
But chances are, you and your team have a lot of other work to do. Instead of adding more cloud projects and tasks to your plate, hand them over to a trusted partner who knows your business and wants to help you achieve your goals.
Your cloud consultant can be with you for years, just like any long-term member of your team. We have clients that we interact with throughout the week – at weekly standing meetings and through emails, video calls, and chat. We maintain deep ties with our long-term clients and help them achieve their cloud goals as their business initiatives change and grow.
A cloud consulting company can also take the on-call burden off of your team's shoulders by providing managed services for as many hours as you need, including 24/7. With the right cloud consultant, you’ll be able to focus on your own areas of expertise knowing that your cloud is in good hands.
Work with Emergent Software
As a Microsoft Solutions Partner in Cloud Infrastructure, Emergent Software offers Azure consulting services, including cloud migrations, disaster recovery, cloud backup, and desktop virtualization. We work as an extension of your team to optimize and manage your Azure cloud.
Looking for expert cloud consulting? Get in touch.
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