9 Questions That Can Save You Millions When Migrating to the Cloud

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You know you need the cloud, but you also know to need to control your costs. These questions will help you get there without wasteful spending

Cost control. That’s the top consideration when you make your move to the cloud. Will your current vendor give you the best price because you already do business? Will a new vendor help you recoup the investment you’ve already made?

Here are the top 9 questions that can save you millions when migrating to the cloud.

 1. What’s the best contract term duration for our business?

Opt for a short contract to avoid traditional vendor lock-in mentality. That sort of on-premise IT support shouldn’t exist in the cloud. You don’t want to fail. If you do, you want to fail fast. Run the scenarios. Weigh the benefits of locking in a low cost for a long term versus the flexibility of a short commitment.

2. How do discounts and incentives change when we migrate to the cloud?

It’s not going to be the same – even if you keep your current vendor. You’re moving to a new platform, so whatever discounts you currently have probably won’t travel with you. The negotiation starts over. Ask for strong and lasting discounts from any vendor who steers your migration to the cloud. If they want your business, they’ll also work with you to protect those discounts.

3. What’s our “real” initial base count?

You hear that the cloud is scalable. Discounts for volume still work to your advantage, though. Companies often think it’s helpful to oversubscribe and pad their usage needs to drive a discount price. It won’t save you any money. You’ll lose credibility with your vendor when statistics show your actual base count. An accurate number is the best number for everyone.

4. What are our future scaling costs?

Scale works in both directions. Ask your vendor about tiered pricing options and shorter terms. You won’t get the lowest prices, but you’ll have greater pricing flexibility. Variable pricing options are even better. Avoid clauses with minimum purchase numbers—if you do need to downsize, it’ll cost you.

5.  What do I have to buy again?

Did you invest in on-premise special integrations and solutions? You may pay for them again when you migrate to the cloud. You might not even get the same features and functionality. Make sure what you have now is supported in the cloud. Confirm there are no cost implications to duplicate it when you move.

6. How will migration affect other IT costs?

There are secondary costs associated with migrating to the cloud. Licenses you have for on-premise versions of software might be insufficient for cloud usage.

7. What’s the complete pricing model?

Cloud computing has four key areas:

1. Memory

2. Storage

3. Computing

4. Network Access

Each area may have a different rate. Each one will grow at a different rate. You need a thorough capacity roadmap of all four areas to forecast the true price of moving to the cloud.

8. What’s the cost of our exit strategy?

Cloud computing remains an emerging market. Today’s leaders could be easily toppled. Do you know the cost, and do you have a plan to migrate data if your cloud service provider has to be replaced?

9. What will limitations cost?

It’s unlimited and scalable. That’s what you hear about the cloud. There are limits. Computing power is finite. Resources can be knocked offline. What are your cloud vendor’s resource limitations? If you don’t have an answer, you won’t be able to determine what the extents can cost your company.

Make your vendor a partner in creating a financially responsible solution. What can they help you with to see the best return on your investment? You shut off lights when they’re not necessary. Apply that philosophy to your cloud solution. Use schedulers to make sure instances aren’t up and costing you when they’re not needed. Map out non-critical hours and ask your vendor how you can optimize cloud resources during these times.

What’s the rush?

There are expensive mistakes to be made if you charge into a decision about the cloud. Getting your business is lucrative for cloud service vendors. They want you to make a decision and lock it in. Stay out of the express lane to the cloud. A rush to commit exposes you to expensive mistakes. It’s not about determining the costs, but controlling them. The consequences of not asking the right questions now can cost you millions later.

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